The game is coming along, although slowly. I’ve had a bit of a setback due to my day job, as I’ll no longer be able to work from home soon and will have to take on more responsibility. As I’ve been saying a lot over the past few years, it appears that the reward for doing excellent work is essentially more work. Not that it’s bad, necessarily. It’s a good thing to have work and be employed, but constantly providing high output and not being rewarded for it except by “continued employment” is one of the reasons I started my own game company. I hope that one day I’ll be able to obtain full rewards for the fruit of my labor. That, and to have my own creative work out there that people can see and enjoy. Working for so many years in corporate and government custom software, there’s almost no body of work I could show anyone anymore. Those applications are locked away from public view, and some are gone altogether.
Anyway, enough of being inward and morose, back to the game. Here’s an animation of the Dire Wolf minion you can use to scare away villagers.
There are currently 7 different villagers and minions spread out across 70 levels. Still thinking about how the game is going to end, I haven’t decided yet. Do I stop at 80? Do I have an end boss? Does it just continue forever? I’m still not sure. The game changes here and there as I learn more, but it’s been in a playable state for a while now and I’m getting much closer to beta.
Things still left to do: a new title screen, reworking of minion art and animation, some UI graphic tweaks, a tutorial, an in-game store, and more testing/balancing of gameplay. At the end, it should be a solid, enjoyable puzzle game. I could probably just go ahead and release it at this point, but I don’t feel right about it yet.
I’m also not sure about pricing. Part of me wants to say “it’s a puzzle game, release it at $.99 and be done with it”. The other part says “releasing it for free and making some sales through in-app payments is the way to go”. I’m planning to put in-app payments in the game in either case, but not in a way that tries to take advantage of a player. For instance, I only have 1 type of currency in the game (the pumpkin coins), instead of the normal freemium model which has 2: the “abundant” currency and the “really scarce” currency that ends up being the “real” currency, bought with real money. There’s an option to buy more pumpkin coins in our game (assuming I get it to work), but that’s it. Coins are gathered during game play, and each player can try to gather more or less coins depending on their particular strategy. There are unlockable stats you can change during the game, but those are bought with pumpkin coins too. I’m hoping to keep the economy system very simple and straightforward.
Anyway, I should stop writing and get back to coding. Happy gaming!