Saturday 22 July 2023

Game Dev Blog Post #2 - Decisions ! Decisions ! Decisions !


OL RIGHT ! Rubber meets the tarmac. 

Since the last post, I realized that it was no walk in the park as I sat down and disected the parts that would make up a 2D RPG.  

And the revelation was staggering. I needed :
  • A Plan to define the tasks in the dev journey.
  • A fictional narrative to engage the player.
  • A 2D Game Engine and toolset to build the damn thing.
  • Tons of artworks
  • A gameplay logic to bind it all.
I began putting all the tasks in a old excel sheet. There are no timelines defined for now as it felt like I was on a raft in the middle of sea. Ahem !

I decided that the player can be a apprentice mage who goes out on a mission to hell and back retrieve some weapons to help defend his hometown and would gradually evolve to be a  grand wizard or something. 

Ah, sounds like a thrilling novel already !

I feel the demo should have atleast 10-15 levels to get the point across. There! a decision made.

2D Engine:
Now, this was a scary and daunting search thing that kept me up last night. I dont have a studio set up but an entry level Dell G3 gaming laptop. I downloaded Unity and began running one of the demos...and...the cooling fans began hissing louder than rattler. It also meant that something like Unreal was a no no.

Then, I found something called Godot  I played with it for an hour and it clicked. The leraning curve seemed relatively flat and it seemed it had a very component oriented quick creation process. 

There was a debugger and IDE to code within using GDScript unless you are using C#. There was a animation system, a particle system, a map system, camera, collisions, physics, desktop and mobile porting, parallax layers, 2D lighting, postprocessing.....and the complate package is FREE and OPEN-SOURCE

And thus another decision made.

This is something I am still looking out for. I am no artist and no animator. So I dablle sometimes with Blender and GIMP. However, I might have to check on the asset marketplaces like GameDevMarket or get someone on Fiverr. 
I am inclined towards an isometric view with tons of effects.  

Keeping this option open now as to how to source the artworks.

This is the heart of the game mechanics. The rewards (coins, powerups, ranks) and penalties (deaths and injuries) will need be tight to deliver a satisfactory and plausible experience. I have been working out some numbers as below.

Most of it will likely change over time with tuning but I guess this is a good start point.

And there, hands in the dirt ! Till next time.

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