1 Dec 2008

Normal Service Has Resumed

Updates on here have been a little thin-on-the-ground of late. That's not because we're not making progress; rather that I racked up a whopping 26 hours on the mat in seven days.

Phil Joyce has been making progress with branding, and if he's cool with the idea than I might share some of the in-progress designs he's come up with so far. Artwork is chugging along, more recently focusing on characters.

I've been looking at a couple of bits and bobs, but mostly tension. Without digressing into a full essay on the meaningfulness of games, it's important to note that a game is nothing without conflict. Without conflict there is no drama, and without drama there is no meaning.

Punishing players for expermenting or not getting things exactly right is very old-fashioned idea that gave rise to the much more narrow gaming demographic of yesteryear. Typically only young males with plenty of free time thrive on such self-challenge.

We're not going to implement such a system in our first game. There will be no 'death', no lives and no health meter. There will be a mechanism for generating tension, and there will be negative repercussions for certain actions. Without this, it's hard to make a game compelling.

The biggest design challenge I face at present is how to make sure my replacement for 'death' isn't actually more infuriating than having to start again from scratch after losing three lives.