Space Prototype Ruminations
Hey Folks! Not much work done today, as it was spent more on administrative type tasks. However, one of the larger ones involved the overall vision of the space prototype.
Early on, I spent a bit more time looking into the NEO Scavenger map rendering bug. But since I was sort of stuck, I switched to another task. It's an email that's been sitting in my inbox a few days, and it's from an industry professional who's opinion I respect. I had asked them for input about the space prototype, and explained it briefly. And their reply was that, while it might have potential, it is also hard to wrap one's head around. What exactly is the game? What does it look like in motion? Could they see a video of it in action?
As many of you already know, this is a bit of an existential problem I periodically wrestle with. Indeed, what is it I'm building here? What is the gameplay like, minute-to-minute? Why would anyone care to play this?
I deliberately put this off a full day to get a handle on my answer. To take a hard look, and try to concretely explain this game to someone unfamiliar with it. And ideally, using in-game footage.
And coincidentally, someone challenged the premise of the game on another forum this morning. In this case, not asking as much as suggesting how it might not be moving in the best direction. And regardless of which parts I agree with vs. not (definitely some good points raised), it also required me to reexamine the game vision. Even if that was to reassert it.
Anyway, I think it was some useful soul searching. I don't think a lot changed in the direction as a result, but it focused my attention a bit on what really matters about the idea. Enough to produce a quick explainer video which should hopefully drive the conversation to a fruitful place.
I hope, anyway.
One thing I did notice during the day is that there was definitely a clearer vision of the game design when I started NEO Scavenger. Even by today's standards, years after I wrote it, almost all of it is accurate. If anything, the part that isn't accurate is something I wanted to do but had to scale back due to failure in making it work.
In the case of this space prototype, I think a big chunk of the proposed design was a bit ambiguous. How would drama happen? Plots? What are the nuts and bolts of how this works? I think the rest of it is pretty easy to envision, since it plays a lot like existing games. It's that procedural drama bit that keeps me stumbling.