My goal this month is to see how far I can get with Nectira, before I offer it to the world, via Early Access.
Right now, the game is certainly enjoyable for a solid few hours. Starting up the game again creates a whole new multi-hour experience, as most of the game’s elements are randomly generated; from the world map, stages and levels themselves, to the waves of Yarku, and combinations of both plant (traps) and gemstone (powers) make-up. Although a lot of the content of the game is months from being inserted into the game world, there’s plenty there to enjoy now!
On the downside, there are a lot of unexpected results that may creep in over thousands of iterations of the generated game world. I’m currently spending time making sure things come together in a unique, but appealing and more-progressive way, every time the game world starts anew.
Here are my plans this month, to get the game from “fun”, to “appealing and more-progressive”:
- Islands Progression. I’m finishing the chain of progression that takes you from the first island of the mostly-finished realm type (forest), to the third. This 3-island-progression will include around 30 levels (from two types) and up to a few dozen of shorter “mob battles”. All of the 30 levels will reward you with either a new gemstone, or a plant (corresponding to the level type), while the mobs will provide substantial “sap” (units used for upgrading Nectira in 16 different ways, or for spending on powers). I’m removing my developer navigation shortcut-keys and actually working on transitioning the player from island to island more smoothly, while omitting story elements until full release. Because I’m saving the story for you for later, a lot of elements such as transitions will rightfully feel “placeholder’y”, but at least they’ll be in place.
- Difficulty Scale. I originally built most of the randomized content that’s in the game to scale in difficulty over about 18 levels. When I added the multiple islands feature to Nectira last month, my level structure changed drastically, leaving me with a complex difficulty scale to adjust my new structure to. There will be 9 islands now: an intro island with 10 levels, 3 easy islands with 6 levels each, 3 challenging islands with 10 levels, and 3 difficult islands with 14 levels (not 18 levels, but about 100, not counting up to a few hundred mob battles). Eventually you’ll be able to play all the easy islands right after the intro island; gathering sap for upgrades and gemstones all over Raeos; to be used all over the world (meanwhile traps will stay specific to each of the 4 realm types). However, since only 1 realm will currently be available, I’ll have to craft a temporary-scale that’ll make the game less than stupid-hard, since you’ll be missing out on the other 2/3 of the upgrades and gemstones, before you’d actually be expected to progress from easy islands to challenging islands, or from the challenging islands to difficult islands, within each realm.
- Cleaning Up. I’ve been going over all of my game objects, scripts and events, trying to clean up any memory leaks, bugs and anything that may slow down or make the game feel more amateurishly-developed than it is! I’ve also formed a half-page-long list of minor game elements I’ve decided to redesign and improve upon.
- More Music. Right now there’s a single battle “anthem”, and the theme song, which works nicely as realm map music (temporarily?). The one anthem has the right feel, and it’s long enough to not feel repetitive, but I’d eventually like to have an hour worth of these anthems. Hopefully I’ll have enough music studio time this month to double the music in the game.
- More content. I’m an optimist; the kind who thinks he can finish a game in a year. That being said, maybe I’ll have time this month to get more traps, elements, Yarku species types and realm wilderness makings in the game?
Thanks for reading! Check back at the beginning of each month!