Video Game Tag Archive

The Road Map Post Steam Greenlight

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It’s been a rewarding journey so far, and our team feels very confident about the core features of the game. Now we’re pushing ahead toward the REALLY fun part! Soon we’ll focus on progression, balance, and bringing super weapons and upgrades online. During this process we’ll be integrating the game onto the Steamworks platform.

greenlight-approved

Communication from our team was light this summer as we worked hard to prototype enemy AI, weapons, camera angles, and player physics. In addition, we’ve extended our flow node capabilities in the Autodesk Stingray Engine to give us the ability to quickly generate enemy attack patterns. We now have a solid foundation from which to design the game’s progression.

We have also been discussing level design and boss battles. Railgun will incorporate a Gradius III style approach in which the player has to battle through transforming phases during Boss Fights to move on. Each phase will require a different strategy and introduce a new weapon and behavior to beat.

boss-fight-concept-art

With a successful Steam Greenlight campaign under our belts, our team is ready to take Railgun to the next level.  Your support through this process is tangible proof that all our hard work this past summer has paid off.  We have a clear road map as to what needs to be done next, and we plan to provide regular updates to keep you up to speed on our journey.  In September’s update, we’ll cover progression, balance, art, and more.  As always, your feedback continues to be incredibly valuable to our team.  Remember to sign up for the Closed Beta Early Access and check out the public trello board for detailed progress updates.     

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Philosophy on design progression & balance.

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I’m working as the associate Game Designer on Railgun, an action shooter for Windows PC, built using Lua scripting and Flow Visual Scripting in Autodesk Stingray. Levels and some of the game play systems are my forte, here’s how I go about designing things:


Bottom-Up Balance

unnamedCompanies such as Blizzard typically start their design balancing from the bottom-up. Starcraft was made by first balancing the starting worker and warrior characters: Terran Marines, Zerg Zerglings, and Protoss Zealots are fine-tuned with each other before other units hit development. I apply similar principles to the evaluation of Railgun’s systems in these ways:

  • If the base weapon and unit are not fun, we have a problem.
  • If a new weapon or ability isn’t fun with the base unit, we have a problem.
  • If a new unit isn’t fun with the base weapon, we have a problem.

These tenets make it easy to develop scenarios for different aspects of the game. Though there can be exceptions (after close analysis), generally removing ambiguity simplifies the testing process and the communication that needs to happen with other members of the team (i.e. explaining design philosophy).

100 of a unit, the weapon choice for the player, and leaving everything else the same further allows for standard algorithms to be generated in predicting the outcomes of play (more on this below). Repeated tests can refine prediction variables, but they get designers working with something decently accurate to the final outcome quickly.

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Welcome to Railgun!

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Welcome to Railgun!

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