Nope, we’re not dead. We just have to pick our battles and make hard decisions about where to spend our time. This blog doesn’t win that contest very often so follow our Facebook page if you’re hungry for regular updates. Still, we’re committed to posting major updates and interesting stuff here even if the frequency is lower than we’d like.
So here’s the deal. We’ve been super, duper busy since Casual Connect adding the next big system: robot customization and player progression. Now, I know this may not sound like much but it is in fact a HUGE addition. It’s basically the part of the game that will form… *drumroll*… THE OUTER LOOOOOP! If you’re not a game designer you may not have heard about this so let me explain with a quick diagram:
Until February we’ve focused entirely on the “Core Loop”. It defines the sequence of actions that the players will keep doing over and over, most of the time that they’re in the game. It’s what makes a game enjoyable at a micro-level. As the name implies, it’s really important to get the Core Loop right, lest you risk getting into a mode I fondly call “polishing the turd”. That’s when you add a bunch of sprinkles and other pretty things on top of a ‘meh’ core. And that’s just sad.
Post-Casual Connect we evaluated all the feedback and we think we’ve got the core loop right! The minute to minute combat is enjoyable; players like the world, the characters, the way the controls feel and they find the combat satisfying. Job well done! Let’s pop the champagne and wait for the money to start flowing in! As you might have guessed by now, we’re not quite there yet. See, while the minute to minute experience is interesting, there’s not enough in the game to get players wanting to come back. So here we are, working hard on the Outer Loop to give players long-term goals and keep them interested after playing.
This is more of a teaser but I’m going to write up a longer article talking about how we tackle these things after we’re back from Reboot.
Speaking of which, here’s what’s happening next for us:
- Tomorrow, we’ll be at Codecamp (http://cluj.codecamp.ro/), the largest tech conference in Cluj-Napoca. Radu will start the Gaming track at 10:00 with a 45 minute session about how we’re planning to build multiplayer for Second Hand. Then I’ll take over the mic at 11:00 to ramble about what it’s like to start an indie studio and how that’s different from regular tech startups. Come join us if you’re in Cluj.
- In less than two weeks we’ll be at Reboot Develop (http://www.rebootdevelop.hr/) in Dubrovnik. It’s going to be an awesome conference and we’ll be showcasing Second Hand there at the Indie Area as well as participating in the Indie Awards. Definitely come visit if you’re around.
That is all. Enjoy the finicky spring weather.