Saturday, April 19, 2014

The stuff that didn't make the cut

So we've mentioned before that we had to cut some content in order to meet our deadlines, I wanted to talk about what was cut and why we decided to cut it.

1. Characters - We were originally aiming for 9 playable characters. The intern and 8 recruitables. We cut this to a total of six characters.

It came down to two things major time consumers. The first is the actual character art. Designing and drawing the characters was a big time sink for Julia. Additionally after the initial design we'd go back and refine.  The second was the technical art and particle effects for the skills. This was actually a huge time sink, and Kiril was the only one on the team who could do it well. At the end of the day we needed Kiril on other things and we proffered refining our other characters and making more set pieces.

2. Procedural Content Generation - Oh boy. This one was a doozy. So we actually decided to cut PCG not based on the difficulty in programming, but rather the difficulty in game design. We were really worried that it would be way too time consuming to tweak our level generator to make levels fun and good. That combined with the short amount of playtime game demo day participants would have led us to hand design our levels instead.

3. Equipment - We wanted equipment for our characters. It would allow players to customize their characters a bit and rare equipment finds would make playthroughs more exciting. Unfortunately this came down to just not having enough dev time. We actually had a system where characters could have equipment that modified their stats implemented. However there were a lot of other things we needed to do. We needed equipment to drop, we needed equipment to be switchable at certain points, and we would ideally also need equipment to be sellable. All of this added up to too much additional work that we simply couldn't justify. The dev time was better spent elsewhere.

4. Currency - We really wanted currency to be a huge resource that the player had to manage. Currency would allow the player to buy experience for characters, equipment, and heal characters. Unfortunately like equipment we just didn't hae the time to implement all the things to make currency feel good. We could have implemented some of the basic stuff, but by the end of Lifelike we were pretty set on having everything in our game look and feel good. If we had implemented currency it would have been pretty sloppy.

So yeah, those are the main things we cut (although there are more). I'm really glad we had a small tema and we could decide quickly what was the highest priority

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