Starting Something Different

I’ve started a project that’s different than anything else I’ve done. One of my most frequently downloaded games is The Lost, a little solo RPG that took a month or so to write. It appears the market for games you can play by yourself is much larger than any group game.

I’ve always wanted to make a video game. I’ve had several concepts I’ve dreamt about over the years and I’ve made some attempts to learn how to code for video games in the past but I’ve never really been able to connect all the dots before.

Now there are a number of engines available that make connecting the dots easier and I’ve made more progress than ever before.

There’s a lot to learn to get a game to work but I have some basic structures built and working. It’s not a game yet, It’s just a map and a character that can move around but that’s further than I’ve ever gotten before.

I’m not going to kid myself, this is a big project for me, but it feels like as I push through problems I’m running into, I’m making progress. I’m actually fine with writing code. I’ve built really complex websites before that manipulated data extensively. Once I figure out how to make a game engine do something reliably, I can go to town on building the code to make a cool game.

One of the things that a game needs a huge amount of is artwork. It’s kind of funny that there are a million YouTube channels that are there to teach you how to make a game, but they try to skip over that part. It would be more helpful to fess up that art is vital than to try and hide it. It makes it really hard to figure out how to make progress at first.

I’m wondering if I shouldn’t do some kind of development log. A lot of people do YouTube videos for a log but I feel like what I’m doing is not photogenic yet and trying to make videos would add one more skill that I’d have to learn. Maybe the next game will be the time to try that.

What is this game? It’s a narrative driven, rouge like, tower defense game. It will follow the story of a kind of prepper main character that is trying to survive incursions of robot scouting parties. The goal is to keep hidden, mostly by stopping the scout parties.

Instead of the typical tower staples, there’s tripwire shotguns, pit traps and electric fences. It might get to a more traditional tower defense game as you progress through it but I don’t want it to lose a more down to earth feel. If it gets a bit more fantastic, at least you’ll know how you got there.

Another goal is for there to be a strong story to the game. Usually tower defense games are pretty lean on story. “They’re attacking and you have to blow them up” is usually how it goes. The concept here, is to have an overall story arc and involve human stories. So this prepper occasionally is approached by people that are looking for shelter. They are resources as far as what they might bring with them, but they’re also liabilities in that, they may not be reliable. I can see a lot going wrong with that and it’s exactly what I’m going for.

When will this be done? I don’t know yet. It could be years. I’ll just have to keep pushing and find out.