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.
I am fed up with the whole mobile/tablet gaming market. I’ve worked hard for three years and released two games to almost every mobile device you can think of. Never again. From now on I am focusing all my development resources on the PC. Frankly, I should have started there to begin with.
So how did I reach this conclusion? I am going to share my story with you. Openly and honestly. Some of it is gut-wrenchingly honest. Maybe this vulnerability won’t paint me in the best light, but I’ll take that risk in the hope you can learn from it. (I have changed some people’s names to protect their identity.) (more…)
The combat engine was the first thing I wrote when I started what would become Archmage Rises. Inspired by this card from Hearthstone, I started rewriting combat to handle multiple opponents and multiple waves of opponents.