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Kermit flail mk2.

As you can tell from the title, it's been quite a week! The biggest news is that we've settled on a new name. Everyone that it likely to veto the name has given it the go ahead, so I can now reveal that this game is going to be called.... It's still not absolutely set in stone, but it's enough that I'll be updating the website soon, talking about it using that name, and demoing it at GDC under it too. Which leads on to the second biggest news of the week. It looks likely I'll be demoing Before We Leave live at GDC to journalists from at least 3 major gaming websites!!! So exciting! I don't want to say who just yet, until I know more about what sort of coverage and so on, but I'll tell a

Time to break stuff

Good morning, fellow travelers on the highway of life :) I come to you having already eaten a couple of frogs that I'd been dragging my feet on - getting a contract drafted and reconciling my bank accounts. Does anyone out there enjoy this stuff? Hands up? Anyone?... But now that that's all out of the way I can get onto much more fun stuff. The focus for the last while has been on improving and polishing what I had, so that I could have something good to submit to The Pavs and ready to take to GDC in 4 weeks. I've achieved that now (although the demo I take to GDC will be updated with any stable updates I make till then). So the focus for this week is on breaking stuff! The long term g

Competitions and introductions

I've done it! I've submitted Before to The Pavs! I doubt I'll place, but it's still worth a go :) As for the rest of the week, it went pretty much to the plan from Mondays post, plus a metric boatload of UX polishing and work with the artist getting things looking just how he wanted them. An aside : Up till now I've been referring to 'the artist' for the simple reason that I know some people are sensitive about what goes out about them on the intertubes, and I hadn't yet checked with the artist about their opinion. Someone pointed out that it seemed weird, so I checked and I can now announce that 'the artist' is the super talented Rafał Urbański from Poland! On top of that, I've had first

Happy Monday

All games, it seems to me, live or die in terms of their immediate enjoyability on the answers to two questions: (1) am I having an emotional response to what I'm doing (usually 'am I having fun', but sometimes the emotion is sadness, horror or any number of others. Just so long as the response isn't boredom or indifference) and (2) do I have all the information and control I need to enable my agency within the game. This week, partly seeing as I'm planning to submit to The Pavs on Friday and partly because I got a play testers feedback yesterday that basically said "it's heaps of fun, we want to keep playing, but here are some playability frustrations" I've decided to dedicate this week to

Apologies to Twitter

I'm sorry Twitter, I hope you can forgive me, but I ended up ignoring your decision! This week has been a weird one, between my son getting braces and Waitangi Day here in New Zealand, it's been a bit chopped up. I got the mess left over from making shipping lanes all tidied up then started thinking about the Happiness Mechanic from the twitter poll last weekend and just hit a wall. I think there were several reasons for it: What I actually want is to allow the players to build taverns, meeting places, churches and make different types of food and drink with different effects. The mechanic behind it was what I wanted to work on, but it started to not feel quite right - it needs more thoug

Twitter has spoken

I tried a wee experiment over the weekend - made a twitter poll for what I should work on this week. The poll isn't finished yet, but it's fairly clear what the result is going to be, so this week I'll be laying the groundwork for the happiness mechanic. Importantly, I won't be adding the actual in-game mechanic itself, as that will require adding a whole bunch of buildings (like taverns and meeting places and buildings to make beer and so on), but I'll hopefully be able to do all the plumbing necessary to make the buildings work when I do add them. The main things that need to be added are: Allow workers to fulfill a requirement with more than one option. At the moment, any building has

Shipping lanes, almost! And the cutest elevator ever...

Something that's always bugged be is leaving work on a Friday with something unfinished, especially when it had been working on Wednesday. This week I said I was going to get shipping lanes working - allowing players to send resources between islands automatically - and I did! They were all working on Wednesday, except that if you happened to have two ships at the same port at the same time, it went ... wrong. Oh, and the code was a bit of a mess. I didn't realise the wrongness straight away, so Thursday was a "Yay, I've finished a major feature, so lets play the game and fix any bugs that come up" day, which culminated in ... wrongness :) And then we come to today. I've been trying to f

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