Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dev Notes: Week 3

It's been another great week! There's progress every day, summer is coming to Oregon, and... er... I have no idea what the game is going to look like!

Honestly, this kind of honesty gets me in trouble sometimes, but when space wayfarers from the year 45x923 (Zircon era) pass over these bits with their data scanners, they'll nod and say, "that boy spoke some truth!"

Yes. In the Zircon era, accents that echo the American southeast are all the rage.

But really, I've been getting consistent feedback that takes two forms: "Wow, yeah, you need to drop the chess thing pronto. Very confusing" and "Wow, yeah! This looks great! I'd love to play a chess variant like this!"

There's not a lot of wiggle room there. It's either ditch the chess concept, which is the "factor x" that makes my humble tactics game stand out conceptually, or keep it and risk alienating a huge swath of potential customers. Will the game still be called Chess Heroes when it's released? Watch this space!

New Features

  • A progression system is mostly intact: title, zone, area, scenario, handling player progression, saving profile data, etc. And the way I'm organizing the files is slowly becoming set in stone. I usually spend way too much time in this area, and sometimes make the wrong guess, so now it's functionality first, dev-accessibility later.
  • The game knows if it's in Demo mode or not, knows if it's in Debug mode or not. There's alternate progression models for Demo and special scripts for debug.
  • You can lose if an enemy piece reaches your home row, and win if you reach their home row.
  • There's a nifty help system for pieces that zooms in on the piece in question and brings up a diagram showing how the piece can move. It does this automatically when you load a scenario with a new piece or ability.
  • The AI will signal when it has no moves (which is possible if it only has pawns left) and pass the turn back to the player.
  • Pieces topple over and fade when captured. I love that it took all of two lines to make the toppling happen: 1. add rigidbody 2. rigidbody kick
  • New particles go from a sacrificed pawn to its "taker." This effect needs to sell better, but it's a start.
Open Questions
  • What's the look and feel I'm after? What suits the game best? Can it stand on its own as a casual turn-based tactics game? Scratch that... can it stand out as a casual turn-based tactics game? I have to come up with a hook beyond "it's cleverly designed," I think.

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