Excerpt: “Whenever you’re coding, you’re walking into a maze in the dark. Your job is not to get a map of the maze beforehand, figure out the path from the entrance to the exit, memorize the solution, and then walk in confidently knowing exactly what to do. No, your job is to walk right into darkness, armed with little more than your wits, and feel your way through it.”
Excerpt: “Through trying to understand the sales performance of our game, I have developed an interest in market analysis that may border on the obsessive. I never thought I would ever spend so much time researching sales numbers and analyzing marketing pitches. I’ve come to understand that product/market fit is a huge factor in a game’s commercial performance, and I’d like to share my thoughts on why Life Goes On isn’t a good fit in the modern indie games market.”
It has been quite a while since the last journal I wrote. Needless to say, the game has improved quite a bit since then. The AI has gone through several iterations, and now is getting to where we need it to be. The behavior tree model that RAIN uses is meeting our needs nicely for the time being, and the AI now behaves more or less like you would expect. We’ve been working quite a lot on movement and traversal options, including swimming, sidling, mantling and using ladders. This is all in the service of allowing more interesting puzzles, and they provide a more fluid feeling movement system in general. For the most part, our biggest challenge has been fixing the never-shrinking list of bugs. The bright side of this is that now that features have slowed down a bit and we’re fixing more bugs, we’re able to start creating more specific test cases and try out entire sections of our first level. Basically, we’re getting a little bit more into content than we were before, which is nice. Now, not everything is a grey box, and it’s starting to feel more and more like a game! For me personally, the next thing on my plate (besides the ever present bugs to fix) is to set up a wider variety of AI to see what feels good and what doesn’t.