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AU: Abandon is almost finished, in this article I comment on some of the things I've learned from the project.

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Welcome
Firstly, welcome and thank you for taking a look at this article! If you're new to this page I'd like to take the opportunity to introduce AU: Abandon to you. Abandon is a space survival video game project that I aimed to complete in a month. It's a little over that target but hey, the AAA industry do that all the time. Read this article to find out more about what I planned for the game.

Almost There
I've nearly completed the content that I initially decided to put into AU: Abandon. The project so far has taken 13 days more than a month which makes it almost a 6 week long project, I estimate that it needs 2 more days of good work before I will be able to upload a playable version.

What To Expect
AU: Abandon feels reasonably polished in many aspects: it has well thought through and working tutorials, user interface, game mechanics, controls, environment, etc. However it also feels unfinished right now as it lacks sound effects or music and the game doesn't draw to a satisfying conclusion or end.

I'm pleased with the content I've created. The dynamically generated star systems all feel very similar which is a bit of a let down but they are interesting to fly around and the ship control mechanics are tricky but not impossible or frustrating to use.

The game now has a survival focused do or die feel to it which is emphasised by the inherent accuracy needed with the ship controls to be efficient. The game features a distinct enemy within it that you can battle against and this makes for tense and unexpected scenes. I'm really pleased with this tone and atmosphere as it actually feels like an improvement upon what I originally designed.

Lessons Learned
I've learned a lot while making AU: Abandon, here are a few of the main things that I've realised:

  • Make gameplay before anything else - gameplay is after all what games are about (with the exception of some newer very story focused games). Don't leave it until the later third of your project timeline to actually introduce gameplay.
  • Decide on a conclusion and make it happen - AU: Abandon would feel a lot better if I had realised some form of conclusion or end goal, this is definitely something I'm going to take with me for future games.
  • Even if you think you cut down your idea to its smallest form, you actually haven't - Before starting Abandon I thought I could have 3 different items in the game and atmospheres around the planets and solar wind channels for you to ride on and the ability to travel to other stars. All of this got cut really fast when I started developing!
Conclusion, For Now
I guess to concluded I'd like to say that AU: Abandon has felt like a successful project for me. It's not been as popular as some of my other games have here on IndieDB but I'm putting that down to many factors such as a lack of downloadable content, a lack of videos, an abundance of good space games in the current indie environment and my slow delivery of actual gameplay content, I'll definitely be taking a slightly different approach with my next 1 month project so that I can get feedback from the IndieDB community early on.

Thanks again for reading and I look forward to uploading a playable version of the game sometime next week!

~Sydan

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