So I'm making a Role Playing Game... - Update 2

I’m a week into creating my RPG. I’ve made some decisions, and already learned several things. First, I thought I’d share my codename for this project; to hopefully make it a little more unique than simply referring to it as “my RPG.” The project’s codename is “Eskape_” ; whether or not that will be the game’s final name, of course, remains to be seen.

Next, here’s a few decisions I’ve made: the game’s prototype will be created in the Unity 3D game engine. Notice I said ‘prototype’; as I’m not necessarily committing to creating the final game entirely in Unity, though as I learn more about the engine it is probably quite likely this will be the case.

I choose Unity for a few reasons; first, I have a passing familiarity with version 2 and 3 of the engine through its use at my alma mater; second, it runs on my Retina MacBook Pro, which is currently the most advanced computer I own; third, it allows for scripting in C#, which I have experience with from programming for Windows Phone 7, as well as using XNA.

The next decision I’ve made is also a realization I’ve had; as I’m (currently) developing “Eskape_” as a one-man project, I won’t be able to do everything all at once. The project requires both consistent pacing, and a commitment that each time I sit down to work on something related to the game, that I make measurable progress.

This week, my progress came in writing down more of my ideas about how I want combat to work, including my decision to go with a combat system that allows for movement in full 3D. I also sketched out the User Interface (UI) for combat in Adobe Illustrator, and began to implement this UI in Unity. The UI contains several camera views, in a mix of perspective and orthographic. I also began work on creating a custom script for controlling the camera in perspective view.

I am excited about the progress I’ve made in just a single week, and with Unity I feel that I am making progress faster than I would otherwise. This feeling comes on the heels of another big decision I made this week, which is to prototype the game as I’m designing it. By this I mean that as I’m writing down new ideas in a Game Design Document, I’m working on implementing ones I’ve already committed to the Document.

Working this way has already made an impact on the game, as I was able to see that my initial idea of limiting Player Character (PC) movement to two-dimensions did not mesh with the game’s setting, or the overall feel I want to create for the combat system. And that made me adjust the game’s combat design to incorporate PC movement in three-dimensions. That change also informed my design of the combat UI; so you can see, everything is tied together and flows one unto the next. If I hadn’t started prototyping this early, I may not have realized the issue with limiting PC movement until the game was at a point where it would have been much more time-consuming, and possibly even costly, to make such a drastic change. I plan on keeping up this working style, as it has already proved quite beneficial.

Keep looking for weekly updates as I continue to design and prototype “Eskape_”! Thanks for reading.

Jonathan DaleyEskape, project