Our Vision for Dwarf Survival

The Whole Point Of It

Every game title should have a point beyond the "just because I can" statement. For me "Dwarf Survival" is an attempt to create a game that I'm both proud of and others will love to play. But in order to do this I believe I should outline what I'm aiming for and why. After all how will others be able to judge the success or failure of the endeavour.

The Cheat Sheet Version

  1. A Rogue-Like Game.
  2. Evolving feature through incremental releases.
  3. To create a community of players and developers.
  4. The Long Game.

Sounds simple enough but here is what I really mean.

A Rogue-Like Game

The Rogue-Like is a game with some basic features that all true Rogue-Likes must have. So the following are a must have list:

  1. Randomly Generate Levels - every level should be random and nearly unique in the sense that player the same level in multiple attempts should not lead a player to be able to produce a best path to success plan. Essentially every time the level is generate it differs from others generated before hand.
  2. Permadeath of characters - every time we make a mistake we pay for it. Love it or hate it, this mechanism makes the game.
  3. Turn-Based time system - every dog gets it's day. A single actor should not be able to perform multiple actions before other actors can react to the preceding actions. Likewise the game should not simply be about who has the best reaction time. I also love this being able to think before acting.
  4. Feature Interactions - doors, chests, traps, etc should cause different play possibilities to unfold as the player choose between options. Ideally this should then present it self in solving problems different ways.
  5. Combat - Hack and Slash, Fire and Run like a baby or Grind them to bones should all be valid combat styles for different situation. The player should be forced to decide based upon the enemies and environment they find themselves in. Combat should always be challenging and should evolve with the player's decisions. Every fight should be a choice between life and death. Using the same combat style should be a quick way to get you killed.
  6. Resource Management - this for me is the difficult one. Although I love the "hunger can kill" process of other rogues, I don't really know how I want this to function. More to come on this.
  7. Plotless / Freedom of Play - Not collecting the princess's slipper should not stop me from reaching the end. Enough said.

Evolving feature through incremental releases.

To me as a gamer, a game should be fun playing in the current state that is before me. I think we all agree on that. But as a developer, a game should be able to evolve as ideas come and go. Therefore a game needs to be able to updated. 

I'm going to attempt a release cycle where features are added and then released for the gamers to enjoy as the developers go on to craft more features. 

To this end I'm going to create a series of releases that build upon the one before them. 

To create a community of players and developers.

I want a community where every voice is heard and considered. The community of players that feel free to suggest features and then as a whole vote upon ideas. We all have had things in games that either we felt were left out or simply didn't really work for us. I've stopped playing more than a few games because of this. Some caused a slightly bitter taste in my mouth where something just felt wrong and soured the whole experience for me.

The problem I see is how do we as the developers help the community navigate the balance of what we really want with what the community wants. I think the best approach is to suggest a set of feature that the game will eventually have but then listen to the community in terms of what they want first.

The Long Game

If we look at the whole gambit of Rogue-Likes there are two main game life times.

The first is a gradual refinement of the game over many years, hoping for a long and happy relationship with loyal fans of the game. The second is simply throwing money into a development team and release a nearly feature complete produce and then don't develop anymore unless it is another complete separate release.

Quite frankly, I don't have the money for it so I'm not going for the second option. This leaves me with the long road ahead.

Next Time

Anyway goals for next time are:

  1. I'll list the were I'm at with the project.
  2. I'll try to get a video together of where I'm up to title.
  3. A first draft of title features.

 See-ya next time.

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