Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March EGM Post Mortem

I took a week out of my normal game development activities and worked on a game for the Experimental Gameplay Project. It was a good experience, I'm thinking I'll probably want to submit entries in future months. You can see the game I put together, Last Stand, here.

All told, I think I spent around 24 hours over a period of five days to get it done. I was surprised at the amount of that time that was spent polishing, and trying to make the experience smooth. It's still got some rough edges, but I was pretty pleased with how it came out.

This is a small exploration of an idea I first had a couple of years ago, inspired by Keith Laumer's Bolos. Basically they are giant machines with human brains in them, they can perceive everything very quickly, and so their movements tend to be precise. I thought it would be interesting to see if you slowed the usual action game way down, if it would become something like a strategy game. It didn't turn out quite how I imagined it, when I slowed it down too much it wasn't terribly interesting. I'm not really sure what might make it more interesting. Allowing the player to move might help, but it could use some more experimentation.

Even if this game doesn't go anywhere, I think it's great exercise for my game development muscles. I'm hoping that if I do this enough I'll start generating some really neat game ideas, instead of the tired old derivatives I typically seem to produce. Also, going through a whole product lifecycle so quickly, and so often should be helpful to my development skills.

Finally, it was a nice break to get away from my other game for a bit. When I finished the Last Stand I was really eager to get back to work on my other game.