Updated game

(Originally posted on July 22, 2006)

I released the first update a few days ago.  I improved a few areas of the game that should make the experience more enjoyable.  The player setup is more straight-forward now that I added text drop-down boxes.  You no longer have to toggle the computer player or perform an awkward swap.  Just click on the player and select from the available options.  Getting a big game started is now much easier.

I also finally replaced my effects with ones created by Drew.  I ran out of time during development and made my own.  The new effects are much more crisp.  I might add a few new ones to further improve the visual effects.

I made the normal, hard, and very hard computer players a bit easier in this update.  I’m still not sure if the 4th campaign board is too hard.  I wanted to let players see how the game ramps up in difficulty.  I’m not sure if the change from 3rd to 4th board is a bit too steep.  I would like to get some feedback on the difficulty.

In addition, I’m not sure if I am conveying the progression very well.  I designed the campaign boards to change tactics every 1-2 boards instead of relying on upgrades to supply the gameplay.  I’m hoping that players appreciate the fact that I am more interested in giving real gameplay than just using the typical upgrade approach.  When you play my game, you will be presented with different objectives and obstacles.  For instance, the 5th board starts out with squads of assassins approaching.  You must setup your base and troops in anticipation of this assault.  The next board reverses this idea.  I give the player a bunch of assassins and have the computer player send in several groups of troops that must travel through a forest.  The enemy is more powerful than your troops, but the forest gives your assassins the ability to setup an ambush, which is the key to winning the board.  I then switch up tactics for the next board and continue doing so until the final 17th board.

I made a few other tweaks, but the most notable remaining addition was the direct link to purchasing the full version from the demo.  I want to make it easy for potential customers to buy my game.  I don’t nag players like most demos.  I provide the information in the help dialog.  I display some messages when the last campaign board is beaten, but even that is skippable.  The buy button is out of the way too.  Hopefully, people will appreciate the way that I don’t pressure anyone to buy my game.

I am now working on the final major update.  I want to finish my interface improvements, both mechanically and visually.  I would like to add automatic IP address detection for LAN games so you don’t need to supply the IP address.  I also want to add some more skirmish boards.  I may make some gameplay changes as well.  It will depend on how much feedback I receive from people.  I am hoping that I get some more detailed feedback this time.  While it is possible that I could update the game again at a later date, I would really like to wrap up this game.  I have spent a long time working on it.

Once I get the next update completed, I will immediately begin working on my next game.  I started hashing out the ideas last night.  I expect to have the game design finalized around the end of August.  My next game will be a turn-based strategy game with many unique ideas.  I am pretty excited about it.  I will give some more details in a future post.

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