Monday, 22 February 2016

My Project

I've been writing a browser game for a while now. To be clear, there is a particular browser game that I have been working on for a few months. It's intended to rival Sandcastle Builder in complexity but with the sense-making-ness of Kittens Game. It's similar to Kittens in a number of ways - getting workers, assigning them to jobs, expanding resources maximums, learning new techs, etc. I think of those as the basics of a town or civilization building game. It has a lot more room for complexity built in, though.

I'd get a lot further with these kinds of projects if I didn't keep starting over from scratch, but it's a compulsion that have a hard time kicking. For me it's really the coding, not the finished product that is of interest. I've set a goal for myself to have more techs than Civ 5 and I'm not only about a third of the way to that total, but I have 13 techs already that Civ 5 doesn't have. So I'm happy about that.

I think I'm pretty near the point that I could share an alpha version. Everything seems to be working, there are maybe three or four days of gameplay, and I checked to see if the browser running it continually used more and more memory.

Ultimately I want a game that is extremely complex and off-putting to play, and I'm not sure I'm achieving that. I keep sacrificing un-funness in the name of funness and playability. I'm caught in a space between my desire to have the game seem like a baffling slog and to have people actually play it.

Then again, I probably overestimate the playability because I know what I'm doing. Honestly some of the stuff you have to manage might be unintuitive enough to be a real hassle even though it isn't intentionally getting the monty haul problem wrong over and over to get enough goats for a bag of holding, or destroying enough temporal duplicates with achronal dragon to unlock crystal dragon before you get too many tools.

I'm always agonizing over the code and the size of the code. But I just compared my sh2data.js which has only about 2400 lines to Sandcastle Builder's badges.js which has over 13000 lines and decided I have plenty of room to grow.

Until I start it all over again, I guess.

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