The Drawing Board Never Rests

Thanks to my “keep it simple” focus, I have finalized a somewhat powerful mechanism of open-ended interaction in my BYOND game, which is indeed turning out to be quite the Roguelike.  I’ve successfully streamlined the concepts of traditional inventory management with a mechanism that provides a much more direct conduit to providing the players with a wide variety of choices of what to do in a role-playing situation.  However, I’ve yet to finalize a rather important aspect of my design, that being how the game is played or even the overall flow of it.

I’ve figured out these things a few times in the recent past, but I’ve broken my previous molds when I went for a “keep it simple” coding focus, and now I have to take a pause from coding once again to figure out a whole new model that suits this new focus.  My previous designs remain littered with concepts that require multiple interface modes and other things that really are not feasible in a first design or in ways that suit BYOND’s strengths.

Although I’ve learned quite a bit about the kind of game I should be making, my overall goals remain the same as they were before:

  • Dynamic content – The world is very mutable with the players’ actions.  When you wipe out a batch of monsters, they stay dead until conditions dictate they should logically return.  The rise and fall of player-made cities.  Things like that.
  • Interactivity – Players should be presented with a good number of meaningful choices to make.  “Attack” or “Use Healing Potion” isn’t enough.  I’d like to have a situational system where a conflict rarely plays out the same way twice.

Despite knowing the difficulty behind reinventing the wheel, my goals will require that I do so to some extent.  Little wonder it’s taking some time to see this to fruition.  I suppose it’s just as well I’m not keeping things completely simple: I’d like to have some novelty to my game.

My school responsibilities have vanished off the radar.  I’m going to have a lot to answer to come Monday.

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