My suggestions

For all Wasteland 2 discussion that does not fit elsewhere, suggestions, feedback, etc. No spoilers allowed.

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Sycraft
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Joined: March 13th, 2012, 7:29 pm

My suggestions

Post by Sycraft » March 13th, 2012, 9:40 pm

First off is don't listen to us in the peanut gallery too much. Seriously people in general but gamers in particular are great at thinking, and saying, they want something but not really wanting it. It sounds good in their head but isn't good in reality, or they want to be more hardcore than they really are. You guys are the experts. While I'm not saying ignore the forums (wouldn't post here otherwise :) don't give in to listening too hard and having the idea that you need to take all the suggestions to heart. If something sounds like a bad idea, ignore it, even if a lot of people clamour for it. I've seen the down side of listening too much to a loud fan base all to often in MMOs and OSS projects. Make a game that is fun first, and what the fans want, or at least claim they want, second.

Now after basically saying "Don't listen to me," here's the other things I'd suggest :D :

-- Make sure to allocate plenty of budget to engine development and testing, even if it means a smaller game. Most people would rather have a small, high quality game than a big disaster. For an example see Stardock's Elemental: War of Magic. Had a similar budget to what you are talking about here and was a complete flop. They've done other games, notably Galactic Civilizations 2 on a similar budget that did great. A major problem was the game engine was real problematic on release. They didn't do enough QA on it. So focus on quality in terms of operation.

-- Have lots of weapons, armour, items, and so on. Playing around with gear is one of the things that can make an RPG a lot of fun, trying to max out characters for particular things, and streamlining the kind of equipment cramps that. You don't have to go overboard, but go for more rather than less.

-- Make the game as moddable as practical. Some of the all time greats, the games that really stick around, are ones that are moddable by fans. Just look at tesnexus.com, the amazing work on Bethesda's games due to the mod tools. Not saying you have to go to the extent they did, but simply make some choices that make modding easier. For container formats, just use zip files (you can give them a different extension, like iD does with pk3). For data (like items, characters, etc), use XML or other human readable format. Store sound in WAV, music in OGG or the like. That goes a long way right there, if people can get in and edit things when they want. Also you'll have internal tools for things like level design, if it is feasible polish them to the extent they can be released for community use. Don't make it a big priority or spend a ton of money on it, just when practical make decisions that make for easier modding later.

-- Consider setting a target budget for doing voice acting. Certainly not required for a game to be enjoyable, but nice. I might go in for more money, if there was a target for when you think you could afford to voice the game. Also you could consider crowdsourcing some of that. Recording quality sound isn't hard these days, a $100-150 USB mic can get you pretty much studio quality at home. Setup a little app on your website so people can send in audition files for various roles. Maybe you find some voice acting for a lower cost.

-- If you are going for a retail release and thus having to target an M rating, consider making a downloadable patch for AO content. What I mean is let the design team make the game, as they want it, not worrying about the rating. If the ESRB hangs an AO on it, make the changes necessary to get an M, but make a diff of it. Then release the M game retail, but let people download a patch to change it to "as the designers intended." Now if the game gets an M or T rating as designed, then wonderful, I'm not saying it needs to be super mature. Just saying if that's the way you want to go, consider doing it as you like and then allowing people to get a patch to make it that way.

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