Project Nether devlog. Intro

22 May 2013
I’ve decided to start a series of posts describing how things are going on with the development of my current game projects. I hope this activity will eventually motivate me not to abandon those projects.
This first post is about my new game Nether. Currently it’s a working title and might change in future. It’s a beautiful word, which somehow describes the game look and feel, and is also easy to print in terminal when doing some work with Git, cd-ing, ls-ing and so on.
Nether is a game about action, there's no story. You play as an abstract “spaceship” flying in an abstract world, everything is clean and simple. Your purpose is to collect strange artifacts (lets call them gems), which fly around. These gems comprise a path that player must follow to complete each level. Not all gems are visible at once, there is only a small fixed amount of them visible at level startup. The player has to collect gems sequentially, because each collected gem reveals the next hidden one, thus unveiling the next step on the path. The more gems you miss, the less is your chance to complete the level. Other challenges include various obstacles and player’s speed that increases from level to level.
I really wanted to make a simple, fun and intuitive game that will test player’s reaction, coordination and accuracy of movements. My previous game Uncopy was a puzzle, so now I feel I need to make something that won’t require much brain activity to play. Note here that I don’t plan this game to have many levels. It’s going to be hard, forcing player to approach each level many-many times before completion.
When making art for my games, I try to make them look stylish. This is not only cool, but also has some pragmatic reason to it. If you’re a programmer making game, you basically have two realistic ways to make the game attractive. You either hire an artist or make all graphics yourself, but make it simple and stylish. Although I do have some background in 3D modelling and vector drawing, I don’t have much experience in other aspects of artistic work (for example, making textures), so I choose the second way, because hiring an artist would be pretty expensive for me.
Currently Nether has about three levels, and I think ten would be enough for the first release. There are no menus yet, except the very raw draft of the main menu. I’m concentrating on making levels and switch to other activity only when I find myself stuck at some point without fresh ideas. Changing activity helps in such cases.

Conclusion

So, this was an intro post with brief info about Nether, the project I’m currently working on. In the later posts I’ll describe in details various aspects of development process, including technical problems I face on my way.
© 2014-2017 Aleksey Fedotov