Monday, September 1, 2014

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #28

Heya, back with the 28th development log! It's been a little while since I've posted about the projects we have been working on. But it's a new month, and a new resolve to try and keep a regular log on our development again!


We were developing our Kickstarter pitch, and were originally intending to launch in July. However, problems with Amazon Payments account verification got in the way, and then we finished our pitch and put it out for feedback. While we did get some positive constructive criticism, some of the bullet points came up repeatedly that we needed to address:
  • The video is too long/slow and it didn't immediately cut to the point
  • Reward tiers need work
  • Environmental art ("tileset") is not up to snuff and need work
  • We go too much into lore and not enough into our gameplay experience
So we are not going to publish it and focus on revamping the page and our game to give it another shot. Jennifer is currently working on designing new terrain assets, and we're putting a big focus into expanding our Team Attack system. This last weekend and today is being spent expanding on Team Attacks and making them fun so we have a lot to show. Team Attacks are an important part of Selatria's battle system, so we'll need to make sure we have a small video devoted to how our battle system works and how it's different than other turn-based RPGs.

We are going to work on a new version of the demo after that which shows the changes to environments and Team Attacks.

We're going to continue working on development of the game and Kickstarter pitch. You can track our progress here or on future development updates on the blog!

The Kickstarter demo we were planning on distributing with the pitch can be downloaded here.


We're currently working on a new mini-game for ANTics that can be downloaded separately for Google Play. This version will be tentatively called "Exterminator Edition", and we want to emphasize the following points:
  • Ease of download
  • Ease of play
  • Ease of put-down and resume at any time

The original ANTics suffers from a long download and very unforgiving mechanics regarding losing the game. For example, ff you put down the game on level 12 and die, you start all over from the beginning. The game works if you can sit down and commit to it for a longer period of time, but that goes against the audience we're trying to capture with the game.

With Exterminator Edition, it's just a survival mode of the game, to where the focus is on racking up a high score. All of the powerups will return, but you're only allowed to 3-5 per game. No more, no less, and there won't be any chance of buying more without starting a new survival mode game. There will also be a list of high scores saved with the possibility of being able to share them to friends or challenge them to reach a higher score. We're currently unsure if the bosses or all of the music from the original will appear in this version, in order to keep the file size down.

Exterminator Edition will launch on Android when it's complete, and the iPhone versions of both will launch on Apple when we can get the games verified on their end.

The Future:

Due to changes in my real life schedule, we made changes to how we work on our projects. We meet Thursday nights to talk about the progress on our games and make plans for Saturday. We use Friday nights to meet up and discuss we we go about it and what we need to complete in a SCRUM-like format, and Saturdays to actually implement what we need to.

We also put our idea for an action game on hold and we are going to develop something more simple. We're currently in the early stages of developing a new sidescroller shooter like game. Can't really shed any more details on it because we're going through the phase that anything can be changed at the moment. So that's about it for now.

That's about it for now. I will promise to write a bit more frequently on our development!

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