Thursday, March 03, 2016

The Humble Armory #2: Worlds

I forgot to mention that there's a tote board in the armory where people (and you) can bet on adventuring parties. It will help give you an idea of how competent the party is, in addition to the information you glean from the lead adventurer of the party when you interview him (reading his "player card", which will be like a baseball card of sorts).

If you see an adventuring party that has 50-1 odds against, you could load them up with the best possible equipment, then bet on them and hope for a big payday.

The risk? That you lose your very expensive equipment because these oafs still can't make it through alive.

Plus there will be a "standings board" for adventuring parties. See who's hot and who's not.

Okay, so yesterday I outlined how the game would work. Today, I want to talk about why I could work on it for a long, long time.

I like the base mechanics, and as I refine them further, I think I can make something that will be fun to play. But if you're like me, when I find a game I enjoy, I'm disappointed when it ends--at least, I'm disappointed if it's still fun by the end.

I don't want to make a game with 20-40 hours of content.

There are people on Steam who have played Gridiron Solitaire for 400+ hours. That's what I want for the Humble Armory.

I don't want to outline the design in too much detail, but basically, there will be a hub from which you can travel to various pocket universes (the hub has to be revealed through the gameplay, but you'll eventually find it) . So there could be, for example universes with the following themes:
--water world (with whaling)
--outer space

Basically, those pocket universes are unlimited in terms of how many there could be, and each one would have entirely different plot lines, NPC characters, etc.

Most of the mechanics in terms of your job at the armory would be similar, but each universe would have a heavier emphasis on one key mechanic. So in one universe, for example, the bestiary would be more important.

The important part in terms of design is that I have to create a structure that allows me to easily "drop in" this additional content and have the universe function, instead of writing a jillion lines of code for each.

If there's a decent amount of interest in the game, I can keep adding pocket universes to keep people playing.

I also think that this kind of game is a good candidate for Early Access, at least at the beta stage.

When I designed GS, I just sat down and wrote down every feature I could possibly want (not knowing how hard anything would be to code, since I'd never done it before and had no idea what I was doing). Then, over a period of years, I eventually put it all in.

That is an awful, awful way to make a game, in terms of workload.

This time, everything I do is going to have efficiency as one of the primary goals. I want as little code as possible. I'm willing to redesign a feature and lose 10% of its functionality if it means I write 30% less code.

With the time I save, I'll be able to put in all kinds of neat things I think about as the game progresses. I hope.

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