We just wrapped up another play test, this one of epic proportion. This post is a progress update, but also some more generally applicable thoughts on how to best introduce new play mechanics and, in particular, core gameplay loop-altering abilities.
We just wrapped up our December sprint and playtest. We’ll probably have another before January! Things that have changed since the October playtest…
What’s changed since the last playtest:
- An entire new zone of levels
- Complete rebalance of loot distribution
- Level loading and unloading logic, which didn’t exist at all before
- Total rework of enemy AI
- Countless UI and code improvements
- Loads more secret areas
- Very significant changes to the early-game “mechanic-learning” experience
And we did all that with plenty of time to spare, I promise. It probably won’t all burn down.
A quick look at all we’ve been up to in the year of surprises.
Work, unlike blog posts, has not ceased. While I juggle my day job, development, and existential horror, Reinan is a wizard who has mastered the “doesn’t sleep” potion recipe so, due mostly to his eldritch efforts, we have accomplished some wonderful things.
Stroll past the roll for a list of what’s online, fully functional and playable, with pictures!
We’ve been in a cycle of prototype – play test – bug hunt which any designer knows well, for it is the circle of life. It moves us all. Through despair, and hope, on the path unwinding. Or was that unending? Anyway here’s my illustration of the cycle of unnatural selection:Continue reading
A month has gone by since we started our new prototype. Reinan had a little break to go visit family over memorial day weekend. I spent the time gaffing for a small but very cool independent film. Now we’re back in, and we’ve chosen to continue prototyping our new platforming mind-bender, working title: Wizard’s Tower. The concept is good, but there are details that need to be attended to before we’re confident it will actually sell.Continue reading
Two weeks into prototyping a new concept: Procedural moving wizard’s tower becomes platforming mind-bender. Playtest going strong – one of the play-testers unscripted remarks, speaking to me while playing: “I hate this so much. No, go away. I must win it.”Continue reading
There have been a few unreported landmarks in the last year – an understatement, but its been an interesting journey and I’ll tell you about some of the milestones we’ve passed since our last update.
We’ve come a long ways, as you might expect in a year of labor – task after task is step after step toward a distant goal. It helps keep my head in the game to think of the process as a quest, a mission, a work of journeying to the promised land.
We just finished our first sprint of the year. It was a triumph. I’m making a note here, HUGE SUCCESS.Continue reading
After a nominal 3 month hiatus as I taught some courses at Uni, we’ve finally gotten to dig our teeth in over the summer. Reinan, of course, has never stopped working and it shows:Continue reading