Hello, readers and visitors!
Another Thursday and here I am, writing yet again! Today I would like to talk about the development of MEGATROID, which began almost a year ago, here at Triolith Entertainment.
MEGATROID was under the codename “Proceduraal” for a very long time; a nod to its procedural generation of stages. In the beginning it was all there was to it: our programmer showed up one day with a game where you played a rainbow wearing a fedora. You wrote a text and played a platforming stage. There were turrets, I think, which killed you instantly.
So far, there wasn’t much of a game component, but the idea was interesting enough and had tremendous potential, so we started to further the game’s design in-between the finishing of our second game Wisp.
We thought we could finish the game quickly but we didn’t have much artist capacity at the time. We tried to go for a paper-cutout style, in which I took the responsibility of producing the graphics of the player and enemies. It was tedious and didn’t work too well. It also looked horrible (go figure).
During the late summer of 2011, we started to work full-time on “Proceduraal”. Wisp: Eira’s Tale had been released on iOS so we now had full artist capacity. We had a brainstorming session where we discussed the different art styles we could go for.
We settled for a cross-over between Portal and Mirror’s Edge, with extensive use of white, clean colors. Red would be the universal color of danger.
It was during this time (mid-fall 2011) that “Proceduraal” was starting to shift from a straight up Premium game to a Free to Play one. Its grand vision had also changed. “Proceduraal”, now renamed to MEGATROID, was not simply a three month production anymore. However, it would us about half a year to actually realize this fact. So, we kept “pushing the release forward” in order to implement all those things we estimated that we had to get into the game in order to make it successful. I can’t really say it’s a development method I can recommend, but I stand firm in my belief that every change, overhaul and addition to the game has been out of necessity. The game has gotten better every time. More solid, more vibrant. The last thing on our mind since development began was to make a mediocre game.
Since Unity3D can export games to be played in a web browser, we saw the opportunity to hold a public beta test in order to verify the gameplay in as smooth a manner as possible. We’ve held to such open beta’s and they have proved very educational to us. It’s amazing how much you can learn about your own product through the eyes of others.
The last beta test pretty much sealed the deal for MEGATROID. Its grand vision is now something that we have full scope on, we know what we have to do in order to make it a pleasurable experience throughout.
That’s not to say we haven’t grown weary over the year. We aren’t exactly millionaires; every penny counts. Some days are harder than others, particularly those where you find yourself not seeing any visible progress whatsoever with the game (which happens a lot when systems are being programmed and no new graphics are being implemented. It’s easy to trick yourself into believing the project is at a standstill when in fact it’s the exact opposite).
We keep going, however, with the support of our families and friends and each other. We are a determined team, and we have a heck of a fun time developing our games. MEGATROID is no exception; it’s the greatest and proudest product any of us has ever created. We are determined to see it through, to bring you the game we’ve made.
It’s going to be awesome. It’s going to be epic. It’s going to be FUN.
Catch you next week.
PS. Looks like Rovio squeezed out another Angry Birds game, Angry Birds Space. While I do think that they are solid games, I am wondering more and more what other things they can do, or if they even can?