Progress on my game is pretty slow at the moment and that’s a good thing. Let me tell you why. Both Star Fusion and Rocket Santa had development cycles of a few months – they’ve had some success but ultimately they weren’t that well received. I could rush through this game and release it within a few months but that’s not my intention this time around. I’m focusing on making this game an example of my best work and as such I wan’t to make the core game mechanic, exploration, fun and compelling.
The concept is currently this: You’ll be put into various levels with the core objective of reaching the exit. However, the key mechanic is to explore the level for which you will gain exploration points. You’ll have limited time to reach the exit so you’ll need to balance the reward of exploration points against the risk of not reaching the exit in time. The penalty for not reaching the exit in a level is permanent damage to your explorer. This damage is carried with you through the entire game.
An important concept that will enhance the experience is customisation of your explorer. The idea behind this is to create some emotional investment in the explorer to amplify the impact of both the damage mechanic and the reward mechanic. Exploration points can be spent on additional items and clothing for your explorer (As well a potentially unlocking levels).
I’ve put the level editor to one side for the time being whilst I focus on creating a compelling prototype level. I’m really working on making sure that you want to explore the levels – I’m not there yet.
I’d like to share some early videos demonstrating both the current gameplay and the level editor. I run a slight risk here, since the game is far from being in a playable state, but I want a record of the evolution of the game, thats what this blog is for.
In other news, the BrainWave Private Beta has finally kicked off with the first round of participants receiving their invites this weekend. I’m finding the tool extremely useful for capturing my ideas in a central location but I feel that the task area needs more work.
Apple have announced UK iPad pricing and release date – £429 ($635) and 28th May. The price, whilst steep, is not entirely unexpected and could have been worse. I’m still deciding whether to jump on it now or wait a few months – we’ll see if I have the willpower to resist when pre-orders open on Monday.
More to come soon.
(Tortoise image courtesy of cliff1066)