Super Glyph Quest Dev Diary 07

In which productivity takes a hit thanks to Pikmin 3* and the World Cup**.

Money

As well as being on my mind, it's also almost always too tight to mention. For the last few weeks, I've been steadfastly not looking at my bank account. My head was firmly in the sand and I didn't want to see how long we had left. The other day, I finally plucked up the courage to take a peek an it wasn't as bad as I thought it was. Still pretty tight, but we've got a couple of months I reckon.

That is, of course, unless the Asian version goes crazy and makes us a stack of cash, in which case we can take our sweet time over this.

The Asian version ditches our 'shareware' model and goes for something a bit more F2P-ish. Also, in game ads which you can disable by purchasing one of the gold bundles. With that in mind, it's very interesting keeping an eye on Apple's current thoughts about making money on iOS. It feels like they're finally fed up with the swathes of cheap, knock-off, exploitative F2P crap that's out there and beginning a push back towards premium.

Okay, that paints a somewhat saintly slant on the situation. One of the main features that is now coming under scrutiny is the incentivised advert. That's something that the player can elect to watch in exchange for currency. As far as F2P goes, I quite like those things. The fact that they're entirely opt-in rather than rammed down your throat is pretty cool. In fact, I've taken advantage of that feature in games like Pocket Mine on a number of occasions. Apple would much rather that people bought in to the iAd system, as that's the one they make money from.

A lot of this is done under the guise of not confusing or unduly influencing the App Store - buying favourable reviews or otherwise trying to prevent people posting negative ones. An admirable intention, I'm sure you'll agree.

The thing that I like about this whole thing though is that even some of the heavy hitters might well have to re-think their approach and there may well be some space opening up at the top of the charts for something else to break through. Wouldn't that be exciting?

Project Management


There's a space above the fireplace in our living room that would normally be filled with a mirror or a picture or something. Whilst both of those would be nice, we're thinking more along the lines of getting a whiteboard instead. We would use it for task lists and stuff. In the meantime, we've also gone a bit old school.

Post It Notes.

With these Post It notes, we can take over the world!
We've begun laying out the story and game progression in Post It Note form. Each note corresponds to either a location, character, quest or conversation and is linked by a series of arrows that shows us the various dependancies. Normally, I'd use either a spreadsheet (but that's not so good for tech trees) or Visio (but I don't have a PC anymore) but this time it's back to Post Its. I had a brief look in town to see if I could find a nice big piece of foam board or mounting card or something, but to no avail. Then I remembered that I hadn't taken the box that the baby's crib came in to the dump, so I've cut the top off that and it's now our project board.

Now many evenings are spent poring over the board, occasionally re-positioning a Post It because we've had a better idea of where it should appear in the sequence or because it has just fallen on the floor.

Willow seems to like the bright colours too.

Update:

The cardboard sucks. The Post Its keep falling off. I think we're going to resort to the wall*** instead.

Quest Arcs


There's a main storyline running through the game, but there are also plenty of little side quests for the player to explore. With all of the various dependancies, it's quite easy for the distinction between Main and Side getting blurred on occasion. The board can occasionally resemble some kind of crazy maze with little arrows going everywhere to indicate things that get unlocked in a particular order. I can envisage a major re-organisation pretty soon.

But those things are fun anyway, so I'm not particularly bothered about that.

I might be getting a little bothered about the amount of story we're going to need to write for the game. Each encounter in the game can have a conversation and quest associated with it. The quests themselves can also have two conversations - one at the start and one at the end. As you'd imagine, this little lot adds up pretty quickly. Of course, it's not the case that every encounter needs all of the things, but we've certainly got a whole heap more text than we had for the first game.

There's a bit of a concern that we're drifting away from the drop-in and play, mechanic-driven gameplay of the first and getting a bit bogged down with content. But the gameplay remains the same as it was - plus tweaks to fix the issues that cropped up in the first one - so it should still be great fun. This time though you might care a bit more about the world in which everything is taking place. Get a bit more invested. That sort of thing.

In Other News

"Which began Glyph Quest - The Wizard"**** gets its Asian release this Thursday. We are all very excited by this.

* Which I have now finished, but subsequently found the leaderboards and score attack modes.
** Which has made me dislike Suarez even more.
*** You know nothing Jon Snow.
**** Google translate is a wonderful thing.

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