Last year, I set out to write my own version of an Entity Component System (ECS) for Unity based on the designs at T-Machines. I was using Artemis ECS at the start of the year, but I wanted to rewrite it into something simpler (that I could understand) and hopefully learn how to use this new programming style effectively in Unity. Finally, at the beginning of a new year, I feel like that objective is complete as I have built up my own code base and can write new features very quickly without reverting to my OOP roots.
2019 brings me to a place where I believe in my skills and have assembled a great team. So here are our goals for the new year:
Mid March: Story demo. We have all the pieces working right now to have a convincing demo of the story-based gameplay. Players can start a new game, create characters, explore a map and play through the encounter deck once.
Early October: Story+Combat demo. This is the build that we will be submitting to the Steam store, taking to GDC, etc. I'd love to go this year, but we just aren't there yet. This gives me most of the year to work on the combat, while other team members finish art and story.
Current Completion Level
This is also a good time to take a look at the project and figure out how much farther we need to go. Because this is a passion project for us, we have a limited amount of time we can spend on it every week. This doesn't really allow for retrospection, but the holidays are a good time to take stock.
Character Portraits: 100% Drawn & Colored
Monster Portraits: 100% Drawn & Colored.
Encounter Cards: 0% All placeholder
Encounter Portraits: ???% Some finished, will create as needed
Rule Book Chapters: 10% Drawn
3D Environment Objects: 0% All placeholder.
Treasure Deck: 0% Still in design phase
Quest Deck: 0% Still in design phase
Art is the farthest along, mostly because we've known what we wanted the game to look like from the start: 70's classic fantasy. There are over 90 different monsters and characters drawn at this point, which is was one of the biggest art requirements. There are still a few unknowns on this list, most importantly the 3D work, that we will be taking on in the coming months.
Encounter Rules: 95% Designed, needs play-testing
Rule Book Chapters: 60% Designed, needs content and play-testing
Quest Rules: 30% Basic design rough, needs refinement
Combat Rules: 10% Basic design finished, needs content
As always the design is farther along than the implementation. The base rules for the game have been written up for a while now, but we need to do more play-testing and then adjust them as needed. Combat is still the big unknown, something that I want to start as soon as possible.
Entity Component System: 90% Implemented, unit-tested. Needs a little cleanup.
Encounter System: 90% Implemented. Needs cleanup and a few features.
Board game Content: 50% Implemented. Needs to be connected together.
Encounter Editor: 5% Needed so that Encounter writing can go faster.
Combat System: 5% Some of the previous combat system can be used.
Special Effects: 5% Started on this work, but more will be needed.
System Code: 5% Twitch integration, actual production builds, etc. all needed.
Code is always the bottleneck, but getting better at the ECS way of coding a game has made it go much faster - mostly because of the limited interaction of systems.
Rule Book Chapters: 80% Written, needs editing
Encounters: 5% Examples created, lots of outlines needing implementation.
Monster Compendium Entries: 5% Example created.
Quests: 0% Waiting on design.
Writing has been stalled for a while because we were still figuring out the encounter system. Now that size and shape of the encounters are defined, we will start to make much faster process. Once we have an editor, this will increase even further. Most of the members of our team (4/6) have been GMing games for years, so we are all looking forward to adding our own stories as work on other parts of the game gets finished.
Illustrated tabletop rules - a chapter on character personalities and morals
How does the dice system work in Master of the Rogue Spire?
More info on encounters
Particle effects and better 3D assets