You can only change your plan if you have a plan
And yes I have one. It’s to release a small game to hopefully get more resources to build a bigger one. If I do my job the right way I believe that can happen based on recent news about Mad Scientist Defense that you should be able to play soon after “waiting” 4 months for a sponsor. I now have an interesting personal record to beat so it’s quite motivating.
So far I mostly only worked on the mechanic and not the game part. As I make progress on the game part I’m realizing that my “small” project (Spacewars) is probably not small enough to match my plan. So here’s what will happen.
No more “build your own ship”
Yes it has been one of my “selling point” so far but I’ve come to realize that it would be too much of a challenge for a small game to have good graphics that can work with this mechanic. It’s also a huge load of work to balance every single components. I just spent some hours trying to create components to build a small fast ship and a large slower one while trying to have all stats making sense. I did came up with the 2 ships I wanted but there’s something in my code that doesn’t make sense as the stats of the big slow ships are miles away from what you could expect when looking at the stats of the small ship.
No more multiplayerish
Basically I’m cutting everything that need to store data on a server. This also means that I will probably not go for micro-transactions for this game. That requires too much thinking that doesn’t help me to work on a nice space game. I guess that having some kind of multiplayer could probably help the game to have more success but I’ll just bring it back for game #2 if #1 succeeds.
More time to polish space battles
The time saved will be much-needed to polish the actual core of the game. For example the AI of enemies work well but isn’t diversified enough which results in short predictable patterns looping over and over. This isn’t good enough.
I also found myself to create some nice space backgrounds and special effects using TimelineFX so I’ll make sure the game is pretty. I even started to play around to draw spaceships in Photoshop using various tutorials and the results are pretty good for not much work. I’ll use that as a learning experience as being able to create my own art could help a lot in future projects.
So I’m cutting some features to focus on the main one while not forgetting that this is a first project to open the door for a bigger one (or more). I could just accept to spend more time on this first project and do everything I had in mind but what I want is to release something as fast as possible (as possible mean I won’t release just for the sake of it of course…) to validate the idea. If it meet some success then it will be easier to expand the theme.
And of course in game #2 the features that were cut will be brought back.