The first sprint is over, and while it’s still very early days, it’s going well so far. I haven’t picked up the full version of The Art of Game Design yet, and won’t do until the end of the month, but looking through the kindle sample chapters it seems pretty good. Unfortunately the current ebook version has a few formatting issues, and entirely cuts out the lens descriptions which appear in most of the chapters. If that’s not been fixed for the 2nd edition I’ll have to go old school and pick up a hard copy.
Research-wise I’ve finished the entire Quick Start to Unity learning path and, while I’m sure to struggle with many areas, I can find my way around the UI now, and now the basics of putting something together. I’m going to have to do a lot more research to figure out the more complex stuff. To help with this I’m going to continue working through various Unity courses to get some more practice before I need to start putting the more tricky stuff together. For the next couple of weeks, I’m going to go through a similar introduction to Unity that goes into more depth on several topics. Since I’m focused on actually making something for the game this month, this might not get finished until next month.
Speaking of which, I’ve settled on a concept for my game. I’ve had a few ideas rattling around my head for a while, but the one that ended up being one that’s sat at the back of my mind for years. Way back in the early 90s I was a fan of Necromunda by Games Workshop, a skirmish game where each player controls their own gang, fighting for survival and to end up as top dog in the sprawling hive, all in a the dystopian sci-fi setting. It can probably be blamed for my fascination with Tactical RPGs (like most entries in the XCOM series) ever since, but while they share some features they don’t feel the same. I’d like to create something in that same vein, something where you have to balance your desire to win a battle with needing to get enough people out alive to survive another night. Additionally I want to work in the persistent elements, with teams competing over territories, gaining more experience and skills over time, and even injuries rather than just killing anyone outright who doesn’t make it through the mission. There’s a lot more games than just Necromunda to draw inspiration from, so when I get to that point where I’m defining rules I’ll be doing a lot of reading for inspiration, and to make sure I don’t just create Totally-Not-A-Necromunda-Rip-Off.
For the next couple of weeks I plan to continue working my way through courses and fleshing out the concept some more, but I’d also like to get a good chunk, if not all, of the movement system working. It might sound like a strange place to start, but carefully planning out your movement in traditional skirmish games is a pretty major part, and it needs to feel right. I’ve considered square grids, hex grids, and measured distances, and while squares or hexes would make my job easier, I think it really needs measurable distances to get the same feel. My plans for now are to have one character model, and have a circle drawn to show the furthest distance they can move. By selecting several points in this circle to move to, you set up a for the character to follow, with each new waypoint causing the circle to both shrink and move to the newly selected point. I’m not sure how I’m going to factor in moving over rough terrain, or climbing up/down ladders and other objects yet, but for now, I’m going to treat it the same as moving across flat terrain.