Simplifying Development


As a lone wolf programmer, database engineer, game system designer, graphics artist, modeler, animator, AI designer, level builder, tester, musician, marketer, financier, business manager, and literally wearer-of-all-hats, it’s more than just important to keep things as simple as possible. It’s CRITICAL. And this applies to every aspect of every project, because it’s the devil that’s always in the details. One seemingly small thing that you underestimate turns into days or weeks of work at a time when you don’t have any time. Or you dig deep into something, and you slowly realize that you misunderstood some basic assumption that causes your entire dev plan to fall down, and all the scaffolding that you’d built will now have to be re-imagined, and then rebuilt. Again. This can be truly demotivating if you don’t keep everything in its proper perspective. An extraordinarily difficult task!

Welcome To My World

Looking back at years of (admittedly sporadic) blog posts about the latest “up and coming” projects (which later got shelved), it’s hard not to get discouraged. But each of these “shelved” projects were learning experiences, providing an ever-evolving understanding of “what it takes to make a great video game”. In addition, these “failures” contributed game assets that are reusable as prototypes in future game projects. This includes code classes (home made as well as third-party packages), collected fonts and textures, UI standards, model packs, and general ways-of-doing-things that are now more well-considered. And, perhaps, closer to the magic formula that will allow me to make and release a truly worthy video game that will be loved by thousands of people that I don’t know.

The Latest Thing

For the last several months, I’ve been working on just such a “latest incarnation” of the Arcanoria storyline, with a working title “Arcanoria: Souls of Magic“. As the name might suggest, this is a “Souls like game” ( It will be difficult to master, by design. Players will die often. But the hope is that this will make the game all the more rewarding once conquered.

But the really important thing here, as far as this blog post is concerned, is that this game is significantly simpler than our previous project (Arcanoria Revelations), from a development perspective. Early release versions of the game will have no multiplayer at all, and a relatively small game world. The game will focus on physics-based melee combat, using a game controller, and with extremely limited player commands. There won’t be a lot of spells or ranged combat (although there will be some). Games are saved locally, but only one save per character. There won’t be many NPCs, and they won’t have much dialogue. There won’t be many side quests. Mostly, the game will be about beating each level, including the level boss, and making it to the next save point. Simple.

There is much more to tell about Arcanoria: Souls of Magic, but that will be conveyed in future blog posts.

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