Writing a large scale game has never felt so good
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?