Development Blog #1

So far, I’ve enjoyed my first week on Fowl Machinations. I didn’t really know much about monolithic when I was assigned to the team so the first week was specifically meant for onboarding. I spent a lot of time playing the game either by myself (in sandbox mode) or with others. When the week started, we had a meeting the day after class talking with the designers about how we feel about the game and what changes we could make. I had only seen the game over someone’s shoulder before so I wasn’t as intimate with the mechanics as I would have liked to be. I told the group my concerns about the lack of resources in the game; having devotion being the only tangible one. We brainstormed and thought of the idea of adding population to the towns, bridging the gaps of a few systems and allowing the game to be more intuitive for new players. After the meeting, I spent some time in the sandbox mode to test the game on my own.

The sandbox mode only has towns you can capture and enemy monoliths to attack; there isn’t any enemy followers to interact with or any game to win. I learned a lot about the movement, abilities, and balance of the game. I took notes on a lot of the issues I saw with the games current monolith v. monolith fighting. Namely, I was worried about the lack of maneuverability on the monoliths, making it near impossible to dodge attacks on reaction. Also, the lack of cooldowns allowed you to spam effective moves as long as you had enough devotion or could continue to generate some. Then, I looked into the kits of each monolith, determining what I thought of their current power levels and how cohesive their kits were. Balance is something that will take plenty of testing and time but I do think certain abilities don’t quite fit the character they are on.

Later in the week, I met with Kayla and we planned to talk about the population mechanic. The meeting ended up being more so just us playing the game and getting more familiar with it. Getting the play the actual game (not the sandbox mode) gave me a lot of insight on other aspects of the game.To my surprise, the current build leaves monolith v. monolith interaction as a very secondary action behind the base conquering. There were matches where we never even attacked each other. 

Finally, all the designers met to nail down the population mechanic and a few other systems that we wanted to move forward. Now, I’ve been assigned to work on abilities which I’m excited about. I’m working with Andrew on that and I’m not sure how much we’ll see eye to eye but I’ll do my best to keep an open mind.

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