So as I’m nearing a pre-Alpha Alpha version of the game engine to send to friends, I sit back and continue to ponder my vision for this game. Just what do I want the end product to look like?
Although this game has been in the works for a while, the media used for the game is quite crude. While I can make passable models in 3D and have an eye for keeping the polygon count low, I find the texturing portion of the model to be quite difficult.
My initial idea is to make the game as functional and as fun as possible. This is, after all, Funcy Games. I will try to make the game decent looking enough, but it is not one of my main goals. Hopefully the fun and creative factor of it all will allow people to begin caring about it enough that they want to make a difference.
There are many talented people out there, and some of them may take a liking to Marble Maze and decide to offer their talent toward improving the project. In freeware or open source programs this occurs regularly — but I have lingering doubts this can work for a product that is sold. There is a feeling of entitlement when you pay for something, and why should you help someone you just gave money to?
Much of the media I use (textures and other images) will not be packed into an encrypted file. They will be there as regular files for people to tweak and modify to their desire. In a future post I will go over the idea of “Level Themes” and how it is a simple way for users to modify how a level looks.
Many indie games thrive on fostering a community. The greater the transparency between the developer and fans of the game, the stronger the interest in such a game. It is my hope that a community will develop around Marble Maze Construction Set both during its Beta stage but especially after its release. There could be forums (new widget ideas from users, painting levels, etc.), online catalog of user made levels with a rating system, perhaps even a wiki containing level-making tips. There are many ways a game like Marble Maze would benefit from a community. The most obvious way is by user designed levels being shared. A marble game with 50 levels has a decent amount of entertainment. How much entertainment would a marble game with an infinite number of levels offer? 🙂
If you build it they will (hopefully) come.