This week I’ve really worked on refining the core exploration mechanic – there’s still more to do but the experience is beginning to take shape.
I suppose one of the key differences from last week is the fog. The purpose of the fog was to drive exploration – the idea being that if you can’t see something, you’re more likely to want to go and investigate. The problem was that the fog just wasn’t working the way I had hoped. I struggled thinking of a way to cover the level without fog. Then it dawned on me, I could just zoom closer to your immediate surroundings. This effectively means that you cannot see the rest of the level thus creating a virtual fog and enhancing the element of exploration. The other advantage is that the explorer becomes more prominent which means the layers of customisation I plan on adding will be more relevant.
As I mentioned, exploration is a key mechanic for this game. The blue bar along the top of the screen is the exploration bar. The more you explore, the more of this bar you will fill. This is not the primary objective in each level but the more exploration you do, the more you will be rewarded. You will need to balance this against the red bar along the top of the screen – this is the time bar. This will deplete as time progresses and you will need to complete your primary objective before it ends. This introduces the concept of risk vs reward – do you explore the level at the risk of time running out or do you focus on your primary objective at the expense of reward.
Both the exploration and risk vs reward mechanics need further fleshing out and will continue to evolve throughout development of the game. Hopefully you get the idea though.
In other news, both Rocket Santa and Star Fusion each received a short but sweet review from Indie Appolis. Go check them out and have a look at the other great content on the Indie Appolis site whilst you’re there.
Notice the website is faster? I’ve finally moved web host, ditching my old host in favour of ThisWebHost. The experience so far has been great – really fast server speed coupled with some of the best customer service i’ve experienced from a web host. We’ll see how it pans out but so far I’m happy.
I should touch on my project management tool, BrainWave. I’m continuing to tweak it and will be registering a domain for it shortly – I need to do this so that I can begin using it for my game. I’ll also begin to look into some infrastructure so that I can launch a private Beta for those of you who have shown an interest.
Until next time…
(Image of golden gate bridge courtesy of Giles Douglas)