So as you may have noticed, we haven’t been updating this blog too much. Sometimes when there’s a lot of work to get done, things go on the back-burner. Sometimes, those things on the back-burner are actually really important things that should be routinely getting done rather than shoving them on the back-burner.
But I digress.
One of the biggest news is that we will be coming into beta in several more days! We’ve definitely come a long way since our last posts. Here is a brief overview of some development accomplishments/features/whatever that has happened:
- We will have SIX areas: Dungeon, Forest, Snow, Cave, Swamp (graveyard), and Desert
- The Story Generator now includes SAGAS! Basically, a Saga in a story that you continuously play over several adventures. So rather than having little tid-bits of stories, Sagas have a good story build-up and ending. This is especially good when major things happen in the story world, such as a Boss’ defeat.
- We will be implementing Shops/Special Rooms in the levels, as well as random shrines that will have some sort of cool (possibly meta) functionality.
- The three heroes all have different fighting styles: The Knight is a melee-based fighter with combo attacks and blocking, the Wizard picks up spell runes that give him special abilities, and the Rogue is equipped with a Crossbow and has extra sight for stealthy distanced attacks.
- A whole ton of fun, wacky items that help you build strategy as you play.
- An amazingly solid Marmalade game engine that houses our awesome game.
- Awesome art, music and writing that give MicroVentures it’s own whimsical style.
There’s many more, but you’ll just have to wait and see. The next steps, as we reach our feature freeze, is to hammer out all the bugs, get in every art/sound asset we can, and give the final product a pristine polish.
We will be creating a demo video soon after the beta, so stay tuned!
Here’s some screenshots of our game. We’re still in the process of replacing all the programmer art, but that should be relatively soon.
As the Product Owner and initial creator of the idea for MicroVentures, I am often asked questions like “How did you come up with MicroVentures?”, “Why are you making a casual game? I thought you hated casual games.”, “Why a phone game?”, “You like games like Braid and Limbo, why aren’t you making a pretentious indie game?”, “Seriously, why are you making a video game for a fucking telephone?” Okay, maybe not so much that last question, but some of the above assertions are true: I really don’t like casual gaming, and my ultimate dream in life is to make thought-provoking games independently. So, as one of my roommates would say, “Why MicroVentures even?”
I’ll start off by talking about the current trend in the game industry. It doesn’t take any statistic gathering to realize that casual gaming is on the ride. Importantly though, I do disagree with the assumptions that console and PC gaming are falling, but rather that the gaming market is stretching out to new audiences. As a game designer, I can’t ignore the growing trend in casual gaming.
No, I do not hate the idea of casual gaming. I think integrating games into even the smallest gaps of our schedule is something positive. What I don’t believe is this notion that casual gaming will eradicate the console/PC gaming market altogether. The idea of of the usual Friday night LAN party with a group of friends being replaced with an all-night Angry Birds party just makes me cringe, and I can never see that happening. Ever. Why? Because that’s not what casual games are supposed to be, and what they are not is a replacement for highly-immersive, 3D experiences on consoles or PCs.
Casual games are meant for one thing: A short distraction. They serve as a way for someone to break away and have a short break from a normally dull, repetitive existence. That’s why people play Angry Birds and Farmville, it gives people a fresh set of goals and tasks that can be accomplished in a matter of minutes.
And that is essentially our goal with MicroVentures: giving someone a break from their life to accomplish other goals. I went with the genre of Roguelikes mainly due to the major influence from Binding of Isaac, but at the same time it seemed like a perfect solution to my problem: Creating an awesome game experience by having a DIFFERENT experience every time! By having each roguelike adventure to be aimed to play for 2-4 minutes, we successfully create a short, concise adventure game.
Though something’s missing. The problem with having these procedural adventures, there’s no way of having character development, story, or anything like that. OR IS THERE?
To be continued…
Our first blog post yay!
So yeah, today I set up a twitter for us: @studio_mu
Hopefully, I’ll be updating it more than my usual Twitter account. Anyway, this weekend and week (up till Wednesday) we are working on our UML for the project. I’m personally working on the Story generator Code and Sequence Diagram, hopefully can finish early and give Chris a hand with all the work assigned to him.
Not that much more to say. We’ve started our first official sprint yesterday, so we’ll be updating this blog as we finish tasks.
Over and out,