Behind every game there is a lot of thought, planning and brainstorming. With a game as big as Imagine Nations, I started to explore our different options, so that when we move onto developing the game proper we will have a much quicker start (and possibly solve a few of our problems and issues early). One of these, absolutely basic things, was how we would address game builds.
See, a lot of emphasis was put on how big and complex the game will be. However, being the scrupulous realist, I knew that the first game build we would release to the public would not be, what I call, the “Space Build”.
Let us look at what the end game is. Space Travel, Cultures/Civilizations spreading over entire solar systems, spaceship battles, and more. All of this sounds dandy, but if we started at the “End” (in other words, wanted to have everything from the beginning) we would dig ourselves a very deep grave, then bury ourselves in it. That is more or less how I imagine the chaos that would appear from such a strategy.
So, what is the strategy then? My answer is mildly simple, we go from the bottom, and move ourselves up.
Initially, at least according to my plan (subject to change) we will tackle world generation. At first, just a single planet, I mean, why make a Solar System if we cannot make a planet? We could call this the “Earth Build”. Parallel to this we should work on a simple crafting and building system, this is because a planet will not just be soil and plants, we will have to work on implementing different types of resources, and since we will try to find out whether they appear correctly we might also develop an early crafting system. This is more or less of what Minecraft was, at it's core. An empty world, and different resources for you to use.
Once World Generation is out of the way we will have to tackle the big one, Cultures. Not only how they are generated, but also how they exist. This puts another serious issue, because a more advanced culture (let us look at our own) has so many different aspects within it that here too we cannot start too late on the timeline. What will we do then? Well... start at the stone age. Cultures will start as small tribes of savages striving to survive. This sounds boring but there is a clear reason for us to take such a small starting step, and this will be explained tomorrow (“Flags”). Since cultures will steadily progress into more modern stages, starting at the stone age gives us room to develop each stage of a culture's evolution from the bottom up.
After all, as you explore space you won't only meet other highly advanced societies. You might find a planet full of people to whom the concept of fire is as alien as quantum physics is to most of us.
Once we have our basic cultures set we will work on the quest system on this small scale. The philosophy is simple, if it works well on a small scale we can then expand it on a much grander scale. Instead of just one culture on a continent we can then work on interactions between cultures. We can work on the AI to make fights and interactions between them more believable... Like I said, a lot of work, so we have to start simple and small and then expand from there.
In these updates I will strive to answer some other questions that might be filling your head. If you would like a specific issue addressed I will strive to tackle it on the next update (a sort of AMA, except not on Reddit). I do not wish to spam you with essays on the game's design either so I will strive to keep them at most a thousand words long each.
In any case, see you all tomorrow!
- Aleksander Bielski aka "WriterX"