Tuesday, July 8, 2008

NextWar Progress

After a month-long hiatus from development to focus on exams, I got right back into it a couple of weeks ago. Since the beginning of the holidays, I've been working practically exclusively on NextWar, and great changes have come about.

I had a mid-project change of heart and decided to rethink my concepts for NextWar. After losing a month of development time to school, it was unlikely that I would be able to complete my ambitious plans for NextWar. So I made the decision to reduce the size and scope of the project.

NextWar is no longer an RTS. It will still incorporate a few concepts due to its RTS-based beginnings, but it has switched genres entirely. I'd always been a fan of small time-waster flash games, and one of my favourites was inevitably the Tower Defense genre. I still remember playing the old TD secret mission in Warcraft III - and how much fun it was. And I remember wasting time playing Flash Element TD at 1AM when I should have been doing my school work due the next day. So, at the beginning of the holidays, I made the decision to turn NextWar into a Tower Defense game.

I was at an odd crossroads. A few weeks ago, I had the framework for a game, including a fully-fledged renderer, GUI systems, sound, XML, etc. And very little code was specific to an RTS. So in the end, I never threw away very much code. There's still a lot of old bits and pieces of legacy and deprecated code throughout my codebase, but little effort overall has been wasted.

But the simplicity of a tower defense game in comparison to a fully-fledged RTS has allowed me to fast-track development of the game. NextWar's development cycle is now drawing to a close, as the game's core code is effectively finished after only 2 weeks of development. Now I enter the heady realm of final content creation, testing, evaluation, and bug-fixing.