Game process updates! Sadly our work on Dioda – card collection platformer game (new name) have been delayed for the time of the coronavirus quarantine. But I also didn’t update for a while longer, so let’s dive into to the updates business:

Game updates

Since my last update, I teamed up with Ohad Reshef, an artist that worked with me before.
We created some visual vision for the game, created a basic prototype and tested it at Ludo workspace for game developers.
Full update can be found on our facebook page or twitter account.
We learned that some people enjoyed the chaotic nature of the jump cards and continued up to the end of the forth level, while others wouldn’t even stand the tutorial. We will have to pinpoint and identify our audience correctly.

Art update

We have decided to try art style in which the silhouettes of the sprites are pixel based, but the sprites themselves are colored with high definition textures, that should fit the feeling of the unnatural combination mechanics: card collection game with platformer.

We got into a working set of assets that we felt gave the correct vibe, and now we are trying to perfect the silhouettes before diving deeper into redoing the textures.

Game Design update

We made four levels of game that tested different challenges for the player, all of them were only movement challenges:
1. get out of the room
2. climb the tower
3. cross the corridor
4. get out of a room with enemies

At the moment we did not made any weapons, or card collection choice, you started each level with a basic jumping and movement deck of cards and had to use it to the best of your skill.

While the game proved to have a potential challenge-wise, it is still remained to be seen how deep can the mechanic go. Can we create meaningful choices? Can we design essentially different levels?

First we should focus on adding card choice. Where will we add that in the game, how many cards can you hold? what happens when your deck is finished? What cards will we have. Many question to answer for the very basic next stage of testing, way before we will dive into the next questions of game design.

Life under quarantine

Sadly, since the beginning of March, two and a half months ago, work on the game have totally froze.

One reason for this is a good reason, My day job at deep-optics asked me to go into full time. During those days I work from home and especially in those times of uncertainty it’s nice to have some stability, many of my days and even weekends, concentrating on my job, helped me absorb everything that happens around me. But that, with the other requirements of life, left me little to no time to work on the game.

The second reason is the lack of creativity and motivation. While I found that I can easily work long hours and weekends on my job assignments, any time I tried to work on the game, I was stuck. I could stare at the project being unable to take any step, my creativity juices have dried up. Before the corona I participated in many game jams, now that I have the time for that: None. I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything outside of the solid daily routine.

What’s next?

It feels like the Coronavirus sperad is slowing and the quarantine is ending.
Game ideas and mechanics start to come back to my head, and I feel that I could be back to the game in a short while. Ohad also have his own process, and we are scheduled to go back to work on the project in two weeks.

This is a hard hit on our new born baby, and honestly, I’m still not sure if it can survive it. Hopefully we do, and I do plan to make so design changes to the project in light of the new situation that hopefully will make it viable. The main idea is to reduce the scope down.

The possibilities to change the game as I see them now are:
1. Make the game a one endless level game (Icy tower style)
2. Decide not to have enemies, only movement challenges
3. Removing the corgi engine plugin. It saved us some time and gave some cool features, but a more simple approach might be a time saver, even if that feels not intuitive
4. Changing the target platform from PC to Mobile, which I am more familiar with, and to be honest, have a lower entrance standard
We’ll discuss those and other possibilities on our next meeting and see where the path takes us