At the moment I’m facing what might be the hardest part of game development. I have to make the decision: “The game is finished”. That is with the exception of game breaking bugs that might need fixing later.
This decision is hard, since I at the moment have a quite good and fun game ready, but there is a continuous stream of small changes I could do to make functionality better. None which are really needed for gameplay, but that make the game slightly more enjoyable. It is often really hard to evaluate which of these are important for player, or if it is a strive for perfection that no one will ever notice. Weeding out what is important with a small beta tester staff is hard.
On another front we have decided that the game will be harsh and hard. To use a term often used by Sirlin, it is quite slippery slope. I decided along with my main gameplay tester that it actually does not take that much away from the fun. This was also part of the decision to have an easier difficulty available, which really makes it easy to use the powerful tools you are given. What makes me very happy is that the tools really feel powerful, and can be used for nice tricks that are not all that apparent in the beginning. It is probably the part I’m the most happy with along with orb design.
That’ll be all the game design/development ranting for today