By Wesley Sappington
In the age of coronavirus, it seems like everything's being cancelled. We're lucky we got our fundraiser in when we did!
Despite coronavirus, the team continues to persist and even thrive. (Even if we're doing so online, and not in person!) We're reaching out to some professional marketers, because, let's face it - no one on the Eyesight team is good at marketing!
The trailer at the fundraiser was also a huge success, but we're working on improving it for our internet debut. After all, we raised all this money, so we want to put it behind a product that looks phenomenal!
The games are well on the way to completion. Speaking of which, check out how much Conundrum has changed since the last blog post! (Seriously, you gotta follow us on Instagram and Twitter.)
The only thing changed in this image, compared to our previous images, is the look of the floor. It's amazing how much a simple change can affect the entire look of the game!
We wanted to accent the aesthetic of the Labyrinth - a grungy, dirty, industrial complex. And we think this aesthetic change really achieved that!
Uh oh, we're under attack! It was so exciting to see the project come together when making this promotional footage. The zombies are coming. The turrets are firing. A real, classic, Conundrum battle.
Why aren't the turrets targeting the zombies? This is a very important game mechanic. Turrets in Conundrum are dumb. They just shoot when they're told to shoot. The player changes the settings of the turrets with a computer block. For example, these turrets all have "autofire" enabled, so that they shoot the zombies without player intervention.
In order for a turret to target monsters, a sensor device must be attached to the turret. This is its own separate block. For example, a thermal sensor - which uses heat signatures to find where to shoot. Or, in the most advanced cases, a visual recognition camera, which can see and target enemies visually.
But in the above shot, no sensors are involved. They're just firing blindly at the zombies.
The most exciting part about all of this is that it marks the end of the "basic necessity" development for Conundrum. That means we're now out of the gritty, bare-bones development process, and are free to focus on game design. We're at the point of coming up with crafting recipes, new game mechanics, and item balancing to make the game. In essence, the game is now playable. The rest of the development process is about ensuring that it's fun.
In the time-lapse video above, we were working out the "progression" of the player. In game design, a "progression" is the general layout of how the player grows and develops throughout the game play.
The progression involves three key elements:
1. The resources at the player's disposal. In the case of Conundrum, the player starts out with iron and copper, progresses to gold, then to steel. With each "layer" of resource progression the player "unlocks" new capabilities.
2. The story of the game. Even with a somewhat story-less game like Conundrum (the F.W.T. team is glaring at me right now) the player is uncovering new mysteries and learning new things about the Labyrinth, the Narrator, and the Minotaur. In Conundrum this is limited, as everything is surreal and mysterious anyways. But a progression is still made.
3. The player's skill. Like I touched on in point #1 you can make really complex machines with the most advanced material in the game - steel. But it's considered bad progression if the player doesn't have the knowledge or experience to use those resources. The progression has to line up with how the player will, generally speaking, move through the game.
Keep in mind, Conundrum isn't a game with clearly distinct or defined "levels." Here, the progression refers to the general development of the player as he/she plays the game. Good games are designed to move the player along the progression, without the player realizing they're moving along a pre-set progression. The illusion of free will, haha!
We finally worked out the issue of resource collection! For a long time, we had literally no idea how the player was going to find resources around the Labyrinth.
The answer? Belts. More on that next week.