Xeno-Horde Roguelike – Dereliction: august 25th,
A much needed update
Im gonna rant a bit first about design. This is honestly the biggest stress and time sink that I have had this month. It also had led to a lot of writers block, or more me distracting myself as I wait and think.
My issue has been, and honestly still seems to be the roguelike aspect of everything. And while it hasn’t been tough to think of, it’s been really tough to iterate around. I have no way to test this reoccurring experience and it’s honestly been hindering me testing the actual gameplay. For example I have the player’s map scanners. So the player can upgrade for an improved map. However, it’s turning into a crucial upgrade that when I test and I do am not given it (randomly) it really sucks. And, I’m leaning towards it being a default, damageable system that the player would need to maintain more than collect.
So the upgrades are too random to be useful an uninspired. And I have little control to how over or underpowered the play ends up after the first level. Which is important. And I don’t want to water down all the upgrades to the point they lose meaning.
So. I’ve been thinking hard on how to fix this. I have been making decent progress, but every change feels major, and more permanent than it should feel since each “idea” takes a decent amount of time.
Fortunately I’ve shot down most of them, and the ones that I have implemented have worked well. But that’s a good example of writers block, shooting down ideas before they can become good.
Let me be clear tho. This is not going to be a basic uninspired shooter. And, feeling like it currently is isn’t to discourage anyone from trying the game. It is to encourage me to work harder and not get distracted from a focused, polished core game loop.
Next topic is polish. Which as it turns out means I rewrite completely something. So I rewrote the level generation. Again.
Currently the world is more gridded for a better floor plan. More structure has led to less gameplay of wandering through long long corridors doing very little. Every area has more of a reason. Each room had a purpose in the facility. Also during generation very important controlled rooms are injected into the level. Such as a medical area, An upgrade station, An armory, etc.
I have a fair amount of glamour shot screenshots as a result, and also I get a chance to do a bit of light level design within the larger world.
The demo is on its way. It’s not ready and I do not know when it will be. But I do know it won’t be released before it’s ready, before it has what I described it’s missing above. Purpose and focus.
At the end of the day, someone who is knowledgeable of the game (fairly knowledgeable) should be able to glance at a screenshot or video and know what upgrades they player has received and where they currently are in the facility. As well, they should know how the player would be playing this character they have created based on its build, as well as the current environment.
This, and I also have been doing the exact same thing from the bugs perspective but one that’s built into their AI controller. No pressure.
Thanks for reading,
*immediately after writing all this I got some great ideas to get me out of my designer’s block, I will share once it is done!
Source: Indie DB