Monday, 30 June 2014

Time Rifters Let's Replay & NPlay Maintenance

Just a quick update....

Besides the Oculus DK2 integration, the last big task that we have on our Time Rifters to do list is the Let's Replay system, which we've begun to implement. We can now record a play through using just 2 clones, as well as the ability to play alongside that recording using the other 2 clones. Our focus is now on the audio recording/playback as well as the Steam Workshop integration.

We've also spent some time recently performing maintenance and increasing performance on our NPlay servers which host our games BeGone and InvinciCarOnline.

~ Jackie

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Time Rifters: Sunk Costs

A recent Freakonomics podcast said "... people fall prey to what economists call sunk costs, once you've invested a lot in something you hang on to it even though it's not worth anything".

With one arena left to design, we decided to make a zombie graveyard. We bought the assets and spent time designing the arena, modifying textures to match our style, adding features like bioluminescent trees and grass, ensuring the gravestones glowed, etc

The Freakonomics podcast summed it up perfectly "... it would have been so easy to say, okay, it's not exactly perfect, let's just keep going".

We found ourselves with a choice to make; do we stick with an okay arena that we've already invested time and money into and try to make it work, or do we scrap it all and start from scratch. We chose to create a brand new, clean and simple arena, that we are excited about.

It's extremely difficult to walk away from something that you've invested time, money and heart into, but in our opinion, this is a skill that is required in order to be successful.

~ Jackie

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Time Rifters: Switching Gameplay Styles

We originally thought that Time Rifters would have a long gameplay style, where the player continuously levels up as they progress through each episode. But the more we worked on the game, the more obvious the limitations became, so we've switched to a short gameplay style.

There are still 3 episodes (each containing 5 arenas) but weapons and upgrades now reset at the end of each episode. Here's why we switched styles:

  • Balanced Progression - instead of trying to make sure the game is easy for new players as well as challenging for experts, we get to focus on balancing each episode (easy, medium and hard)
  • Let's Replays - Let's Replays will be broken out by episode, making it easier to record and providing players with shorter Let's Replays that are easier to consume
  • Leaderboards - each episode, as well as each Let's Replay, will have their own leaderboards, providing lots of opportunities to post high scores
  • Re-Playability - since the episodes are shorter there are more opportunities to try out various weapon and upgrade combinations
~ Jackie