Pagodas! Pagahdas! Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off!

In my continuing sub-career as a game designer of no repute, I’ve been working on “procedural pagodas” for my fledgling game GuruQuest. Much as I enjoyed having the titular guru just kind of sitting on a hill (or in a valley, or wherever), it didn’t have a lot of pop, so I decided he needed to be sitting in a stylish pagoda – and now he does, as per the screenshot.

Still, this obsessive fiddling with the aesthetics of the game is only going to take me so far. And it may have taken me a little too far away from ever actually finishing what the game is meant to be. As it stands, the game is mechanically very similar to super early prototypes – you can walk along its infinite landscape, find the guru (in his pagoda!) and talk to him.

There are numerous things I need to do far more than whatever the latest “pagoda idea” will be. I need to make the guru’s script quite a bit stronger (though it’s currently pretty nice). I need to create some kind of “spatial narrative” for the world – specifically, I want to have the player “leave home” at the beginning, walk to find the guru, and then return home, satisfied or not.

Further along, I want to implement the idea of a “guru battle” which would allow the player to take the place of the guru by “out-guruing” him (or her). That will actually be comparatively easy to implement, but possibly very hard for the player to achieve, so will have to look at how to tune it down a bit.

The main thing, though, is to choose some sort of end state. This project wasn’t meant to take a lot of time, and there are numerous other ideas I want to get a chance to play around with. Even in the throes of poor project management, though, I find it kind of fun to be in the throes of poor project management for a game. It’s novel and oddly pleasant. Still, I’ll make a list of required features and work on implementing them and releasing the game into the tiny wild of people I know.

Like you.


24 March 2011
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