State of the Game

This entry was posted on Mar 30 2010 by

With our newfound independence and Chelsea’s departure to the west coast (Good Luck Chelsea!), we have taken a close look at what Influence needs to make it complete.  Our list falls into three columns.

First, we are trying to make all of the pieces fit together better, to make a more cohesive game.  A good example of this is yesterday’s change to the background.  We added some subtle rings in the background months ago, to disrupt the sameness of the flat color and add a little interesting motion.  Yesterday, we connected that to the game, so that when you are playing, the rings are left behind the ids, like ripples in a pond, and while they always took on the color of the ids in proportion to their population, now the ids drop rings of their own color, so the colored ripples follow the colored flocks.

Our second objective is to focus on the opening of the game.  We need to tighten up the first play experience.  Right now the tutorial is stiff, broken up, and generally not very good.  It is miles better than our disastrous first attempt, but it still needs a lot of improvement.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll be trying to change it into less of a tutorial and more of an introduction to the game, which you can learn how to play by playing through, as we tell you about colors, voices, and influence.

The third column is internet multipayer.  We found a technology partner at GDC, and we’ll be integrating their tech with our game (and reworking some of the game to better fit the tech) over the coming months.

Each of these directions is important and necessary to the success of the game, and we won’t be satisfied until they’re all up to snuff.

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