It’s time to publicly announce my new work-in-progress, a video game about being the Editor in Chief of a small but highly ambitious newspaper. Start out as a small, failing rag, and build a media power house!
The gameplay is about growing a staff of great reporters (keeping them happy and matching them with the right stories), shaping the paper and growing those subscriber numbers, while working under a mysterious Owner and the whims of the Advertisers.
There are many elements to such a game, and it will take me a while to finish this – the very early screenshot shown with this post looks nothing like the final game, I can promise that much. There is no release date yet, however, I am sharing the journey so if you want to see what’s up, you can!
For sharing, I am using the blog and social media, as well as uploading devlog videos to YouTube.
Subscribe to the channel to get notified about new uploads. I’ve got a pretty good plan for where I want to go, treating the project as I would any project I’d work on in my day job.
Even though I am only one person at this point, I am setting everything up in @Jira and @Confluence right off the bat, and treating it as if I were working with a team. No doubt, I'll have to bring more people on at some point.
This is a game idea I have been mulling over for years, even before I started Torgar’s Quest, and I am happy to now be working on it. Back then, I knew my skills were not ready to take on a challenge of this complexity, but now it feels like all my prototypes and experiments were warm-up for this. Always aim for bigger, better projects!
I like to set challenges for myself. Self-imposed, often timed challenges is a great way to learn new things, or experiment with different ideas. I find that it’s a great way to learn new concepts or test theories you might have; set yourself a challenge, and try to overcome it.
So, on a lazy Sunday, instead of playing video games, I challenged myself to make a platform game myself. Right away, I knew I wanted it to have an infinite number of procedurally generated levels, so you could never run out of new challenges. To make it more difficult for myself, I was not allowed to use any third party artwork or sound, everything had to be made for this challenge (no using scraps from the personal archives), and to top it off, I only allowed myself one day to complete it.That was pretty much my entire Sunday, but worth every second of it.
The screenshot is from the resulting game – Procformer Infinite – which you can play yourself, right here!
Challenge completed. Next! Perhaps improving or expanding the game with more features and obstacles? You never know what might happen on any given Sunday.
In the Grim Games series, I recommend titles that are fun and a little darker than your average video game. These somewhat sinister games add another dimension to playing, exposing you to moral conundrums, even straight up evil. This third post focuses on…
Plague, Inc. is probably one of the darkest games, I have ever played. The objective: destroy mankind by infecting it with some deadly disease. It’s all in good fun, of course, but it also shows how weak we really are, us humans. The right combination of factors, and boom! – we’re dead. The trick to destroying humanity, is to sneak in under the radar, becoming highly infectious without causing too much harm. Then, at the last minute, crank up the deadliness and watch humanity crumble.
Each type of threat has its own additional strengths and challenges, but the general rule still applies: the longer you can go undetected, the easier your end game will be. You have to maintain a balance, so you don’t become too deadly, too soon, killing off the infected people before they have a chance to infect others. And if you take too long, humanity will work together to find a cure, and you won’t get to watch everyone die at all.
It’s fun to play around with different combinations of symptoms and transmission combinations, and if you need even more challenge, it also comes with specific scenarios to try out (want to play as the black plague? Here’s your chance!) and experiment with.
Plague, Inc. immediately drew me in with its fast pace and sheer fun. I like destroying the world, it turns out. At least in a video game. It’s the go to game on my tablet, when I have about 20-30 minutes to kill.