Back to Work

For the past two or so weeks, progress on Laser Bash has been really slow, and that’s been pretty frustrating. It’s mainly due to work and life commitments stacking up in a way that leaves me with very little time to work on the game, but it’s also due to me being at a point at which some important decisions have to be made on what direction I want the game to go in before I go any further.

One of the main issues I’ve been grappling with is whether to support online multiplayer as an option. I know that it would be a really nice addition, and in an ideal world (one where I’m not working on this project on my own and solely in my spare hours) it would be an easy decision. However, in reality it’s a fairly large undertaking that would increase the scope of the game and the amount of work I would need to do to get it to work well. Building online multiplayer into a game is difficult, especially so for someone who hasn’t made an online game before, and for someone using a new and (in some ways) unfamiliar game engine. At this point, I’m not really in favour of increasing the amount of work I have to do, partly due to reasons I’ll mention later. So the approach I’ve taken is to exclude it for now, but to keep it as a possibility for the future. This means that I’ll carry on building the game as local only, but I’ll try to make design choices and assumptions that aren’t totally ruined when it comes to adapting the game to online play, should I choose to do so.

I also have some good news!
A few weeks ago I signed up to the game to be a part of the Nottingham GameCity festival. Recently I received an email back from the organisers to let me know they’ve accepted my application. So I guess this means Laser Bash now has its first public showing! The festival is happening on
October 25th – October 3rd. Unfortunately I won’t be there for all of those days, I’ll be missing the weekdays because of work. But nevertheless, this is pretty exciting for me. I think It’s motivating to have a tangible deadline. The game doesn’t need to be “finished” by this deadline, but it does need to be presentable and have all of the features in a playable (albeit rough) state.

This news was one of the factors in deciding to hold off on an online mode for the game. I would rather the game be in a better state of completion for its first public showing, than have a more rough game with an extra feature which won’t even be touched for the event.

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