Posts Tagged ‘Design’

While the patch itself went live last night, here are the Friday patch-notes.  The patch is live, bringing the new changes discussed last week and one new change.  Further changes will arrive in time, but have not been included in the recent patch.

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It must be Friday again, which means time for another weekly update.

Friday is typically patch day, so I would be discussing the patch-notes, but there are a few updated being rolled into one big one for later.  The main issue is a number of databases will need to be reset after each one, requiring all the characters to be reset, so we’ll delay the patch until they are all ready to minimise disruption for the alpha testers.


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A slightly geeky post this time, about technical stuff.  No pretty pictures or great insight into the game itself, so feel free to skip this one if you are not technically-minded.  If, on the other hand, you were curious about how I was developing the Facebook version, read on.


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Hmm…  The current combat mechanic for the Facebook game is just not quite working.  This is an element unique to the Facebook game, so it will only affect Facebook development, but it’s going to need fixing.  I know how to fix it luckily, so it is just a matter of modifying the code to bring it in line with the less-adventurous version of the mechanic.

Not to worry.  This is why we do proof of concept builds, after all…

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November has come and gone.  The Movember ‘tache has sprouted and fallen by the wayside.  NaNoWriMo was pointedly ignored.

In lieu of a 2D artist, I have been busy drawing stick-figure art on post-it notes; five monsters (and one new player avatar) are ready now.  They’ll never win any awards, but they do the job.

On the actual gaming side, the combat system is playable and almost ready for testing; the combat logging needs a little work, the character generator is not complete, but the main issue is making the Facebook authorisation work.  It is just a case of rechecking my PHP, I suppose.  By the end of the week, I hope to have a party of heroes up and running through a simple endless dungeon (sorry, no storylines yet) scenario.

So, the to-do list by Friday is;

  • Get the logging working as intended
  • Tweak the secret mechanic
  • Finish the character generator code
  • Make the Facebook authorisation work

Well…  It looks like I need to get off the blog and get some work done, doesn’t it?

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I am posting at 1am.

This fact alone may help you understand just how much this current section has grabbed me and won’t let go.  Mechanics are being finalised, place-holder art is being scrawled on post-it notes to let me start work on the code side.

Some elements are a little bit experimental, which means that they need testing.  I will be grabbing a few testers in the coming weeks, people I have already selected.  The main one is a secret, a bit of a new mechanic, which means it is either genius or madness.  More than likely, it will need tweaking to see if it works for real human players, but I think it will make Legacy of Heroes a very interesting variant on a known genre.

As a thank-you for being patient, I offer you a shot of the wall next to my PC…

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Long Silences

Yes, I have noticed the lack of updates.  I am very sorry about that.

Let’s start by saying that the pre-production phase is slow.  In a full studio, the design for the prototype might have been done in a week and there would be concept art all across the walls.  In this small studio, the full GDD is more important, so the prototype will have to be reverse engineered based on what can be done with it.  Also, since I am not getting paid for it, I can’t really afford to put all my eggs in just the one basket.

Negativity over, there are some bright motes of light on the horizon.  There have been a few responses from artists looking to help out on Legacy of Heroes, but not so many programmers; sadly, most of the programmers I know either want paying or they are busy on other pro-bono projects and not really free to take on the dreams of another “oh-so-talented, charmingly Bohemian, tragically impoverished” designer.

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Running around and playing other RPGs as part of my competitive analysis, I started to realise that there are certain fantasy tropes which I very much needed to get rid of. Certain clichés have no place in this game, even if it isn’t going for gritty realism.

In terms of ‘level’ and art style, I will always be aiming for Conan of Cimmeria rather than Forgotten Realms or Tolkien’s world.  The world is lived in and you want to keep clear of dark alleys and the edges of kingdoms, not running around filling your pack with every plant and rock you find that would fit in your pack.

As such, here are some of the rules according to Anthony…

  • City streets are not filled with crates and barrels just waiting to be smashed open, those tend to be in cellars or warehouses.
  • If you do smash open crates, you are more likely to unleash a torrent of beer or water on your boots than to find gold.
  • Smashing barrels is destruction of property; the watch takes a dim view…
  • Healing potions are found in apothecary shops, not in a rat-infested sewer.
  • The only thing you will find on the corpse of a rat is fur and meat, neither of which you will want or need.
  • Just because you can pick mushrooms does not mean they will not kill you if you eat them.
  • Flirting with nuns and princesses is not ‘forbidden love’, it’s just a sure-fire way to get excommunicated and / or exiled.

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