Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Neverending Valley Story #4

I'm having a problem with the design of this game. This was supposed to follow quite closely how "Game Dev Story" works, but instead of depicting life in a game company, it is supposed to be about life in a web startup. Well, there's one thing about startups that really isn't suitable for this game: the fact that there is only one product!

The fun part of Game Dev Story is the cycle of developing products. Initially you are excited to see how many points the product gets for different attributes. Then you watch the developers churn away, adding attributes to the product, here especially exciting is when one of them gets into the zone and adds a ton of points to some attribute (or a ton of bugs). Then you get to launch the product and can excitedly anticipate what kind of scores it will get from reviewers and how well it will sell.

Apart from the zone, none of these best parts of Game Dev Story can apply to Valley Story, because there is only one product! There is no product cycle. A startup is about working on one product, that seems to be difficult to change, and if I did change that then this would no longer really be about startups and would be a much more direct clone of Game Dev Story, not what I really want. But not having that makes this significantly more boring to play. Auugh!

There need to be exciting points to this game. Now it's about just looking at the screen while the usercount and money gradually increase. No exciting points at all. Bleh. There is nothing here that would make the player think "wow I wish I had enough Y to reach X".

Now I must depart from looking at Game Dev Story, because none of it applies to this game any more. The only part that ends up being the same is just the visual look.