2 Jan 2009

Can't see the wood...

I've spent almost all of today specifying the locations of doors, stairs and trees in an XML file. I don't think it would be an overstatement to say my brain is about to dribble out of my ear, such is the tedium.

Don't let anyone ever tell you games development is glamorous!

I've been checking out some of the other Community Games titles, and I downloaded Writer's Block yesterday. It's a point and click game, the style of which was popularised by the likes of Monkey Island, back in the day when my PC had 4Mb of RAM.

Writer's Block has very nicely done artwork, and a professional-looking startup screen. It's let down by two factors in my opinion: an incredibly dull starting room with a puzzle I couldn't figure out before the trial expired, and an absolutely woeful control scheme. I'm sure I spent half the trial swearing at the damned thing.

It's a shame what looks like a promising title is let down by such factors. I'm opening myself to a retrospective torrent of abuse on our title's usability here, but why on Earth emulate the control scheme from the oldest of adventure games? Why not the in-line, context-sensitive versions of later titles?

Seeing how such 'minor' considerations can ruin a title, makes one realise how much even the small details matter to the average gamer; even if they don't realise it.