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Developers Diary #1. Game design and research.

Clarus Victoria



Merry Christmas and Happe New Year everybody! Lina's here. Thanks for checking our blog again :)

I would like to share with you a bit of our development jorney with the focus on the new game, Egypt: Old Kingdom.  

It all begun with the idea of making a strategy game which will be truly historical, not only set in historical decorations, like many other strategy games. But having some experience in the gamedev industry, we didn't want to rush into an ambitious complicated projects which we will have no chance to finish.

In 2013 our first game Stone Age was released. It was made by Mikhail, the leader and the mastermind of our team. The game was intentionally simple and focused on workers management. The feedback was mostly positive, so we kept the gameplay, and added more functions for the next project, Bronze Age. It became our main approach to making games - present the concept, check the feedback, keep the good parts, get rid of the bad parts, add some new features. On and on. Games got more complex, the team got more members in order to divide tasks like programming, art and game design.

The most challenging part of the process, aside of solving thechnical problems, was the historical research. Everything had to be 100% according to the history. For the games like Bronze Age and Marble Age Mikhail somehow managed by himself, but it changed when we started to work on Predynastic Egypt. The support came from Center of Egyptian Study of Russian Academy of Science (CES RAS). Scientists who work there are not only in the University, they are also archeologists and their support was invaluable. 

That's how our main routine of game production was established. It's based on our ideas, players' ideas and scientific data. That's how, by the time we started to work on Egypt: Old Kingdom, we had a clear image of what we would like to make.

Before we will get into a more detailed explanation, let's cover the basics:

The history fo the Ancient Egypt is commonly divided by these main periods (credits to Wikipedia):
Early Dynastic Period    3150–2686 BC
Old Kingdom    2686–2181 BC
1st Intermediate Period    2181–2055 BC
Middle Kingdom    2055–1650 BC
2nd Intermediate Period    1650–1550 BC
New Kingdom    1550–1069 BC
3rd Intermediate Period    1069–664 BC
Late Period    664–332 BC
Predynastic Egypt game was set in 5000-3000 year B.C. in the place called Nekhen, or Hierakonpolis. In this game player has to develop the city, discover new territory and learn ancient technologies. At the same time (s)he learns about the very beginning of Egyptian civilization.
Egypt: Old Kingdom is the sequel, the next chapter of the story. It begins with a group of people sent from Hierakonpolis to discover a new territory. It overlaps with Predynastic Egypt by 500 years. The period of the new game is 3500-2140 B.C. Said group of people came to the Lower Egypt border, where they will have to establish a new settlement, Memphis. 
After Predynastic Egypt was released, first people to start the research for a new game were our artists, Maxim and Ivan. For their part of the job, they had to find out what how did Memphis look like at that time? Surely it wasn't the same as today. As they found out, during Old Kingdom period Memphis was less dry, it was a savannah. It resembled a lot the current nature of the South Sudan. 
With this reference they were able to start sketching maps and arts for a new game.
After that the main research for the game design begun. It included reading a huge amount of  historical sources and the work with scientist. It's a whole another topic, so we'll keep it untill the next post. To finish today, please enjoy this beautiful video about the nature of South Sudan. See you next time!
Our sources. Please subscribe and add our new game to your wishlist!
Egypt: Old Kingdom on Steam;
Predynastic Egypt on Steam;
Our community on Facebook;
Our Twitter.


P.S. I try my best to write without mistakes. But English is not my native language, so some mistakes are inevitable. Please don't hesitate to correct me if you see any, I will really appreciate it!


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2 hours ago, jbadams said:

Your English is actually very good! Thanks for sharing!

Oh, thank you so much! I'm really very happy to hear people saying that! :)

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Hello! Thank you for sharing and as mentioned above your English is very good! What I found are mostly typos:

experiens -> experience

"we didn't want to rush into an ambitious complicated projest which we will have to chance to finish." Here I had no problem with understanding but I think you should write "projects which we will have no chance to finish". (And ye typo in projects word)

Looking forward to second dev diary!

Edited by RootKiller

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