Game details in a minute. First, an announcement:
I will be at GDC!
Yes, tomorrow I’m jumping on a metal machine which will fly me through the sky at over five hundred miles an hour. I’ll be so high that I’m literally above the cloud canopy, but so comfortable throughout the entire process that I’ll probably fall asleep. When I touch down in San Francisco I will be attending a huge conference, where thousands of people are discussing how best to create virtual worlds. Some of these worlds require enormous teams to bring to life, and some of the smaller worlds are being created in bedrooms.
Despite the miraculous nature of this experience, I will spend a lot of it tired, confused, scared and/or grumpy. This is why the robots will win.
That being said, don’t let the sight of my tired, confused, scared, grumpy face put you off. I will be having a wonderful (and instructive) time nonetheless, and if you’re also going to be at GDC, let’s meet up! I’d love to have a chat.
Furtive motions beneath the surface
Game details, then.
Work on HOMD continues apace, and the response to the alpha has been great. The game has gone from floaty instability to solidity. Minor bugs have been squashed and larger ones have been battled and slain. The bug reports have been incredibly helpful, of course, but even more useful was the general feedback!
‘Useful’ in this context, of course, does not necessarily been positive (though for the most part, it has been very positive). Last week I thought long and hard about some of the most common issues that people had, and the current state of gameplay in HOMD. I came up with some tenuous solutions, solutions that make me really excited. Solutions which might also scupper my schedule slightly, so I’m approaching them with caution.
Sorry to be so cryptic, but none of this is cast in iron yet – I don’t want to announce anything that I ultimately decide against. I only mention it now because this (along with bugfixing and story-writing) has been what’s occupied most of my waking hours over the last two weeks.
There are a bunch of unannounced features floating around in the game right now, and it’s about time I started pulling back the curtain! This update is long already, so I’ll be brief.
The edges of the House are represented by locked Doors. In-fiction, the House is an infinite dimension of architecture, and while (a long time ago) it was actually infinite in-game, this turned out not to be very interesting. Why would I want to trap the player into travelling endlessly through endless nothing?
So instead, there are locked Doors that block your progress when you reach the end of the map. But where there are locks, of course, there are Keys.
Some of the Doors – it will be obvious which – can be opened by Keys you find over the course of your journey. In the House, a Key is rare enough that people will kill or risk death themselves merely for the chance to obtain one.
By opening locked Doors with a Key, you will open up hidden areas – most of which are totally optional during the course of a normal playthrough.
Many of these secret areas are small and self-contained – but there are also a few sprawling kingdoms to unlock and explore. The House has many secrets, and only the vigilant will discover them all…
Until next time.