Stonewood Games, in its current form, is disbanding. It’s not quite as dramatic as it sounds. This team of really brilliant creators that I was lucky enough to get together just hasn’t really accomplished much, so I’ve decided to hit the reset button. Despite the lack of output, however, it’s been great. I was able to bounce my ideas off some really cool people and perhaps even gained a notch of experience in team leadership.
Writing an honest, consistent devlog is an extremely important part of indie game development that no developer should forego and I’ll tell you why.
Your devlog is a record that allows you to look back and see how far you’ve come, or to look back (and laugh) at your mistakes so you can avoid repeating them. Additionally, the simple act of writing ideas down can often help highlight their potential or lack thereof.
Another simple, but powerful way your devlog helps you succeed is by keeping you accountable. Knowing that you need to have something to talk about every week or two can really motivate you and your team to stay on task. It also looks good to potential players/funders who can see exactly how consistently you’ve been progressing.
Speaking of potential players…
Almost everything in Elle, including player experience and damage types, is separated into six different elements: Stone, Wind, Cold, Fire, Thunder and Mind. With the appropriate elemental experience, Elle can craft multi-piece arrows with various elemental damage effects. This meant I needed to find a fun way for the player to access all of these effects that doesn’t confuse or overwhelm them.
My original idea was to limit the combinations the player could use and hard-code each resulting arrow effect. Essentially these would be effect recipes as opposed to arrow recipes. You would choose the effect you wanted, and if you had the required materials you would just plug them in. While this allows for quite a bit of control from a design perspective, it doesn’t have many reusable parts, which can be limiting, and more importantly, it’s likely to get stale quickly for most players.