H’oh m’GAAD after no fewer than three other devlog posts saying we were going to talk about world building, today we actually talked about WORLDBUILDING!
So we took a break of about a week as other job obligations/projects/clients/etc. reared their head(s), and we returned… Well. Not refreshed, per se, but certainly returned. We returned presently. Anyway.
We came back this week having tracked down a good number of resources for learning the ins and outs of Roblox as a platform (it reminds me of a combination between the Warcraft 3 scenario editor and the auto-cad program I used in high school engineering class.) Likewise, Anne built out a solid foundation of our first map! There’s still a lot to be done, but it feels awesome to have a thing to point to to say “hey look, a thing!”
You know what I mean? A thing.
But the bulk of our meeting today was to go over the world-building, and the broader story context of the gameplay. Since it’s going to be a PvP, match-based game, the world building wouldn’t seem like it was particularly important, but I’ve always found that a game feels better if the details of the world are fleshed out, even if you don’t go hunting for them. Building internal logic, creating a context for player interactions (and the wider events of the game) and making sure that the world is consistent– all of that really pays off, whether you’re consciously aware of it or not. Even if you’re not here for the story, world-building helps establish and inform a whole host of other design decisions that give a game its distinct style.
The original idea was Blake and Anne’s– they had the notion of two scavenging species of pest animals fighting over the ruins of a long-vanished Humanity. So that was where we started with the design of the game. But beyond that, I want to make sure that there’s a cohesive internal world that could flavor the design choices we make (whether or not we decide to highlight them.) So today, we spent a good chunk of time getting down the things they’d already established about the world (some notion of the religion of the crows and rats, how long ago Humans vanished, stuff like that.)
Next, my goal is to flesh out the premise and nail down specifics of what each faction is, in a broader sense. What they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and who they are. I could go into the socio-political class-structure divisions in post apocalyptic rat populations, but I’ll spare you the details– the important part is that the factions (and the world) have a distinct character, flavor, and aesthetic. Which comes from world-building.
And this? Oho, boy. This is what I do.
Time to come up with some social structures for rodents *cracks knuckles in a business-like fashion*