July 7, 2011

Quick Update: Video Blog, Game Jam

I just have a quick update for the day, since I've been running full blast all day. I got a ton of stuff implemented today; they were mostly housekeeping things that I've been meaning to do but haven't gotten around to. Now that the interface is almost totally finished, I can focus a bit more on the game's content.

For example, one of the big things I did today was go back and make "exploration" versions of all of the levels that currently exist. Once you complete a level, it would be weird if you could then go back and fight the bosses again or if the characters would say the same things. Instead, I want to create a sense of forward progress at all times, and I want to make it seem that the player's actions impact everything in the game world. So if you go through a level and rescue some alien buddies, when you return to that level, they should be safe and sound and no longer under attack. If you've killed a boss at that level, the boss should be dead when you return. And so forth.

I'd estimate that now, after about 2 months of 55-70 hour workweeks, Skybrawler is roughly 10% complete. Thankfully, the interface and core mechanics are shaping up, so from here on out it's mostly story writing, dialogue writing, level design, artwork, and generally just coasting -- with a few cinematics thrown in, of course. I have only a couple weeks of full-time development left for the summer, and then I'll be trying to squeeze it in on the weekends and in the evenings after MBA classes. I'm still planning to get 20+ hours of development in each week after mid-August.

Tomorrow I'll be starting Level 9: The Front Lines. It's a battlefield in the Searing Sands where the Stonefangs have set up barricades and have prevented the Dredgers from attacking them in their hollowed-out mountain, Dianttua. Captain Moore will be assisting the Dredgers in pushing through the front lines. I'll also be posting a brief video blog, but it will be fairly short since I'm leaving for the Saint Louis Game Jam at noon.

In all, it has been a short but very productive week. Stay tuned for the video blog!

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