How do people do this?

World famous indie game developer snaps open her laptop and happily types away, creating another engaging, informative blog post for her adoring fans.

Exactly.  Not.

What kind of crazy person decided not only to try to make a video game on the weekends/evenings but also promises frequent blog posts?

Well, fans. We are doing it. I am tired at the moment, but we are working 4 nights a week and 12 hours each weekend to develop an suite of games that introduce each of the mechanics in Immune Defense.  We have a great, complex, true to life plan for a longer, real time strategy game that will be the mature form of Immune Defense.

Last post was about game mechanics, and there is a longer post coming. I will describe Immune Defense and its suite of offspring to you. But tonight, in my sleepy post work, post evening job state, I’d like to tell you about Molecular Jig’s new full time employee.  Molecular jig’s only full time employee, Serena Gyi.

Serena is project manager for Immune Defense. She is a US Navy veteran and an electrical engineer. She served as a project manager for Navy engineering projects. She is quick. So quick. Like I tell her immunology facts and game design theory and she breathes it in and when she breathes out she says insightful, constructive criticisms about my game designs and plans.   She is excellent at keeping me on task. Which is quite a feat.

So. Serena and I have been brainstorming. We started working together in June.  By the end of June we had solved the problems I had been most concerned with in Immune Defense. We fixed the balancing issues, the antibody issue and created those 150 levels to fix the infamous level 4 problem.  And we sat together gazing at our spreadsheet thinking, this is going to take a lot of time to create and more time to polish.

How can I get something into people’s hands quicker?? What if we created a shorter, simpler version that teachers could use in their classrooms? A classroom game has fewer constraints than a commercial game.  If the teacher thinks the game is worthy, she/he will present it to a classroom of students usually as the only activity available. Commercial games compete for player’s attention with 800 new games a day. Our game mechanic must me good, but the game can have a less polished tutorial and can be much shorter and still be an excellent teaching tool.  Additionally, this games will be what we build the big Immune Defense with.

So, Serena and I looked at ways to make Immune Defense into two 15 minute games…  once we had two 15-minute games we would create procedural levels to follow them up…  so we started.  And some really neat stuff happened. We have had a really nice past 3 weeks here at Molecular Jig.  It has been more fun than it has been in years. Everyone should hire a smart, organized, driven, kind person to help them! And everyone should focus on manageable projects!

More to come soon.  Namely, the game mechanic descriptions.  Tomorrow and the next day I will be at the Serious Play conference at George Mason University, about 2 hours away. I am representing my day job company, Dig-It Games.  So look for my update on Saturday!

Posted in Development Blog, Game Design and Development

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