Saturday, August 6, 2011

Reclaimate Mnth 2 - Wk 1

Feels like I've been lagging behind on the blog entries, but I have been working hard. It's honestly been a frustrating and draining week. Like I've said earlier many times I've gone back and had to rewrite systems and code because it didn't work when trying to forge ahead. It's a bit of a balance between code cleanup and just keeping stuff messy and trying to implement as best as possible.

Honestly engine work is frustrating, thankless, and absolutely necessary.

The better answer is to "do things properly". But that takes time and often knowledge I don't necessarily have yet. In the end if I was to publish to you what I have in comparison to last week it would look remarkably the same, despite the huge code changes. Thats the frustrating part.

The other thing that keeps hitting me is that to reach a high level of quality you need maximum time with the game in a hybrid alpha/beta state. That is to say, it does have all it's major features (Alpha), and it could be shipped now and appears to be bug free (beta). But most importantly you have the complete picture of how it looks, feels and plays.

With that last part you can tweak, balance, add a couple more minor features and dramatically improve on the fun factor. You can't do this too long or forever or you wind up with a product that becomes dated very fast. I'd say from 2 to 6 months would be the absolute maximum amount of time. But that window is critically important. That final polish at the end literally takes the game up metacritic points by the day if done properly.

I don't think I'll be able to capitalize on this time with Reclaimate, but I certainly plan to do more of this in the future. This is also another good reason to plan very tiny projects. You get it finished and then have plenty of time to focus on the polish.

Where I'm At

The goals for this week were the following:
  • Engine upgrades / streamlining - DONE
  • Get doors working (critical progression element) 30% DONE
  • Enemies dropping Essense - DONE
  • VFX working - Not completed

Video blog: I haven't forgotten about it, and I've been putting together the stuff for it, but I've felt so far behind with all this engine work that I had to see to the game first. It's still coming up. When it's ready and/or up I'll let you know.

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