Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bribing My Way To The Top

So I had my first fun playthrough of the prototype yesterday, which seems like an odd thing to say.  Surely if our game is good then it should be fun from the start?  I suppose with action games it's a lot easier to "get to the fun" right away, but with strategy games that take multiple mechanics into consideration it takes a lot longer.  Or maybe we're just slow.  Regardless, I had fun with our game yesterday, and here's what happened.

I started out trying to test a new dialogue mechanic we'd implemented earlier in the day.  To do that I had to suck up to Catorcio, our Casino Kapitan.  While I was doing that I noticed that a "gamble" activity in the Casino and I though "what the hey."  I won.  So I gambled again.  And I won again.  At this point I didn't want to press my luck, and in any case I'd already maxed out my relationship with Catorcio so I moved to the Port to have a chat with Alpacita.

To my dismay, Alpacita tells me that she can't speak to me because i have a "very unwelcome aura".  I knew this.  I was the one who designed her with a morality check.  But in my glee at winning in gambling I totally forgot, and now I was stuck.  Currently there are only very few ways to improve your morality (it's fairly obvious so I won't reveal them here) so I rushed around the map getting some good karma before having my second conversation with Alpacita.  This time it worked, but ultimately because of a balance issue I failed at the task I was trying to do in the first place.  Never mind I though, let's just finish this playthrough.  Then i noticed that my opponent had a huge lead.

I was resolved to win this playthrough, and made some attempts to raise my reputation.  However at -4 days to the election I realized I was going to lose if I didn't do something drastic.  So I went to the largest districts and bribed my way to victory, ekeing out a single digit win over my opponent.

So that's how I had fun with our game, and also discovered that I would be a terrible politician.

This prototype is the result of a month's worth of work, after almost 7 months of making mistakes and finally deciding to scrap everything and start fresh.  I was a little bit frustrated about that in the beginning but I console myself by saying we're just continuing a long line of indie developers who needed to make a lot of mistakes at the beginning before they finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel.  I'm personally quite terrified to be sharing it in such a rough form, but it's time to show it to people who are genuinely interested in the ideas behind the game so that they can give us feedback and hopefully help us bring it to its full potential.  If you're interested in being part of that please do sign up for our mailing list.  Anyone who signs up by July 31 (Yes, that's today) will get an email with a link to the prototype in the next couple of days.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Crow and Penguin Concept Sketches, plus Prototype Update

Recruitable Characters

We're still hard at work on the prototype, but that doesn't mean that I haven't been able to sketch out some more characters for Party Animals!  The two characters I'm introducing to you today are the first of what will be recruitable Party Animals.  Based on certain decisions you make they may decide to join your campaign and give you bonuses during your campaign activities.  Above you can see Felipenguin, an immigrant comedian from the South Pole.  Felipenguin is the stereotypical demanding celebrity, requiring 24/7 airconditioning, rare delicacies from his homeland in the South Pole, and a constant supple of yellow colored M&Ms.  His popularity cannot be underestimated, and he will increase the effectivity of your photo ops and sorties exponentially.

Next up is Franciscrow, a disgraced former Police Chief turned Private Investigator.  Franciscrow's looking for revenge on the upstart detective that ratted him out and became Police Chief in his stead.  In meantime, he's willing to dig up dirt on your rivals and give you information on how to win over the Kapitans...for a price.

Prototype Updates

Progress on the prototype has been slow but steady, and we've now implemented the simulation of day to day campaign activities.  Next up we'll be working on events, which are the storylines that create the bulk of the experience in Party Animals and will provide the moral choices that we think will make the game quite memorable.  We've been working a lot on developing the character backstories and creating events and storylines for them that will be unique, and we're excited to share this with you in a couple of weeks (yeah I know we said the same thing two weeks ago).  In the meantime, until we're satisfied with this prototype you still have time to sign up for our mailing list and be among the first to try out the game and give us your all-important feedback, so please do sign up!

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