As of now, development on Time Takes Its Toll has been suspended. After meeting with other members of the team, we have decided it would be best to continue working on TTT after classes are over and our schedules are much clearer. We would be able to come back to the project with new ideas and fresh minds.
During our recent meeting, we discussed several ideas for a game we could create with our remaining time. While there were many good ideas, one was a clear winner. We will be building a God-Game focusing on exploration and management.
The player has a complete 360 degree view of the planet their minions currently inhabit. Although the player is a “god” they are unable to see areas clearly if no beacons are in the area. So the best way for the player to see more of their surroundings is to colonize by moving minions into other areas and building structures like beacons that can remove the fog.
This may seem simple but a lot of strategy will come into play when deciding when, where and how quickly to expand. All minions and infrastructure like beacons have an initial resource cost to create, and more resources to keep them working. If the player expands too rapidly, and is unable to keep up the flow of resources, they may lose half of their workforce or an entire area back to the fog. This could then cripple them further because they may not have the workforce necessary to keep up the current level of operations.
There are several other aspects of the game that have not yet been decided such as whether or not there will be a form of combat, what the win-state is, if the game will follow a story, and more. I can speak for myself though when saying that I’m very excited for this new game, and I hope that everything will go much smoother than Time Takes Its Toll. We have already set up a more frequent and stable way to communicate with each other, assign tasks, and organize. These things alone show that we are off to a much better start than we were with Time Takes Its Toll.
It has now been a month since we began work on Time Takes Its Toll, a Reverse RPG. Seeing that we only have 1 month left to continue working on a project, it’s time to reflect on this one, and see if we should continue moving forward with it.
There are many things about our process that should have been done differently with this project. Although our game was initially designed back during the 2014 Global Game Jam, much of it was revamped for the current project. These changes, our initial lack of communication, and our lack of defined schedule gave us a thrashing.
While the game was initially small, the changes being made greatly increased the size of what we wanted to accomplish. We did not notice how much of a difference this was until after work had begun.
Due to our eagerness to work on the project, we easily and quickly designated roles, but we did not balance them evenly among ourselves. We also did not thoroughly plan out all of the work that needed to be done and set deadlines for it. And each of our busy schedules only made it more difficult to try and prioritize work for this game over other things.
While those things hindered us, the worst happens to be the lack of communication during our initial weeks. We rarely met outside of the classroom to work with each other on the game. When we did work together outside of class, it was rare to have all the team members there in person. Unnecessary work was sometimes completed, and other times work came to a standstill.
When it comes to my work on the game, I was filling the position of both artist, and audio. Since audio is normally back-loaded and art/asset creation front-loaded, my first two weeks were spent creating sketches of multiple assets that would be in the game including weapons, characters, cards, and more. The following week was spent digitizing those sketches. Knowing that cards would be the most important, I focused on those first, and created something that everyone on the team was happy with. It gave us some art we could use now during internal testing, but also something that could be added onto later. If we continue with the project, my next task is going to be creating a tile set that will be used for the scenery of the game.
If we are to continue working on this game, I think that several things would need to be changed in order for us to create a successful project on time. Otherwise, we need to find something else to work on.
Although communication has improved, I would still like it to be better. I feel that meeting with the people I am working with or being in frequent communication with them while working is very important. The size of the game needs to be trimmed down to the bare minimum. At the moment, we would burn ourselves out if we tried to accomplish everything on time. And the quality of work we had for assignments in other classes would definitely be lowered.
Another necessity is that of a clear plan with deadlines. We need to know exactly what is due and when in order to keep the ball rolling. Guesstimating what we should be doing now, or next for that matter really put us in a hole initially.
All in all, I am not resigned to working on this game any further, but I do believe some changes will need to be made in order for this game to become what we set out to create.
I'm a Game Designer and Developer. I will be posting about my progress on different projects and about events I attend.