Status Update: Gameplay Prototype

Posted On: 2019-02-18

By Mark

Today's post is a small update, focused on why I am running a bit behind where I wanted to be at this point in time. Earlier this year, I wrote about my short and long-term plans regarding what I wanted to achieve. Since then, I have made substantial progress on all my art-related short-term goals, as documented in my three-part blog series about automating the art pipeline. As the art pipeline came together, I started working on the mechanical prototype, to get a feel for how the moment-to-moment gameplay would move and flow. Unfortunately, this prototype is still not yet complete, partly due to delays caused by trying to include the narrative architecture and UI work into that same prototype.

In hindsight, it is clear that delays of this kind are quite likely, as the gameplay prototype has become a bit overloaded, serving multiple unrelated goals:

Depending on the results of the prototype, I may be in a good place to start work on the larger project I have been planning, though there are several significant factors that still need further work (for example, the environment art is still just placeholder images, so there will likely be more work figuring out the right workflow and pipeline for implementing the environments.) If the core behaviors in the prototype (movement, combat, and non-combat) all turn out to work well, then I think I should still be able to move forward with those and start building something. Of course, as I get feedback about ways to improve the mechanics, I will focus on getting those right in the context of the prototype: getting that all sorted out ahead of time is key to starting the larger project on the right foot. After all, every project invariably has change, but getting the known changes taken care of ahead of time often helps to keep the project's foundational code much cleaner than it would otherwise be.