Mod_ThatJim (another designy-type person) here to leave you a few more tidbits on the 'what' and 'why' of 8Realms. As you may have guessed from the fancy title, I'll be chatting about how we've been constructing the technology tree that weaves the content of the game together, and what it means for your play experience.
We all have very different ways of playing games, and we like our way of playing; it's how we enjoy the games we play. So instead of forcing you down the route we decide is right for 8Realms, we want to build a game that allows you to play how you want and, unlike most games, still win!
We want to accommodate the bloodthirsty warmonger, the peaceful city builder, the money-grabbing capitalist and all the other personalities that float around the gaming ether. Many of 8Realms' features will support this vision, with the foundations being laid by the technology tree.
As I type on my keyboard, the current technology tree stands at 300+ individual technologies for you to choose from. This exhaustive compilation of techs is designed to give you the chance to specialise in your form of play, and to ultimately ride to victory. To build this intricate web of technologies, we went through a series of design stages to find something that has ultimately led to our current tree. Here is a little insight into what processes we used.
The first stage was an analysis of our game content. We went through all the pieces of the gameplay that would be fun and interesting to implement into our tech tree, and that would provide you with a genuine variety in play. Next was a chance to trim off the fat. With 8Realms being the large game it is, we wanted to ensure every tech was interesting and held genuine impact when you chose to research it.
With our epic collection of technologies found, we needed to sew them into a delicate patchwork that covered everything from the start to the end of the game. Using a small forest-worth of Post-it notes and most of the Jagex wall space, we managed to compile a rough structure for the final look of the tech tree – and redecorate the studio in the process. :)
So many decisions to be made
Structure in place and final interface designed, it was then time to begin refining the tech tree to fit within the swanky new screen that would show it off. This meant finalising the techs and every relationship between them to ensure varied play, logical advancement and satisfying interaction. With a few too many coffees and paper cuts, we arrived at the final technology tree that you'll get your fingers on in a couple of months.
I'm really excited for you all to start enjoying the choices you'll be able to make, and begin making the experience your own. I'm now off to put plasters on my many paper cuts and apologise for using up most of southern England's supply of Post-it notes.