Sunday, April 3, 2011

Design Ideas, what stays and what go's?

When working on a project one of the biggest mistakes that I know that I am always making is coming up with a design and then not sticking with it long enough to see how well it works. We've done this a couple of times with our releases and are working on fixing this as we speak.

What this means for you, the end user, is every time you get a new version of the mod it's like relearning the game. This leads to a fractured design where some people want this, others want that back, some like the changes others don't, and by trying to make everyone happy what we get isn't what the original design called for.

Take AW for example. Our original goal was for them to be a very easy and straight forward army to use compaired to SEED and UC. Our current design is not hard to use, but it's got a few things going on in it that scream to me "complicated" and "hard to use". Is this a real problem? Not if we handle it correctly, but at the moment I am worried.

Another example would be our current ideas on rebalancing the entire game. The comes a point where adding new things in only make the game more complicated, and more complicated does not always mean more user friendly or fun. I'm currently working on making each side unique in one of 3 possible ways. Weapon Tech, Economy, and Deployment.

Some forces will have very unique weapons in the next release, the Scrin for example are going to focus on Plasma Technology and Lance Technology for their weapons and will be unique in that they are the only ones on the battlefield that have these kinds of weapons. EF will have a unique economy design, with many different ways to earn income to produce what they need to build the great wall of EF. Finally, GDI has unique deployment, and is able to get most if not all of their ground forces air-dropped in for free after a certain point.

The major issue I'm facing right now is change. What I mean is I feel that we're not giving certain ideas enough time to truly see if they can stand on their own before saying "we need to change it, it doesn't work." Another issue is chaning things that are already in the game, that I feel are fine, but I'm hearing "we need to change this" or "you should fix this, its not supposed to be that way" when it's the way that we wanted it.

Take the White Base for example. Does it work? Well, yea, it does. It drops off units and lays down cover fire for your units as it moves. Does it work right? Not really, the way I have it firing doesn't look right, and I am still exploring ways to fix this. However, people need to realize that not every idea is going to be possible. We will do our best to make this game live up to its potential but some things simply won't work. Someone wanted us to keep the Whitebase as a mobile fortress like we used to have. The reason we took it out was it simply was too big to be a viable unit in the game, and if we make it much smaller we hear "it's not sized right" (not that we don't hear that at least once a week when it comes to the sizes on our mobile suits).

Just a final thought. I was asked recently why I spend so much time working on something that I'm not getting paid to do. My response was simple. "I make this game for myself, because I'm trying to make something that I want to play. The only reason I'm offering it up to others to play is because I really think there are others out there who feel like I do and would want to play this kind of game."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

guys, i feel like being honest right now,

im telling you that, i wont come here anymore, the reason is, you guys are almost dead,

the mod was quite good when it started, and as far as i know, the most fun i had with xenoforce reborn was with one of the first release, i think its the 8.0a or something,

it had all 3 factions, and was just fun.
but now that you guys took 2 of those out, ...its been like a hell,

even if 8.0 was full of bugs and all, WTH, it was still WAAAAAY better than what i've experienced on 9.0c, d or something.

anyway, thanks allot for making xenoforce reborn, i had really good times with it.

i hope you guys can come up with a better version next time.