Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Infiltrator Part 25: Direction

So a little while back I mentioned that Infiltrator had almost enough gameplay and mechanics to form the base of a real game rather than a profitless unending project for fun. Upon reflection, I think if I change the direction this game was originally going I can finish this sucker at some point and have a mildly playable game in my portfolio. I don't know if any of you have know, but neither of the two games I've finished are really that great, much less an accurate representation of my current skill as both are more than two years old.

So if a finished game is my goal, what changes should be made to Infiltrator's core design to make that real? First off, much as I hate to, I'm turning it into more of an action game. I know that all I've really worked on so far are action game mechanics, but that really wasn't what I originally had in mind. There will  be no conversations, no inventory, no economy, and no wing mates even though I originally hoped to add such things if the project didn't die. I'll be focusing less on tactics and strategy and going for a game more about quick reflexes and skilled dog-fighting.

As an indie game designer/developer who stands on the roof yelling about how games are art, it seems a bit of a cop out to write an action game light in the story department, but it's better than no game at all. At this point, it has occurred to me that after pouring years into a project, it helps the healing process to at some point see it complete. I'm getting a bit tired of this project as well, which will not help me do a better job with it. For any project, there comes a time when you must decide its destiny. You usually must realize that the project won't turn out exactly the way you wanted, and that's fine. The focus of the project has become to create a finished, playable, and entertaining game with marginal complexity.

So what will Infiltrator be like? It will have comm chatter and quick 2D cutscenes to bring the plot forward, and the gameplay will be the same top view action gameplay I've been working on. The flying saw doesn't really work within the game's mechanics, so it will be replaced with a limited ammo flying saw swarm weapon with a homing feature. There will be colored keys and doors, as well as levels that take place in varied environments, although the type of environment will not effect the gameplay. Yes, this is a very simple game, but I am one person who has spent multiple years redesigning this project again and again, dragging it around as an avenue for fun and learning. At this point, this one person wants a simple, achievable design.


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