The Iteration Machine

ChestAt some point every game I’ve ever worked on reaches a point where the team starts to play their own creation and give feedback. For me this means just writing down my stream of consciousness thoughts on what’s happening in the game as it’s occurring, which usually ends up generating a huge list of items in just a matter of minutes, and I’ve certainly generated some pretty hefty lists recently.

This play->fix->enhance->play cycle is what I’ve been primarily focused on the past two weeks … and although it’s super critical, the resulting list is a little all over the place and might not make a lot of sense to others. Some of the things that have been changed recently are:

  • Safe spawn areas
  • Tooltip usability and comparison
  • Biased material drops
  • Z sorting bugs (2d isometric games are a huge pain in this area)
  • An endless dungeon
  • Bulk sell items (gold or xp)
  • Weapon trailsSwords Crossed
  • Game speed
  • Disarm traps
  • Real time and stepped turn modes
  • Balance (xp, drops, magic, difficulty, etc.)

But the really exciting thing about all of this is that the software is ever so slowly turning the corner from tech demo to game! I find myself pressing on and getting caught up in what I’ll find next in my exploration and losing track of time, which is a good sign.

There’s still a lot of stuff to build on the way to vertical slice (one of everything), but there’s enough parts now to think about going deeper on some things in order to realize those game systems that require it.