SCAVENGERS Indefinite Delay (And Subsequent Post-Mortem)

AND LO, it has come to pass.

Sadly, and with many lamentations, it looks like the time has come to draw the final curtain over our first attempt at putting together SCAVENGERS. In a turbulent year, we did what we could! But life, as it so often does, happened to happen. One third of our dev team is applying to doctorate programs, and the second third is recording a studio album (if you like kick-ass indie/americana, you should check out the band Foxfeather!) Both of them are kicking ass, and we’re all excited for what comes next!

But of course, I never like leaving anything without having something to show for it. So, where did we leave it, and what did we learn?

It feels like the project left off at a very specific tipping point. We managed to complete a full level map (artistic flourishes notwithstanding) and a good couple of assets. We worked a lot on concept and design, with some excellent work on world-building, including building a design bible that we can use for other potential projects in this universe. Lots of good work on conceptual and practical details, from color pallettes to design elements, to rat and crow societies in the post-human future. We also developed a really solid gameplay loop that we were really excited about, that had some solid potential for fun scaling and some crazy, frantic gameplay– to that end, we did some physical prototyping to get a general idea of how it would feel to play the game, and to figure out some broad issues we’d need to address when we implemented.

And that’s where we left it. C’est la vie! So, what did we learn?

For one, this was a great first shot at trying to collaborate on the development of a video game. After doing mostly solo projects, I got a good, practical understanding of what working with a team feels like, what issues come up, and a good spread of different methods of workflow and coordination. 

I also learned where the gaps in my experience and knowledge were most significant. That’s a big one– over the course of this project, I learned a great deal about my strengths and weaknesses when it comes to development. For one, I don’t know nearly as much as I would like to about coding. One of the best things to come from this project, was a number of good directions for where and how to develop that skillset; what the most relevant languages are, and how I can grow past my current “I can do RenPy” skill level. Unity, obviously, seems to be a great thing to familiarize myself with.

The biggest thing that I came away with, though, is a better understanding of time and effort investment. Building a practical understanding of how and where to invest work for a productive return made a huge amount of difference in this project, and it’s probably one of the biggest things I’m going to carry forwards into what comes next.

Speaking of what comes next, I’m working on another game, on top of the table-top stuff that I’m working on! Details are going to be forthcoming (another devlog is probably in order) but I’m excited to be delving once again into RenPy! It’s going to be a murder mystery. BUCKLE IN.

Published by itstheinstitute

Table-Top RPG designer, freelance writer

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