Monday, 16 March 2015

Wild Wacky Action Game

I wrote a while ago about making some kind of hybrid Sandcastle Builder / Kittens Game inspired idle game, and I have something that is probably about ready for testing. My biggest problem is that I really can't seem to get the pacing right. In my first iteration it was actually just insane to play, requiring you to constantly swap between tabs and click things. I've drastically reduced the need for clicking and I've increased the length of a time period in the game to make it less frantic and more methodical.

But as it always does, what it comes down to with an idle game is the balance between clicking things and leaving the game alone. Part of my attempt to solve this problem was a hidden time dilation mechanic, where leaving the game alone caused time to slow down until you once against started playing. This meant that leaving the game for 10 minutes had a fairly expected result, but leaving it overnight would produce substantially smaller outcomes than it would initially appear if you just multiplied everything out. I tried removing this when I increased the basic unit of time from one minute to three, but I still feel like too much happens if you leave the game alone for a night. On the flip side, if I increased the time period further, to five minutes, say, then the beginning would be far too tedious.

On the other hand, I also have a special problem that leaving the game alone is too devastating. Sure, things progress while you are gone, but without some maintenance you are likely to come back to find that things have gone terribly and it will take some time to rebuild. I guess that's sort of how I drew things up, but having to rebuild every morning and every day after work is pretty harsh if rebuilding takes several three-minute time periods. Before I release a play-test version I think I may need to add a few "autocast" features to use certain abilities that are key to keeping things going.

I'd like to put some more features in before I show it to anyone, but just like my previous attempt, at some point I feel like I have to release what I have or I will just shelve it forever. Then again, there's always the chance I release what I have and *then* shelve it forever. So far that's what I've done with all but one of the six projects I've put up on this blog. Then again, one hundred percent of the projects I've never shown anyone have gone nowhere, so 16% is not so bad.

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