Here is a devblog where I post updates of progress of my newest game, tentatively called Shopkeeper somethingsomething. The main idea of writing this is to keep my thoughts on track and document my progress with the game. Perhaps even some of you can pickup something useful for your own projects from my ramblings, feel free to ask! :)
The game in question is the newest prototype I've been playing around with, and is at the moment some kind of management/simulation game. At the time of writing this, it has been in development for total of 3 days.
The goal of the game is to earn money and expand your business, unlocking new items for production. You do this by creating items, which are then sold in a shop. Luring in customers, proper advertising, fast and cost efficient production and satisfying customer needs would be the main tasks in the game.
Inspirations in no particular order: Prison Architect, Recettear, my boardgame example
And mandatory screenshot:
<img src="https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19921470/shopkeeper_1.PNG" border="0">
Screenshot of gameplay as it is at the moment. I am in middle of creating prototype art assets so there are lots of placeholders.
The beginning of the development
The game started from the example that I created as answer for 'How do I?' forum question, which is linked above. I wanted to do something with simple turnbased boardgame engine, something that would be rather quick to finish. But as usual things pretty soon got out from hand...
About 3 hours later I was staring at a game where you realtime management game where you managed an office of workers; you had to keep them fed so they worked and produced money for you. You also had line of workers waiting outside your door, waiting to get hired. At 17.00 everyone went home, and came back at 8.00. It was pretty quick to do with pathfinding taking care of most of the heavy lifting, and simple logic handling the workers.
I kind of tinkered with that, added zooming, panning and some other basic stuff like that. When I went to sleep that night though, I started thinking that game really needed something extra, something to make it more fun to play. Ultimately I started thinking about adding production element to the game, where you had to manage production of your products as well. At some point I got bored of the whole office theme too.
Saturday morning I had quite clear image of what I wanted: A game where you'd handle a smithy, where a smith or two forged all kinds of stuff and sold it in a shop. It would be kind of lighthearted setting where game had lots of interacting mechanisms that player doesn't have much control over. I love creating AI based games and this was right up my alley.
I started tinkering with my office game prototype, and quite soon I had the basic elements in place: I had smithy that produced items, I had shop section that sold them and I had customers that bought them. It was great seeing it come alive; smith hammering away on new items, customers coming and going, sometimes even leaving some money behind.
Come sunday, I started tinkering with visual side of things; adding some more varied behavior for customers, creating new visual assets and generally adding small things that make the whole thing a lot more enjoyable. So this is where I am at the moment, I'll post updates as progress is made with the project! :)