29 October 2012

The Awesome Debate


Shoot me now please! Shoot me before I start making another game. So I am writing a web based space battle massive online multiplayer card game. And for some reason ( we don't have a artist/designer to make the 150 cards we want to launch the game with ) it's taking a lot of time. So while we figure out a way to move that project forward we decided to experiment with another idea. And the new idea is a MIST/Riven/LightHouse like game. So the game development committee had a session yesterday and let me tell you, it's hard to agree on whats awesome.

Is the main character alive? A major contention was the question of motivation for the main protagonist in the story. Will he be fighting for something or against something? Who is the main antagonist? So we decided that the motivation will be just survival, so far so good! But a member of the committee decided that in the given situation our character should just wait to die and do nothing, and that from a 20 something year old man is sad. So to resolve that issue the same member of the committee wanted to kill the character and/or give him an objective that would preclude him from dying. Which is pretty much the same as what we were considering, but not that over the top. If the current situation would demoralize our hero then how would a terminal medical condition help with his motivation??? So we had that argument for hours. And it was resolved with a little sick and a little dying but all in all doomed so it was a discussion about how would it be more awesome. An important discussion, but awesome is a matter of opinion so it is hard to reach an objective consensus among three people.

How do we tell the tale? I don't know, I can't know. Before you decide how to tell a tale you need a tale, so the tale needs to be written. In our dev team the motivation guy is the story writer, he has written short stories before so we just threw a few ideas at him and he said that we need to write the story together or he is writing nothing. And now I am writing it, just so that he can hit me over the head with it when I'm done. I am illiterate, I shouldn't be allowed to write this blog. A short story in C++ or PHP maybe, not literature! Just look at the last sentence you read, I shouldn't be writing anything. But no it has to be that way because we don't have a consensus on what awesome sci-fi is. The motivation guy is a Doctor Who style magic science fantasy with borderline impossible science. I am the Alien realistic science noir guy who doesn't believe in force fields and teleportation. So again we were in a debate about something subjective.

HTML5 or Blender? The 3D guy is making the 3D in blender, because it is awesome. We don't have an artist so we are planning to take an engineering approach to the environment, and everything will be box shaped. But I don't care about that because my work is to make it playable. But if everything will be made in blender then why not use the blender game engine and make the game like the FrictionalGames's Penumbra and Amnesia. I was thinking about making it something like Morningstar because then I will write a canvas driven javascript engine that can be used in the card game. If we go with the blender engine we have a distribution issue, desura may be an option but steam may not be because you have half the code GPL'ed. Another problem is the amount of work needed to get the game running on the different platforms, and I don't know which would be faster.

So this is what the committee wasted time on. Now I am in the writeup process and I have to have a demo sized quest game all written up by next weekend, so that the team can make suggestions additions and corrections. With this one and the card game this would be the second time we do the whole writeup process and it seems to take as much time as the programing and design processes.