April 2, 2009

Illucinated Maps

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Yu-Chung Chen said...

Intriguing! It's a bit like clusterings images, info graphics of sorts.

Congratulations on the code (almost) closure. So the design is set as well?

I'm thinking about when Jonathan Blow phrased creation mode design and preservation mode design (from this presentation). This sounds like having a masterplan and changes are only made to solve problems caused by external forces.

I know Illucinated has a strong, specific idea, but how much does the concept transform itself during the production?

I'm just wondering, because the advergame I'm working on, the whole thing is not revolved around some novel game design idea, but a product feature. So, I'm constantly changing stuff, doing whatever seems to address upcoming issues, and bascially design as I go right now.

It is arguably iterative design, still it feels somewhat stupid because there seems to be a need for the masterplan way, so that I as designer don't cause expensive code rewrites.

Yu-Chung Chen said...

it should read "because there seems to be a need for the masterplan way in a studio environment"

But I guess that's also the reason the industry is stagnating.

Krystian Majewski said...

Yeah, that's one thing. Star Designers always tell you to do iterative design but they rarely address how these iterations feel like when you are doing them. I had a similar experience like you - every time I have to make a major change it seems like I'm a clueless idiot who doesn't have a clue what he is doing. It's frustrating and humiliating.

Illucinated changed a lot. Yes, there is some technology and some philosophy at it's core but developing that already took a lot of time (and a lot of wrong turns). The stuff around it changes a big deal and is still changing now... or rather it wasn't never really developed in the first place.

But that's the advantage you have as an independent designer. In a studio environment you obviously can't afford that... or you would have to develop a workflow that makes this kind of strategy possible.

And it's the right thing to do after all. The hell is always the mid-part where changes have vast consequences and the game still isn't anywhere near finished. Making changes early on is simple. Making changes at the end can be annoying but by then you get a clear idea if they actually improve your game. Luckily, I'm finally arriving at that last phase. I believe a source of your frustration is that you are in the mid-part. Keep at it! You are a smart guy. You figured out worse.

axcho said...

Very intriguing. I'm really looking forward to seeing this game. Just thought I'd say that. :)