Perhaps the biggest change since then is that I've not only started the Spring quarter of my Sophomore year, but am actually taking midterms this coming week. It's kept me plenty busy, but I do have some cool things to show for it. For starters, my Game Dev II class has us making 3D projects in XNA (we don't make a full-fledged game until our final project) which have been pretty cool. Unfortunately, most of projects so far have focused more on art than programming, but I still play around with XNA for extra points :)
Like Game Maker's GML, XNA makes me miss DM. Having to use Reflection to parse a map script and create classes is much more cumbersome than text2path()! I'm not even going to try loading variables from a text file this quarter.
Also, I got to work on a Battleship game in my C++ Data Structures class (all the cool kids are doing it!)
XNA Project 1&2 Screenshots:
So, during my last post I talked about how Breach needed an art overhaul, and how I'd come up with an awesome way to create an intuitive design that would complement the gameplay.
Well, apparently my ideas weren't rooted in the reality of raster graphics, as there simply isn't enough space in my 78x39 tokens to fit three shapes inscribed within one another.
Luckily for you, all my Breach resources are on my other computer, so I won't be posting a screenshot conveying their utter failure.
Anywho, a month later, I had a revelation while taking a dump (amazingly fruitful time to think. Between that and showering, I must solve 90% of my design woes). Taking a cue from one of Breach's inspirations (Rock-Paper-Scissors), I asked myself: "Why shouldn't the tokens communicate their status as symbols? Why are they so arbitrary, so disconnected from reality?"
In Rock-Paper-Scissors, each hand sign is a symbol that communicates its place in the game through the players' innate knowledge of the object it represents. "Rock" beats "Scissors" in the game because [it is believed] a rock would smash a pair of scissors to bits in real life. As my liturgy (LSP) professor would say, there's no "magic" to the symbols; they should mean what they mean in real life.
So, I've been trying to use the rather shallow symbols of "Square", "Circle", and "Triangle". Although with a little imagination and prodding with a sharp stick, they might be able to be seen as the forms of Edged, Blunt, and Pointed weapons; the shapes themselves don't communicate any sort of hierarchical-relationship between them. Because of this, I've been trying to squeeze those relations into the token image, and have failed miserably.
The solution? Well, if you have to ask, you haven't read the last two paragraphs! Clearly, I need to choose a set of three symbols from the real world that players already know and understand the relationships of. This is a little more complicated for Breach, because the combat system is effectively Rock-Paper-Scissors played with two hands: there is both a defensive and offensive attribute.
While I will still likely need at least two symbols to communicate a token's full status, if I can drop the third by relying on implicit knowledge of the players I'll be able to make a feasible token image set.
The current attributes are: (Arrow points towards the attribute with the advantage)
I'll most likely end up using the basic elements:
But there are two things I don't like about this set:
1) The neutral sets aren't as "neutral" as I would like them. It is generally perceived that wood is resistant to electricity, and metal is weak against water. Although these relations may be as perfect as I'll get.
2) It would require a complete theme overhaul. The title "Breach" makes more sense in an infantry context than in what I guess would be two wizards/shamans dueling with talismans/totems. Then again, perhaps a fantasy theme would be more appealing to a wider audience.
Anywho, that's that. I've got more to write about, like my lamentations about which old project to dust off for the Get Something Done event, but I'll spare you.
For reading this far, here's a video I found amusing: