A simple format to archive design decisions

This article written during Nanotale’s development describes how we kept an archive of decision-making within the design documentation with the help of a few simple icons.

Before starting production on Nanotale, we took some time to prototype various typing gameplay ideas. When prototyping, you have to focus on the things you want to test, and iterate on them as fast as possible. There is no time to document everything. But the prototypes do not always speak by themselves. (Sometimes there is no playable build to keep, like the time I tested interactive dialogs by acting as the NPC and talking through Slack with a colleague. We will get back to that.) So we needed a way to archive what we learned from each iteration, in a format that would be quick to write and read.

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Handmade vs randomized level design in Epistory

This is an old article that was written as a dev blog post for Epistory, a typing adventure game and the first project I worked on at Fishing Cactus.

The problem

As in most puzzle / adventure games, Epistory’s level design, is designed manually from the world layout to the smallest puzzle. But to save time and money, we need to automate¬†everything else, like generic and repetitive patterns or effects that give life to the world. That is what this article is about: the level building of all the things that are not unique or designed for a specific purpose. Continue reading “Handmade vs randomized level design in Epistory”