In The Works

My first posts on the site talked about making an adventure game. I said I’d post more when I had details on it, then… nothing. What happened?

I changed my mind about what I wanted to make. I love adventure games, especially games like Myst. The first game I ever worked on was a Myst-style game, and someday I’d still like to make one. Right now, though, I’m more interested in something driven by systems. I decided to make what I most want to play right now: an old-school CRPG.

What do I mean when I say “old-school CRPG?” The easiest way to describe my goals is with examples. Do you remember…

Wizardry VII and Wizardry 8?

Might & Magic IV?

Lands of Lore?

Stonekeep?

I’m still in the super early stages, but I’ve built an engine using Torque Game Builder that lets you walk around a dungeon (moving square by square, like the games I referenced), including an auto-map. You can trigger enemy encounters, fight the enemies in turn-based battle. There’s also a really simple editor that lets me add walls to my dungeon while I walk around it.

Right now, I’m creating the structure for inventory, and my goal for this week is to have a working, drag-and-drop inventory system that actually affects your damage and defense during battle.

It’s too early for a screen shot, but I’m hoping that talking about the game’s development more publicly will help me stay focused and motivated. It can be really challenging to come home after a full day of work, eat dinner, then essentially start a second day of work. There are some interesting things to discuss along the way, too, both from a development perspective (systems design, art creation) and from a gaming perspective.

For example, in my next post, I’ll talk about Lands of Lore. It was a fantastic game… but looking at it today teaches you a lot about how our gameplay expectations have changed over the last 15 years.

Related Posts

Storify on being a game designer

Prompted my a news story back in September that Halfbrick had laid off the last of its designers, I chatted on Twitter about some of the challenges in being a designer. I’ve been updating the

Read More »

Example of FSM Building: Combat

A past side project included building Wizardry-style combat. That’s a very specific kind of turn-based combat, best displayed in Wizardry VI and Wizardry VII. I call this phased combat. The player enters orders for each of

Read More »

Segmenting (and not repeating) FSMs

I’ve been talking a lot on Twitter lately about creating my solo game, and I’m going to start saving them here as well. Today, I talked about why you often want FSMs on stand-alone gameobjects,

Read More »

Don’t get stuck on copy

Staring at an empty dialog window? Trying to mock up UI? It sounds absurd, but I’ve seen many designers get hung up on placeholder text. If you have text space to fill, grab some lorem

Read More »

Overcoming game dev resistance

Over the years, I’ve developed what I call the “We’re Guessing” voice. It’s this little whisper in my head, when I’m hip-deep in theory or debate over a feature, that says, “You’re guessing what will work.

Read More »