Of Prototypes Past

A couple days ago I was helping someone with getting high-resolution sprite recolors up and running. In the process I went back to one of my old projects for example sprites to explain the ways I’ve done it in the past. Then I ended up playing around with the project to see how far I’d gotten in it.


For what little is there, it’s actually fairly playable. The game was basically a mix between Civilization and Advance Wars. Sadly, it never got out of the prototyping stage.

Because some people were interested in it, I decided to upload the demo. You can read more about the prototype and try it out here.

Who knows, maybe I’ll come back to it in the future if there’s enough interest in it.

6 thoughts on “Of Prototypes Past

    1. Part of the reason I stopped working on it is because I felt it would take too long to develop.

      Another Star would not be released for another three years. (Cue fail horn.)

  1. Well, I always told you, you should make an SRPG. =p
    Though I’m not sure about that Civilization part.

    Certainly, Another Star was easier to create, but it also doesn’t sell too well. That’s because there are plenty of free “simple to play” RPGs. But “simple to play” SRPGs are quite lacking.

    Making it not quite as simple might also sell, but then it’s just not for me.

    1. Personally, I’m a big fan of “simple complexity”. This is where you have a deep game system with lots of features, but where those features are very easy to learn and navigate, and where you don’t actually have to understand every single option to enjoy (and even excel) at the game.

      The Sims and Spelunky are pretty good examples of this. Dwarf Fortress… is not. XD

      1. Well, I’m more the Shining Force fan in that regard.

        I love how the game designer (Hiroyuki Takahashi) of Shining Force said “The original Famicom Fire Emblem game? The tempo of that title was so bad that it wasn’t something I even wanted to play.”

        That says pretty well what bothers me about many SRPGs.

        And yes, hidden complexity is fine.
        With simple I usually mean two things:
        1. Can just play the game without reading any tutorial, because it’s intuitive enough to just learn it by playing.
        2. When coming back to the game after a year or more, I still should be able to play it from where I stopped, without having to go back and relearn everything first.

        And I guess thinking about Shining Force I would want to add:
        3. Should require as little button presses as possible, but as many as needed so you don’t have to memorize >3 button functions.

        1. “The original Famicom Fire Emblem game? The tempo of that title was so bad that it wasn’t something I even wanted to play.”

          As a big Fire Emblem fan, I was incredibly disappointed that the DS remake didn’t do much other than add the now-classic weapon triangle. Marth’s formal introduction to the West deserved more love than that. (And then, to add injury to insult, we didn’t get the sequel’s superior remake.)

          With simple I usually mean two things…

          For the most part, this is what I mean as well. I like games to be pick-up-and-play.

          If you happen to toy around with the prototype, you’ll notice that you really only need to remember two buttons: left mouse to confirm, right mouse to cancel. The basic gameplay flow boils down to select unit→select destination→select action. A lot of functions (such as building improvements) aren’t that well implemented, but everything really builds around that flow.

          I also had the basic framework in place for a learn-as-you-play tutorial, though it was never fully implemented. The game is meant to give you guidance and direction as you play the first time, bringing help and tips up as the information is relevant, but never telling the player what to do and then blocking their progress until they’ve done it. I prefer this style of tutorial for strategy games where you’re building things, because it lets me actually play the game and begin laying out my city/base/empire/whatever from the get-go.

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