I had a bizarre personal/family situation that totally consumed me from May to the end of July. Nothing much happened with Archmage during that time, which was like Chinese water torture for an indie dev.
It turns out that I had to take over a little store – from personnel to IT. I couldn’t choose not to do this. It was just something I had to do for the good of my family.
This is a fitting picture for an indie developer’s life
Sometimes a new solution is just an old idea in a new package.
Last time, I covered how re-reading the Dragonlance novels got me thinking about a new kind of RPG. One that is a realistic open world, procedurally-generated, and full of meaningful choices. The question is: How can I build it? Is it even possible?
Shark Tank is a TV show where prospective entrepreneurs (fish) pitch their business ideas to industry titans (sharks). After one of these pitches, Kevin (the grumpy Simon type billionaire on the show) asked, “Which is more important: The idea or the execution?”
Thinking for a minute, the entrepreneur nervously answered “Execution.”
“Right answer,” said Kevin. And he proceeded to invest in the idea.
I had a solid idea, but I wasn’t so sure about how to execute it. If I want to allow the player true choice, I have to address the cost of choice head on. I found the answer in two places: another TV show . . . and the early ‘90s.
Cost of Player Choice
There is one reason why the same characters die at the same time both in my playthrough and yourplaythrough of Watch Dogs: cost. Video game budgets now eclipse movies by a considerable margin—leading to less relevant choices.
How to Have a Good Idea
I am very interested in what drives creative inspiration. How to spark it, then harness it. I’ve read books on it. I’ve looked into what the artistic masters like Da Vinci, Michelangelo or Bach did. I’ll share the best advice I have assimilated on the topic: