So, mm. Hiatus for a while, I suppose. I’m now earning my keep in the US and that’s made for some adjustments to lifestyle, but now that things have settled down, I’m getting back into development.
We both really like our game. A lot.
Only… recently I instigated a somewhat feverish conversation with fet about originality, and how Soft Landing had some good ideas, but ultimately was somewhat flat in execution, and suffered somewhat from copying formula. We dithered for a little while about what it is we could actually do about this, now that we were so far down the line with gameplay development. What could we do that would be “cheap” enough to not have to rewrite everything but interesting enough to put a whole new spin on the game? Thankfully our engine is robust and flexible, and we were able to make multiple dramatic changes to the game system. We have some interesting results, including what I understand is a completely new scoring/playing system for a shooting game of this type, and no HUD to speak of other than a single integer. It’s a lot more interesting, as well as a lot more fast-paced. Another aspect of the game I have been somewhat nervous about for quite some time is the tenuous linkages between both aspects of the game.
I realised the other day one of my main personal influences for this game was an old Safari Software game from the early 90s called Traffic Department 2192. It carried a similar approach to our game – half story, half shooting action. It has a very different tone, and is somewhat more simple in many ways… but was a brilliant game, and one of the first I had that took a serious approach to incorporating story in a cinematic style to an action shooting game. It was somewhat clumsy despite it’s excellent premise, and the changes from shooting to story were needlessly jarring. But.. before I get too far off track – our recent changes address a lot of the issues found by TD2192, and have not only improved gameplay by a very significant magnitude, but have also given us a more direct and meaningful way of tying the story and action sides of the game together in an easy-to-comprehend and relevant way.
I’m excited! :D