The game is not dead! The radio silence the past few months was not a sign of defeat, but rather, a sign of reevaluating the direction of the game, as well as determining next steps. Back in May, I decided to meet with an adviser to figure out marketing, as well as getting an overall impression of the game. After sitting down and writing a vision document, then, having the document get beat up over the course of a couple months, a new and exciting direction for the game was born.
New Updates and Direction
One of the major outcomes from this was deciding on the right resolution. In an earlier post, we were struggling on finding that right resolution. We’ve decided on a resolution that will scale well, as well as readjusting the camera’s position for better gameplay experience. This however means all of the artwork previously done will have to be recreated. Much of the original art, especially character and enemy art were placeholder anyway, so this is not as drastic as it sounds.
Another new direction for the game was to polish the combat mechanics a bit more. We revamped the stamina system, as well as introducing a new weapons merging mechanic. This mechanic will implement a fun collection-to-merging mechanic, as well as streamline the way menuing currently works.
There are also major changes to the story. We haven’t revealed much of the story so far, but the direction we are taking will make the gameplay and experience more cohesive. Violets and their purpose have been completely redesigned as evident with the new logo:
There have been lots of other major updates to the game since the last post as well. Here are some other high level bullet points of those changes:
- Fixed memory leak to maintain 60 FPS
- Tweaks to enemy AI to adjust for smaller viewport
- Update horse movement
- Heat transfer — aka arrows can catch on fire for “fire arrows”
- Revamped the temperature system — fire in cold areas will keep the player warm
- WIP Castle Town
- New NPCs as well as updated AI for NPCs
Kickstarter and the Future
Between the last post and the months leading up to September, whenever I didn’t get work done on the game during the weekends or in the evenings of weekdays, I would become mad at myself wondering why I wasted the time by not working on the game. When in reality, I just need time in the evenings and weekends to decompress. Sometimes that is working on the game, and other times it’s not. If the game became a “chore” or another “job” at this point in time, I would not have the motivation to fight for this project like I want to. I do eventually want to make this something I do full time, but not by sacrificing myself mentally in the meantime.
With that said, I might be interested in Kickstarter in the future. However, after crunching the numbers, I may be able to slowly fund the project myself in a few months from now. This could be paying for an artist part time, among other things. With the new direction in mind, if I can continue to build out and refine those core features, when the time comes to begin interfacing with an artist and others to make the game come to life, I will be able to give more attention in working with others to make the game the best it can be. Thus, I think it is wise to continue being patient, and slowly building out concepts and features at a pace that is fun and rewarding, rather than something that feels like “work”.
All of these conclusions didn’t happen overnight, so I apologize for not keeping the blog up-to-date. I hope to share small, incremental updates monthly with you all moving forward.