The overall game design has been in development for ~2 years, it started as a simple project for a competition in the psp homebrew scene(Genesis compo), unfortunately after 2 months of development, my ssd failed, and i lost everything(i know i should have used backups, but hindsight's 20/20), this included my engine which i had been working on over the years, it took me 8 months to re-write the engine(which was actually a good thing in the long run, as i got to do many things my first incarnation couldn't do or was very difficult to do), and the current incarnation of nova has been in development for 8 months, however 4 months ago i threw away the build i had, and decided to start over again(it wasn't very fun, and i wanted faster gameplay), so truthfully this version has been in development for 4 months, and i'm pretty happy with it so far.
What the world of nova is:
Nova is a creature catching game, i've always loved games like pokemon, but the combat system is so ridiculously repetitive it becomes more of a chore to play, rather than being enjoyable. I also wanted to create an evolving world, where you could actually see other NPC's fight creatures while you roam the world, so in theory the world is always evolving. another key point is that not only are the Novians(what i call the creatures) evolvable, but so are the ability's that they have, each ability can involve in different ways depending on how you level up the ability, and each Novian can evolve in different ways, depending on how you choose to spend their attribute points on them, it's alot of control to the user, which in the end I know well make balancing very difficult.
Where I Am:
I've built the majority of the level editor, i've built creature editors, ability editors, and such, the combat system is is their(and working, however i've still a bit to do on this front), the general purpose AI is done(via angelscripting), the world is wrapped around, so their's no need to build in borders(this was very interesting to achieve, but creates a better sense of exploring imo.) I currently have 4 creatures, all catachable, and trainable, and 5 actions that can be learned.
Where I'm heading:
Multiplayer is what i'm working on right now, i've finished with the initial syncing algorithm, but i've got alot more to go(general actions by players and such, so their's ton for me to do on that front, however, once that's done, i should have a working demo to begin showing off which makes me pretty stoked=-).
I'm pretty happy, so here's an youtube video of a build from a few weeks ago:
and here's some pictures: