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So for the last few weeks I’ve been working every spare hour I have on a game for the RPGMaker 2014 Indie Contest. I found out about the contest around the first I believe, and spent a few days working on an Ant RTS. A few days later I scrapped the idea for this idea I’ve had for a tennis RPG. The final result if a point-and-click adventure game, but I guess it still has some of the original concept behind it.
I’ve never done a point-and-click before but figured it would be simple (I was half-right). Also, I’m a big fan of the Touch Detective series on the DS and Monkey Island and the like. Machinarium of course is one of the most beautiful games ever, so for me, the point-and-click thing has always held a special place in my memory.
So last weekend I attended Sacramento’s unpub mini, which is where unpublished game designers go to show off their games. There was somewhere between 6-9 people there showing games, and I brought Village Defenders to show for funsies.
I had some great playtests and, more importantly, got to play some super fun games brought by some really cool folks. I was blown away by how great the games there were and hope to see a few of them on kickstarter soon.
Obligatory Village Defenders action shots:
So I’ve been spending the last few months designing and developing a game from a bundle of ideas into reality. I use the term ‘develop’ loosely as there is very little coding actually involved in the engine I’m using, but the same concepts seem to be recurring over and over.
I’ve heard that game development can be complicated, and luckily the engine I’m using takes care of most of the complicated bits (collision, menu interactions, etc.) The vast majority of the other stuff can be boiled down to objects and variables (and their interactions).
There’s some distinct differences between video game design and board game design. As a non-expert programmer, the most important difference being how vision is translated into reality. In a video game, there are likely things you want to do, that you can’t do (either as the result of knowledge or lack of practicality), and you have to adjust your vision in the appropriate manner. In the world of board game design, this never really has to happen. Regardless of how balanced or complicated or fun it is, anything mechanic or concept you can dream of as a tabletop design can be done, as there is really nothing lost in translation.
Regardless, it’s a new set of challenges and I’m enjoying the process of puzzling out how to translate my vision into a playable game. The game is expanding and getting bigger, which is daunting at times, but I’m looking forward to it.
I haven’t posted in quite a while because I’ve been hard at work on another project. This new project is still game-related, but it’s not a board game.
I usually don’t like to go into details about the projects I’m actively working on. It’s some weird psychological thing where I feel pressure to finish something, or maybe it prevents me from change things in my mind; I’m not sure. Bottom line is, I’m werid and this, unfortunately, isn’t the best way of approaching something new from a marketing standpoint but I’ll try to release some info as soon as I feel I can.
So it looks like Village Defenders didn’t win, but I got some kind words and good advice from the judge. Overall the experience forced me to finish the game so I’m grateful for the opportunity and experience.
I have a ton of projects I’d like to focus on so I’m not sure where to spend my energy right now, but either way I’ll try and keep the blog up to date and whatnot.
Until next time!
Keep calm and play games.
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