Now that we’ve been telling people about brawl.ws, and get one or two other people into the system and starting to play, the kids have really started to pick up the pace on the ‘wish list’ and the 'to do’ list.
We’re still mostly just working on the core 'combat mode’ but we are also starting to spend a decent amount of time talking through potential single-player game modes (story and character).
Anyway, over the past week or so we’ve been able to implement and release the following small features/updates:
1. Atrophy - now each night, the system will pick either a command or character and atrophy anyone that is trained on that by a small amount (1-3%).
2. HitBot - now a brawler can hire HitBot (for 2 credits) to join a brawl and attack a specific play every chance it gets. Once HitBot knocks out the victim they were hired to take out, the bot will tap out (and the credit/advantages for the Knockout will be awarded to the player who hired HitBot).
3. Additional bots - we added both Slapbot (who will always slap) and Rapbot (who will always attack with stone cold, and ill, disses). Additionally, we added the bot list to the 'start a brawl’ page so that it would be easy for new players to know what bots are available to brawl with.
We have been talking a lot about how to make it easy for new players to also figure out who is in the system and available to brawl with…but we haven’t reached a solution/idea yet that we are all thrilled about enough to work on implementing it just yet.
4. A new 'More’ section within an active brawl - this new area lists out some additional tools and actions you can take within an active brawl, including the ability to wager credits on the outcome of a brawl. We spent a while actually working through the details of how wagers should/could work…in the end this first version we settled on is function, but more a 'test’ than something we are def. going to keep as-is.
5. Ability to actually buy credits or use a promotional code to redeem credits. (btw, since you are taking the time to read this, if you use the promotional code of 'blog reader’ – without the quotes – you can redeem 50 FREE credits for your character!)
6. A simple messaging system - now you can send private messages to other players via the 'messages’ system without having to be in an active brawl. This feature actually supports one-to-one messages, but also supports a group of friends chatting within a private message thread.
7. A number of small bug fixes and navigation updates…the kids continue to push the limits on the software, and work themselves into complex situations where a bug or two still lurks in the shadows…as they do that, we walk through how to find/duplicate it and then we fix it.
…it didn’t feel like we spent that much time overall on the game this week, but looking back over this list it seems like we actually did quite a bit (though the wish and idea is def. growing must faster than we are working on actual items).
Now that the game is actually a bit playable, it’s fun to see the kids getting excited and engaged with it…but it’s also interesting to see what is holding their attention and what is not (they are both showing much less interest in the programming details than they are in the game theory, play, and design…which is OK with me so long as *something* is catching their excitement and making them want to push forward with the work out of their own interest).
We’ll see how long we can make it last, and how far the project goes as a result…up next is a lot of design, planning, and writing on story and character…which should map well with both of them as they both love to read (and I’m pushing them to take parts of each of their favorite stories to help come up with potential missions and plots for brawl).
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
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