I just want to quickly explain our approach in these early game design phases. Someone rightly noted that we should not overextend ourselves, that we should not aim to do everything. I completely agree. As far as I am concerned the approach to defining the scope of the game consists of three fundamental steps.
Firstly, determine the kind of game you want to develop. We already know what we want here, as it will be the same kind of game in the same setting as the orignal Call of Combat. So basically we will be developing a multiplayer game centred around squad-based infantry combat during the Second World War.
Secondly, we identify all possible game elements that a relevant to the core game. So when you think of infantry combat in a WW2 setting, what comes to mind? Obviously we can build on what we had in Call of Combat in this step. But we also want to broaden our horizons here, go beyond what we already had. Identifying the terrain and map elements as Erik was talking about is a part of that. The image at the bottom of this post is another such example of brainstorming on what could be added as it details some of the game components. Keep in mind it is just an early draft, but you can see there are many things on there that are new and were not in the previous game.
But the third step is actually most important. Thinking of new game elements is easy, what matters most is choosing what to implement! As Martin (our game designer) made very clear, you need to be able to 'kill your darlings'. You need to be able to scrap ideas if:
- They do not make the game more fun to play. Simply making the game more complex will not mean it will be more enjoyable to play!
- They are too hard to implement or balance properly. You could have a brilliant idea, but if it takes a year to implement and test it might not be worth it!
As part of this step we will need to decide whether we want to completely scrap an idea or simply plan it for release at a later stage. These are the steps we are going through now. So we are coming up with ideas and we really want to hear yours as well, but rest assured, we will at a later stage be scrapping them if we don't believe they add to the game or are simply too difficult to implement! In the end what matters is the core game play and not all the bells and whistles!