Last month I hit a bit of a wall. I had far too many features stuffed into the game and was working on them all simultaneously. I felt totally overwhelmed, not knowing what to work on from one moment to the next. To remedy this I stripped the game right back, ripping out the level editor and character customisation. This has given me the clarity I needed to continue developing the game. I still hope to ship the level editor with the final game, the customisation on the other hand is unlikely to make the final cut.
In conjunction with stripping the game back, I also started to read a book titled The Art Of Game Design: A book of Lenses. This lead me to re-evaluate some of the core concepts in my game. The result is the removal of both the exploration bar and the timer. The game will still focus on exploration, but the pressure of time will be replaced with pressure of a different kind – preparing for random events.
The random event wheel
The biggest change to the game is the introduction of the random events wheel. This wheel spins at set intervals and randomly lands on one of a number of events. Preparing for these events, through the purchase of items such as water flasks and the like, will ensure that you have maximum time to explore the level and search for gold and artifacts.
The first event i’ve coded is rain. I decided to take this a step further and program the framework for a basic weather system. This will enable me to add additional weather events (such as snow) with less effort and greater flexibility. The weather system allows me to add my weather system object to the level and call the appropriate weather method .e.g rain. In order to enhance the realism of the rain, I also created a raindrop class. Each raindrop object has it’s own random position and speed. This has the effect of creating a truly dynamic rain experience – I can also vary the amount of rain with relative ease.
The next step is to create the camp where you will be able to buy supplies to prepare for each level. I’ll also be programming an inventory screen so that you can activate items in-game.
In other news, my sketchbook project sketchbook arrived from the US – I have a few ideas for filling it but nothing set in stone yet.
I also took delivery of a vintage Zassenhaus coffee grinder. It’s a huge improvement over the blade grinder I had been using previously since it uses burr’s. After talking to @rizergames on Twitter, I decided to completely dismantle it and clean it. I also took some time (and risk) to align the burrs a little better. The result is that the vintage grinder can now produce grounds fine enough to easily choke my espresso machine – so well worth the effort.
Until next time.