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Thu, Feb 11th 2010, 11:12

I was annoyed to discover that VERGE wouldn't support a twin stick setup (more on why that's important later), so I played with a variety of different engines to see what could do what I wanted. I still haven't settled on one (even for prototyping!), but at least I've got a sense of my options.

Now, on to the actual combat concepts. There are a few different approaches I'm considering, all of them pretty rough, but they are:

Twin Stick
Player moves and fires in realtime.
* Very action-oriented; the default winner for "most engaging".

Lock On
Player's burden is to pick targets and maneuver (realtime); AI does the shooting.
* Would accommodate 3D movement pretty well
* Makes gunnery crew a more interesting element

Turn Based
Closer to traditional RPG combat, Skies of Arcadia being an obvious influence.
* Simplest form of play; the player makes executive decisions is never rushed.
* Would facilitate dramatic animations that I will never have time to create.

Turnless, "analog" SRPG combat (similar to Growlanser).
* This seems unfun with a single ship, so there would probably have a small fleet to control

More to come next week as I move into some actual prototyping.


Thu, Feb 4th 2010, 00:23
Argh, Me Hearty Is Broken  

Oxidus fills an interesting niche. It allowed me to create a concept that I wanted to see in motion and watch it fail to attract enough attention to justify its creation. I think a generous helping of design-fussing would make a decent product out of it. A rough course has been charted for doing this, but the amount of time already invested in it makes putting more effort into it very unappealing, despite my reservations about abandoning so much work.

So, it is with mixed emotions (but renewed energy) that I announce my intent to finish Ye Olde Pirate Game. "Finish" is a loose term as it arguably has yet to be started. In an effort to avoid some of the blunders of Oxidus, I'm going to try building this from the inside out instead of outside in. Over the next few weeks (and the past few days as well) I'll be tinkering with different approaches to combat, slapping together a some crude prototypes. Once I've got something with a solid hook.. well, let's talk about that when we get there.