First up, it has been an awesome dev day for Exodus! We are now able to add story events, and so the time of actual level building is at hand!
We introduced some new control scheme stuff as well, and the game plays much more organically now. Using AI turrets and the dash are now way more intuitive and ergonomically viable.
Additionally, some new icons for the UI will cut down a lot on the need for too much explicit explanation to new players, we hope. Changing some colour patterns has also made it far more clear where stuff is meant to go.
I am super excited for the coming days, where I am going to grind out as many levels as I can with the current architecture, but I have also been thinking a lot about the dev process we have been going through with this game.
It’s interesting, I regret nothing about this project, but one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is never to build a game this way again. Exodus started as a pure tower defence game. Then we morphed into a tower assault concept. That grew into a dual stick escort game, defending a mothership while you had infinite lives. Finally we put all of that in a blender and came up with what we have now, which is a little bit of all three, but I think pretty strong because of all of the Darwinian growth we put it through.
Michael Todd gave me some very strong advice, months and months ago, never to iterate within a project. If the game needed that much changing, it was better, he said, to start a new one from scratch to keep a clear head and palette.
Clearly we listened.
Frankly though, I never seem to work that way. I come up with an initial idea, and in the process of creating it I usually see it change significantly, until it might be a totally different beast than it started as. I wonder if I have learned as much from changing exodus, growing a single project to include and then expel numerous mechanics and ideas, as I would have doing it Michael’s way. Can’t really say until I try it I guess.
One way or another though, the next project is going to have a firm plan, with its mechanics mapped out thoroughly, so that the thing can be built with some measure of efficiency. I am assuming this is a universal revelation everyone has designing their first game, but I am a newb, so I’m gonna revel in the idea that that is a good thing as something new.