“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” – Pablo Picasso
Sid Meier’s Pirates! is arguably the most important game ever made . . . and it also ruined my week. You see, I’m working on Archmage Rises—and part of my elevator pitch is, “It’s like Pirates! but with mages and permadeath.”
“Live the Life” is exactly what this Pirate simulator delivers! (more…)
This past week, I focused my development efforts on the user interface (UI) of Archmage Rises. Proper software development methodology mandates that we should take on the highest priority, highest risk items first. We should do this to save enough time and energy to deal with the truly dangerous issues: the unknowns. Archmage Rises is a UI-heavy game, and the interface is core to the entire game experience. Fortunately, I’m working with the very talented UI artist Rick Grossenbacher.
Note: We’re only about a quarter of the way through the process, but I thought I’d share the approach and progress thus far. (more…)
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.
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.