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Writing a large scale game has never felt so good

Posted by EDI, 17 June 2013 · 310 views

I write large scale games. adventure games, role playing games...

In these times of casual and mobile titles, large scale games are becoming somewhat of a rairity.


After finishing Morning's Wrath, and The Lost City of Malathedra; I was not looking forward to writing another large scale game, and there are a couple of reasons why, if anyone here also writes large games perhaps they can sympathize.


Writing a large game will normally take you a number of years, let's say four years on average; and that is if you manage to finish it.

So you spend four years writing a game, and then release it; yay! some people like it, probably a lot of people don't like it.

You begin to get that feeling like you want to change some things, and maybe you do; but chances are you didn't build the system to be resilent to a lot of change (without breaking peoples save games at least).


I hate that above process; four years is too long to wait before people start loving your game.

And the moment people start to not love something about your game, you need to change it sooner rather than later.


So when I set out to design Revel Immortal (shameless plug http://edigames.com/revelimmortal) I wanted people to be able to play it from almost day one.

Due to schedules creeping and obvious complexities I did not meet day one; however I did manage to make an Alpha milestone and I was able to open Revel up to the public at that time.

So in essense my game is released now; and I perform weekly updates, and hear user feedback, and reflect changes quickly.

As a developer that makes me happy, it feels like I'm not, to be frank, pissing my life away :)

As you can imagine, from a technical standpoint this requires a good bit of thought on how to create a system where users can play an unfinished game, and have the game materialize around them without having to restart each time.

If people are interested in hearing how to design such a system, I'll be happy to do some writing on it, you can also check out my blog at http://edigames.tumblr.com which already has some details.

Another part of this is that I use web technology; there is no downloading and installing my game; and updates are mandatory you just... get the newest stuff when you sign-in.

So I don't need to worry about supporting legacy versions of the game, or dealing with potential user dogma about updating.

This all makes me a happier developer; once again able to sit back and write a game and see the fruits of my labor in short order.

What does everyone think of that?




I think it is awesome that you are sticking with projects that you begin. I have had a chance to test the game out a bit, approximately 15 minutes.

 

Do you have a forum to post things on? I have not seen one, therefore I will post some of my comments here.

Likes:

Awesome Music! - Seriously check it out just for the music.

Fun graphic styling. It is a great throwback to the classic RPG games.

 

Wish it had:

"Settings" Could at least display the current key bindings.

Mouse overs for the different items

A standardized key for talking or interaction

 

Dislikes:

That there is no clear direction in the beginning of the game. The way to danger is better lit than the way to the crafting lab.

 

I will be checking in on the game later to see what new things develop.

Thank you for sharing and good luck.

Hi Navyman,

 

Thanks for testing out Revel!

 

we have a newly set-up forum; but we haven't added links to it yet; probably in next release:

 

http://edigames.com/forum

 

your input is greatly appreciated!

I'll take a moment to address some of your feedback:

 

- Thanks for the comments on the music, we have a number of great composers chipping in here and there

 

- As for settings, you might have noticed there is a settings dialog; (gear icon->settings) though it is empty as of now, I'll add your suggestion for key bindings to our todo list, thanks.

 

- Probably wont be adding anything mouseover or hover related; Revel is being designed unified to work on touch devices as well as mouse-driven devices; so we're trying to keep hover concepts out of it entirely.

 

-There is a standardized key, though as you point out no keybinding listing; both 'E' and 'Space' perform the current context action (same as the gear and fist icon)

 

As for some direction, there /is/ and intro that is forthcoming; though overall Revel is supposed to be a game of exploration, and is equal parts sandbox and theme-park; players of Morning's Wrath probably would have known the danger direction (as the mana well is in Morning's Wrath); also we'll be dialing down that immediate onslaught of enemies it is mostly there for testing at the moment.

 

Thanks again for playing Revel, I can't wait to hear more input/suggestions, and I think you'll like the 0.8 update coming next Monday, as it adds an area-map, that can help with giving you a bearing ;)

Happy to hear that you have a forum setup. I was working on setting up a forum for my website yesterday. Found phpBB to be a little hard to change things and I have settled with Simple Machine Forum to hold me over for now.

 

After a further bit of playthru I had a few more comments.

The inventory system is a bit odd. However, after learning that you want a non-hover touchscreen experience they now make more sense.

 

I also posted my comment on your game's forum. Always go for more google hits :)

I will be back again next Monday to check it out and give it another review.

You could use a long press as hover on mobile devices, unless you intend to use it as a double click replacement or something. Of course it wont be as easy to use as mouse hover so you shouldnt assume people to use it for every gui item, but for tooltips containing extra information (or just basic instructions, in case someone doesnt get some particular aspect of the interface) it might be useful.

Waterlimon:

 

Thanks for the input; in cases like the main GUI, which isn't very descriptive to remain 'unbusy' I will eventually need a help or descrption mode; which temporarily lables the gui screen elements.  As part of the intro there will be a combined interactive tutorial as well; so in theory before you even start at the well you should have a basic idea of command & control.

 

As for using press and hold that could be handy for some scenarios; I'll need to see if HTML5 exposes that gesture; it isn't something I'd want to implement myself.

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