Dev Blog - Last Pre-Alpha Build

Posted on January 21, 2017

calltheblacksmith, devlog

Background

This is the first development log for ‘Call the Blacksmith’, there are few earlier ones available on my own personal site if you want some background.

By the time Christmas came around I felt I was almost at a point where I could release the game into alpha, after some extended play testing (which I aim to do fortnightly), I decided to push it back a little.

Crafting wasn’t fun

The first game mechanic I worked on was the crafting system. You add the ingots from your inventory in order to fulfil the recipe, hit ‘Craft’ and depending on some factors including difficulty and your energy, it would either succeed or fail. Having played the game daily for the last 6 months, this has started to feel tedious. The game is based around crafting, being a blacksmith and making things to fulfil order and potentially sell. I wanted to better represent that process and introduce some mini-games that progress all the way from ore to the final product.

Crafting

These games can be played independently, smelting ore into ingots during some down time, for example. Failure results in the ore being lost and success means a shiny ingot for you to use on products. This also opens the door for achieving more legendary status when crafting. The better you do at the mini-games, the better the ingot and the better the final product. All these factors will result in a score for the finished product, do well and your reputation will spread. If you don’t do so well, customers maybe returning the item to be fixed or perhaps get a refund.

It’s quite a large overhaul of one of the core mechanisms, but I’m confident it is the right move to make. It will delay the first alpha, but hopefully it will be worth the wait.

Core loop is in

This month has seen the completion of the core game loop. You can now play the game almost indefinitely. Customers will continue to order items and assuming you buy food and inventory, you can fulfil those and start building your reputation and wealth.

The game is lacking an end point, and currently I’m not sure what that is or whether that is actually down to the player to decide.

EGX Rezzed 2017

We are pleased to announce that this year we will be debuting the game at EGX Rezzed 2017. This certainly gives me a deadline for getting the game as close to beta as possible. That means that the game is feature complete and only requiring polish to finish it. It’s quite ambitious, but this certainly gives me the motivation to make that happen. I’m already feeling the pressure! There is a lot to do just in terms of of preparation including artwork, logos and videos.

GDC 2017

I am flying out to San Francisco at the end of the February to attend this years GDC (games developer conference). I am not showcasing the game, but certainly looking forward to connecting with other developers and attending some of the talks. If you’re going to be there, give me a shout and lets grab a coffee!