Thursday, August 29, 2013

ARRP 2013 (and other things)

The Annual Roguelike Release Party approaches again! It starts on September 21st and concludes on the 22nd.

My current plan is to release Dead Man Walking 1.3 at that point in time. It's been awhile since I've worked on it, but it's fairly close to completion. The few weeks leading up to ARRP should be sufficient to tie it up and make sure there's nothing too game breaking.

In other news, I've begun some preliminary design work for a new Roguelike. I suspect it will debut as a 7DRL, but only when I'm satisfied with the general design frame and when I actually want/am able to spend 7 days coding. I suspect it will come out around Christmas, but if that doesn't pan out I may just keep it in the back of my mind until the next official 7DRL contest.

I think I've come to the conclusion that 7DRLs are my preferred method of introducing a game. I've only released one, but, well, I've only released one that isn't too. The nature of the seven day Roguelike prevents me from bloating the core idea(s) I have for a game. I don't consider Dead Man Walking 1.0 to be as good as 1.2 (or 1.3), but I do think that most of the core ideas have been preserved that were initially introduced in 1.0. After I finished the 7DRL version of Dead Man Walking, I had a perfectly functional game with a couple neat ideas that was really easy to expand on.

I've noticed a tiny bit of controversy surrounding whether or not a 7DRL should actually receive continued development after release. I am, perhaps a bit obviously, in the group of people that thinks it is a perfectly acceptable idea to do so. If a developer doesn't create something like a PrincessRL, then there's often times still room to explore the design space revolving around the core concepts of a 7DRL. Though I would also stick this argument up there with the likes of arguing "is this game even a Roguelike?" in that it is functionally pointless and that the only possible thing it can accomplish is dividing an already small community.

Anyways, @Star Wars - what's up with that? Honestly, it's probably not going anywhere anytime soon in terms of progress. I've tried a couple times over the Summer to work on it, but I tend to just give up after a day or two. Dead Man Walking (and the Roguelikes I played leading up to making it) gave me a new perspective on what a Roguelike can be. I don't feel like I can actually make @Star Wars fit that mold without just making it Dead Man Walking with lightsabers or investing more time into than I really want to. Plus, there's the whole feeling of having a little too much information to pull from. It's a weird problem to have and probably one a more competent designer or a team could deal with, but it makes me waste a lot of time which is unfortunate really.

Eventually I would like to make a more "complicated" game than Dead Man Walking along the idea of @Star Wars was supposed to be, but I'd be surprised if it actually ended up being @Star Wars. I want to move forwards with this hobby I've stumbled into and not try to make older works work better. Dead Man Walking is still the primary focus for now, but I imagine it will get phased out eventually too. Probably under better circumstances than @Star Wars ended up in, but alas.

To sum it up: Dead Man Walking 1.3 is coming, new Roguelike idea bouncing around in my head and in a notebook, and @Star Wars is basically "done".


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