Archive for October, 2006

What I’ve been up to lately

Saturday, October 21st, 2006

It feels like an eternity since I last posted on my blog.  I have been keeping very busy.  For starters, I did decide to upgrade the host to a virtual server around mid-August.  This is the reason I have a fancier blog (Wordpress) and better forums (phpBB2).  It also allows me to setup various FTP accounts, which makes it easier to get the full verson out to reviewers and test versions out to … well, the testers.  Anyway, it was a pain to setup as I didn’t know 2003 Server, but I survived and figured it out.

After Pursuit of Power was released, I immediately started working on new game ideas.  I wrote down a ton of ideas on paper.  I took a break for a few days to get the final PoP update out.  It basically streamlined the tutorial/campaign and improved the music transitions.  I managed to get it to the IGF competition as well.

Soon after, I was back to pounding my head against the wall as I tried to settle on my next game.  It took a surprisingly long time to complete this process.  I even started working on the C++ project before I was done with the idea, because I just wanted to feel like I was making some progress.  I finally came to the conclusion that I should just stick with making a game that I want to play.  This might seem obvious, but I also considered working on a game that I could sell the best, regardless of whether or not I wanted to play it.  I’m not sure how that would work out since I feel like motivation is just a huge factor when making a game.

Ok, so I am now working on a game that is sort of a combination of a few.  In general, it is an RPG/action game.  The main game mechanics are based on the leader abilities from my game Pursuit of Power.  Some of the abilities are inspired by my time spent playing EverQuest (Sony Online Entertainment).  The environment is inspired by my time playing Diablo (Blizzard).  I am giving Drew (main artist of Pursuit of Power) much more artistic freedom for this game so it will have her personal style, which is truely captivating.

The game will focus around my main character from EQ, a Shadow Knight named Uthal.  I have always wanted to create my own lore for my character.  The combat mechanics are going to have a mixture of skill and tactics.  The skill part comes from splitting mobs (mobile enemies) and accurately targetting them during combat (closer means more damage).  The tactics part comes from using the proper abilities depending on the situation and mob type.  I don’t want to get into too many details yet, but it is pretty cool.  I have the player abilities completed and many of the enemy ones.  You will also collect items that help in combat as well as obtain ability upgrades.  The campaign game will be quest-driven.  There will also be a skirmish game for solo play and multiplayer over network (6-8 players … not sure yet).

I just set my first milestone date for the prototype, which is November 17th.  I should have most of the functionality complete by this time.  I will get very early feedback for this game, which is something I didn’t do for PoP.  The content (quests, lore, art, sound, etc.) and engine enhancements (mechanics, network, UI, etc.) will start in January 2007.  Expect the game to be ready for sale sometime during November 2007.

I’m going to try to keep this blog updated now that I have really gotten started with my next game.  I am shooting for the stars with this one, so it should be interesting :)