May 19, 2010

Freedom at last

Aurora was originally inspired by Dyson (now Eufloria), but I wanted to make a game in which the player didn't feel constrained to narrow paths and specified points of conflict. Unfortunately, defined paths are a pretty key part of terrain (and, therefore, strategy). I tried to compromise by offering free movement within a certain radius of any player-owned base, but set out the bases such that progression through a level had to follow certain paths.

I recently submitted Aurora to for comments. The responses I got ranged from utterly unimpressed to highly supportive. More importantly, there were a lot of good suggestions, one of which was to remove the radius movement limitation. After some experimentation, it's become clear that tethering players to their bases is really unnecessary. The gameplay and AI are advanced enough that skipping over bases during an attack is no longer game-breaking, but instead just an interesting gambit.

So, by commenting out a bunch of code (and improving performance as a bonus), the game actually becomes more fun and closer to the original vision! How often does it all come together like that?

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