I’ve been silent for a while. Sharing your thoughts is difficult when they are 20%plan and 80%doubts. But I have been working hard, playing, designing, reading research, and then trying to imagine a game out of it, considering what would be accurate, fun and possible given what we have programmed/drawn already and building a team who believes in the plan. So yeah, a lot of concerns. But the plan is now 80% of my thoughts and the doubts are only 20%.
We have play tested Immune Defense for >9 months. Gaining spaces in competitive events like Seattle Indies Expo, MAGFest, and Baltimore’s Artscape makes it clear that our totally different game mechanic is welcome is the gaming community. Watching our players engage with Immune Defense at these shows and also collecting our anonymous data from our demo on Kongregate.com, we know that our game is engaging but has room for improvement. The role of the player and the mechanics of the game need to be easier to discover and the player needs to feel more in control of the information. Our design changes address these this main issues. Otherwise, we will streamline our code, add new cells, levels, and GUI system.
Programming. John has converted the whole project from Unity 4 to Unity 5. It was very tricky, for several unexpected reasons, but now we are excited! Unity 5 will allow us to publish our game to HTML5, making it playable in a web browser without any plugins! (Teachers can rejoice. Go ahead, do a happy dance, I did!)
Design. We are making a commercial game, one that appeals to the strategy gamer crowd. They are the people who bought so many copies of Defense Grid, Field Runners, Plants vs. Zombies, Civilization, Starcraft and other strategy games. Strategy games require placement of the correct unit, in the correct location, at the correct time, like Chess.
Strategy video games must inform the player about the situation in the field and the capabilities of each unit. Our new interface will be interactive, with information for the player on demand in pop up windows on a “heads up display” or HUD.
Feeling. Metroid Prime meets Osmos. Metroid Prime is more of an adventure game, not a strategy game. But during our adventure, we scan enemies to bring up windows with strategic information. Thus, Metroid Prime provides a feeling of having information at our fingertips.
Our other influence is Osmos. This unique, captivating puzzle game requires you to move your organism around and avoid getting eaten by others. You grow in size as you eat, and at a magical point your can zoom out and realize that you have been just a speck in a vast universe. I want to give our players this feeling. This is the magic of cell biology, after all.
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