Slight Change in the Gameplay Design

July 24, 2009

In a previous post, I elaborated on the battle or combat gameplay design.  I’ve actually begun to re-think some of the things I said and realized that the magic system needs a slight change.

First of all, I added a new character attribute, Intelligence (INT).  Originally, I had the attribute control how effective spells were.  For example, if a spell chose something at random, a higher INT would choose more intelligently or perhaps more frequently.  I started thinking that this was too complex and wanted something simpler.  I still wanted INT to be a factor, but I wanted a system where INT directly related to something in the magic system.

My final solution hinges on changing how a player receives MP.  They will no longer build up MP by creating words, instead MP regenerates over time up to the character level maximum.  The speed at which the regeneration occurs is directly proportional to the INT value a character has.  This is a fairly simple design and easy to develop.  It also removes some of the obfuscation of INT and makes it more apparent to the player as to what it actually controls.

(As for word score and the point of creating words…the attack system is still coupled to that so it still makes sense.  I think this is a much better design.)

Finally, the regeneration aspect of MP will only occur in combat.  This means that the player can begin a combat with some MP rather than zero MP.  This also means that healing potions for MP will exist to quickly replenish the MP without waiting for the automatic regeneration.  Finally, some weapons will add +INT modifiers to the character and this will mean that players can strategically boost their INT if they want to use magic on spells to defeat a foe.

Community Games is now Indie Games

July 24, 2009

Microsoft has begun the transition of community games into Xbox LIVE Indie Games.  It looks like a dashboard update on August 11 of this year will include the update for XNA Game Studio 3.1 content.  This means that games with video and avatars will begin on the service at that time for consumers.

A few other noteworthy items:

  • Price points are changing for Indie games:  80 ($1), 240 ($3), and 400 ($5) will become the new price points.  I’m sad to see the 800 point tier go (at least as an option), but I was probably never going to make anything at that price anyway.
  • Game creators will be able to give out codes to get free copies of the game.  This is an awesome addition to the service that will allow game reviewers to get free full copies of games.  A creator can give out up to 50 of these “tokens.”
  • There’s a reputation system on the creator’s club website now that tracks who is a good citizen and who is not.  My rep is pretty low right now because I haven’t been an active forum participator in a while.
  • Lastly, update notifications have been added!  When you release an update to your game, a player will get a notification to update automatically.  This is great news for those that release patches to their games.

As for my work on War of Words, I’m still very much in a design phase.  There’s a working copy of some of the core gameplay features, but I have to re-do a lot of it.  Hopefully I will be able to post some meaningful content here in the near future.