Why Not Games




City: Story and Info

Written: 2016-04-25

The current goal is to get a playable version of the game ready by the beginning of July. It needs to be playable enough that people can figure out how to play without me there to explain it. There are four big pieces to this goal:

  • Art
  • Information Flow and UI
  • Story
  • Distribution

This month has already seen some work on the UI and this article is going to go over the rest of the UI work and the story work done so far.

Screenshot

UI Work

The UI changes are all pretty minor iterations on the previous work:

  • Memories now have their own info panels.
  • The focus and will tabs have now been merged.
  • The people tab has now been removed. People are now less distinguishable from other traits.
  • Buttons for actions that cost more than the player can afford are now darkened.
  • Keyboard shortcuts are now implemented.
  • Towers now show you how close to completion they are on the map view.
  • Goals are now better organized and you can see your completed goals.

Design Updates

Though the design is largely in place, there are still some points that would benefit from more iteration and so we saw the following minor changes:

  • The boosts have been completely removed from the game.
  • Your emotional state takes focus. The more extreme the emotion, the more focus is taken by it.
  • Memories will now flare when the player is not focusing on anything.

Additionally, I changed the way the game functions when the player hits an extreme emotion. Now, the player loses all control over the game when under the throes of an extreme emotion. This state lasts for a few seconds, during which many towers are turned off and some transform into other towers. So, you could see your towers that represent talking become about shouting instead, but be unable to control them. When this time period finishes, all of the emotions on the map are killed and a memory of this state is created. I feel that this is a much better representation than the huge currency fluctuations that used to represent these extremes.

Story

I now have a theme that I'm satisfied with for the campaign to use for the July playtest. It may not survive beyond that point, but it looks good enough for that goal. Beyond this point lie spoilers, so be warned.

This campaign revolves around a sleeper agent and the conflict of your anger at the country you've infiltrated and the comfort of your new life. This tension is what this campaign is going to rotate around, with different things contributing to the player's investment in each of these interests and both of them placing different demands on the player.

I have about an hour's worth of content plotted out right now, but the pacing is atrocious and the game needs some side-stories running alongside the main thread. The theme is very amenable to being written in this game, the trade-offs that the game thrives on are easy to see, but writing is still laborious and requires a way of thinking that is still unusual to me.

All told, I feel fairly happy with where the game is right now. I seem on pace to hit this deadline and hopefully will have a couple of weeks for iteration before it arrives.

- @murthynikhil

< City: Info Article Notes - 2016/02 >

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Written for Why Not Games.