Lessons learned so far

The basics

I’ve been spending around two hours each day for close to two months working on a game called Lurid. I really enjoy playing old school games like Dragon Warrior and the original Legend of Zelda so naturally the genre I work with is within those lines. When I started I had some idea of what I wanted the game to be like but I’ve mostly focused on what feels right and later correcting that based on player feedback. When all is said and done I would like to have a completely functioning game with a solid 45 minutes of gameplay.

 

The true goal

I know Lurid isn’t going to be a great game. It is really my first “big” project, although, about a year ago I developed a demo for Lurid, that I spent a lot of time on, and then later started completely from scratch. I learned a lot about myself in that process. Most importantly I learned how best I work solo. Live streaming game development really helps me stick with it. The true goal for me is to get far enough with Lurid that I can zero-in on my style of development. I know the genre but I need an artist style in order to really make the game I want to make. If you are new to game development like me chances are you won’t be able to think of all the pieces you need to complete a great game before you start working on a game. Working on Lurid helps me see which pieces of code are most important to me and which tools, that I create, are the most valuable. This will be different for everyone based on their style of game development. But it’s an iterative process that takes time.

 

Gameplay

One thing I’ve been struggling a lot with Lurid recently is thinking up enjoyable gameplay. I don’t want a “Pokemon”/Dragon Warrior/FF1 style of gameplay that is very turn-based. I think this area is quite over-saturated. Instead, I’m looking for something along the lines of the Legend of Zelda for the NES. Something more real-time and challenging. One modern example of this style of game is Binding of Issac. At the end of the day I would like to have something like the Legend of Zelda but more reminiscent of Dark souls. The Dark souls gameplay relies a lot of timing and animation. One component that makes DS so challenging is that enemies don’t attack when you think the would. Typically it is slightly after you expect an attack. But the enemy animation is such what you don’t feel cheated by misjudging an incoming attack.

 

Lurid is current far from the style I’m describing and will likely never reach this point. But that’s not my goal yet. My goal is simply to build a stable foundation that will eventually allow for me to reach my goal.

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