I’ve read that a good design, like a bonsai tree has everything unnecessary cut out. So in the last 3 minutes I’ve managed to do hours of work by chopping stuff out that worked well on paper, but failed when I got to seriously thinking about it come implementation time. For example, there is no Dizzy state for enemies. The Red all over the Doc => will show that the entire feature got chopped. “Why?” a person may ask, if they read this, and they don’t. Mostly because enemies are not that beefy. They can’t take the heat. Say, using a random chance that an enemy requires 4 hits on average to dizzy them according to the original system, now marked in Crimson. Using the regular method of attacking, enemies only have enough HP to deal with about 4 attacks. In other words, the amount of attacks that would dizzy are probably lethal, so what’s the point? I could increase the amount of HP an enemy has, but by doing so I’ll increase the amount of time the player will take fighting said enemies. Regardless of what the posts of the last month would lead you to believe, fighting is not the focus of the game. So, it’s gone and I don’t miss it.
In the same vein, no Dizzy means no Charge Move for The Thief. That’s easy to remove too, since I never actually programmed it. The Downed behaviour will live on, and in some places replace the Dizzy, but it’s built more for bosses so you don’t rush them down. Further it provides a good excuse to put the Enemy Physics to work. Even if the 3rd hit in a string will knock an enemy down (and remember 4 wastes most of them) the 3rd hit may also knock them into a wall or off of one and maybe into a trap of some kind. It’ll finish them off in a slightly more entertaining way.
So, that means I need to build fall down and the Invincibility toggle and I’m good on AI states. Sweet.
-Having spent a little more time with the list and asking the team about it, they all seem to arrive at a similar conclusion, “Wow, that’s a lot.” The ADA said, “I’m not saying the list is pudgy, but it’s obviously be skipping the slim fast shakes.” The Producer part of me reaches for the scissors and The Designer part smacks the hand. It’s too early to make cuts. Yet, with a clear goal in sight, It’s a different kind of feeling. Before for IGF, we were hell bent on doing as much as we can in the time we had. Now we have a clear finish line. Oddly, writing it all down removed a ton of the stress. Now we can just work.
So, in the coming weeks and months the list on the right will slowly change colors, going from black to something positive like green or happy like orange. A colorful sign of our continued progress. I’ll try to get at least one colored in today.