Tradeoffs made while developing a game

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by elmogallen, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. elmogallen

    elmogallen Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2016
    Have you made any major tradeoffs during the development of your game that fundamentally changed the gameplay?

    As the lone developer working on Puzzlewood Quests, I had to make several tradeoffs. My original concept was to have a large open world, in the style of A Link to the Past, except there would be random enemy encounters, ala Pokemon. You’d walk around in the woods and boom, there would be an enemy, and then you’d move into the brain training fight mode, which is the real meat-and-potatoes of the game.

    But… building an entire top-down 2D world and making it compelling to explore every nook and cranny is a big task, when you’re also building multiple mini-games, and there’s just one guy doing everything. So the overworld was the first to go, being replaced with the simple linear progression the game has now. I also flirted with the idea of doing it like the old BBS game, Legend of the Red Dragon, where the Inn is the hub, and you can travel into the woods whenever you like by simply pressing a button, causing a random enemy encounter or event to happen. That may have been fun too, but I felt it was difficult to tell a story that way and difficult for a casual player to understand whether they’re making progress or not. (I’d still like to try it, though, because I loved LORD back in the day.)

    If I had gone with the top down overworld approach, it would have been a fundamentally different game, as there would have been more emphasis on exploring the land, and probably some zelda/metroidvania style finding of items that allow you to access other areas. I don’t know if it would have been better or worse that way as there are already a lot of games like that. The only difference mine would have had is the brain-training games at the heart of the battle system. It would be fun to try, though, and I hope I can do it in a sequel one day.

    I also wanted to add multiplayer, and I had it partially working, but my implementation felt very awkward, so I dropped that as well. I may revisit multiplayer in the near future, though.

    So what tradeoffs have you made in your game that drastically changed the design from what you originally envisioned?

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