So here we are. Almost at the end of June 2018, and around 2 years and 3 months into development. I’ve not done many of these dev updates, mainly because I’ve been busy making the game, but I’m hopeful this will be the first of a regular series of project updates. At least until the game is released around Halloween 2018.
The really great news is, that the game is at Alpha, which means it’s done and feature complete and everything that’s going to be in the final release is in, and done to a playable level. Over the past couple of weeks we’ve started to move some of our focus away from design and implementation, to balance and playability.
Now the game is technically done, we need to make it play as well as it possibly can. It has to be enjoyable and fun, and all the things that make a game worth playing. Difficulty needs to ramp with the player’s skill and progress through the game. Enemies have to be placed and grouped and tweaked to make them challenging and the fights interesting. Treasure and loot and shops, and our limited economy must be massaged so the player can afford all the goodies on offer in the shops. Magical spells and items and consumables must be dialed in so they’re not too over powered or feeble, or without use or utility. All of these things, along with a myriad other mechanics and systems, must all work together harmoniously to make the game a game.
So far this process has been going very well. Damon, the lead designer and artist on the project, has been playing the game over and over, fixing egregious progression blockers and bugs with map layout and collisions. Last week, after spending a fair amount of time getting the game playable from end to end, he moved on to combat and fights and how they balance against the player’s equipment and skill level, and how the overall game challenge and difficulty ramps through the entire game. This big task was completed as I write this update, and next week, Damon will move on to balancing how powerful magical items, effects and spells are, with regards to the newly balanced combat and player leveling. It all sounds quite complicated, and it really is, but we have a well defined plan and progress has been very good so far.
Meanwhile, as Damon does his thing, I’m supporting him with code fixes and implementing anything new that he needs to make the game work. Essentially I am his personal code monkey right now, and I’m happy to do it.
While all that madness unfolds, there is a whole other side to our dev story going on that isn’t as apparent as the game tweaks. The art and design and coding stuff is just the tip of a very large and beautiful iceberg. Beyond the mechanics of dev, we’ve been working on our marketing plan and how we get the word out about Immortal Darkness. We’ve built websites and landing pages, and set up tools and technologies to streamline and help manage all of the pieces of the puzzle. We’ve commissioned new art from our Illustrator, Yigit Koroglu, to share with our adoring fans. We’re working on Lore and story with Ted Peterson, expanding and defining our game Universe in finer and finer detail. We’re talking to you, our followers and fans, and we’re getting involved with other indies and even taking our game to local comic and game shops to get player feedback. We’re play testing the game with real gamers, and incorporating their best feedback and squishing countless bugs. We’re working on our Steam page, and integrating Steam features into the game, and, and .. a million other things that have to be done, that aren’t art or code or design.
So, that’s us right now. Basically well organized chaos and mayhem. We’re making progress every day and keeping our sanity.. Just about.
More next month! Or sooner if I come up for air again.
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All hail The Giant Space Monster!