7th May 2009 Ė Second Assault
The first Dungeon Assault utilises a key game mechanic that we want to build on here at FunOrb: the idea of an active offence and a reactive defence. Specifically, your raiders are the active, offensive element and your dungeon is the reactive, defensive element. This key principle of the game works well and was a real departure for us in terms of the technology required to make it work. Dungeon Assault was the first FunOrb game to keep a record of players' profiles active when they were offline.
Dungeon Assault was a very welcome addition to FunOrb and has provided a lot of gameplay hours for a lot of players. Itís great fun. Personally, though, I am also a little bit disappointed with it. In hindsight, I know it is not all we could have delivered. So, back in January, we decided to give it what it deserves in the form of a sequel!
Our first objective was to sit down and discuss what the original doesn't do so well. "It's too random" was a very common statement, as was "it's not deep enough". We also knew that the game needed to be more engaging and involve more strategy. Finally, Dungeon Assault had a board game feel and, while this worked to a degree, it wasn't quite the effect we'd hoped for.
We then moved on to what the original game does well. We got back statements like "it's quick to play", "there's lots to unlock", "stuff happens when you're not there" and "it can be very suspenseful". Thus we had a plan for our prototype: to make it deep with more strategy and offer real interaction, but keep it quick to play, with lots to unlock, a suspenseful feel and things happening when you're not there.
We've now planned out the development path that the sequel needs to have and formulated the design documentation that the developer will work to. We've prototyped a lot of game mechanics and display elements and come up with a more engaging, less random and far more in-depth game than the original.
We've also worked to break down the problem that Dungeon Assault has when the 'end game' is reached: primarily the fact that it doesn't seem to have one. Itís taken a few months to formulate the core design of the game and build the working prototypes that the developer is now building upon, and we feel that it is sufficiently solid in its design for us to start talking about it.
In the following diaries I'll hand you over to Mod Vile, the developer in charge of making this vision a reality. He'll be talking to you about how we plan to change the dungeon creation system, the raid mechanic, how you will be able to control the actions of raiders individually, and generally about how we are trying to make Dungeon Assault II everything that the original concept deserves to be.
Head of FunOrb