Game Development

Blog 588: The Experience

I’ve said quite a bit about making my new game (Codenamed No Excuses), but I have yet to articulate any details about what it actually is.

Today, then, is the day I reveal all. Brace yourselves.

No Excuses

I don’t have a title yet; or rather, I do have a title that I am trying out before committing to. So we’ll keep calling it by its codename, No Excuses, for now. (Let’s not call it its true codename, NO EXCUSES, because shouty is bad. If you’re interested, my last big project was codenamed LAST CHANCE, and the one before that… didn’t have a shouty codename.)

Gosh, where to begin? I have so many ideas swirling around in my head it’s hard to articulate them in a convincing order, so forgive me if this comes out a bit garbled.
I want to create…

A top-down hack ‘n’ slash RPG game

Fairly straightforward.

You’re looking down from above, camera locked to your hero. You pilot him with the cursor and the right click while attacking with the left button. You use QWERT (or other mapped keys of your choice) to unleash special abilities that are both unique to the hero and hot-swappable by changing his equipment. You guide your hero through challenging scenarios, gathering in-game money and equipment to upgrade yourself while completing more and more advanced objectives.

So far so previously-hinted-at, right?

A competitive cooperative action game

What do I mean by “competitive cooperative”? Well, people seem to love the end-game scoreboard of This Wreckage, but people also hate playing overly-long games alone. So while No Excuses is going to be a cooperative game that must be played as a group of 2-4 people, each individual will be graded on their performance individually and ranked against their peers.

Even though each player is a part of the same squad, working towards the final end goal of any given scenario (without at least one completing a scenario, everyone fails and forfeits their rewards), there will be plenty of opportunities to keep one step ahead of the others and grab the glory for yourself. Hidden areas with procedurally chosen loot, special bosses that drop unique items… It will be a case of first come, first served.

A connected experience

It’s all very well playing with a small circle of friends, but it’s also important to make sure the full breadth of your social circle gets to participate and interact with you as your progress. No Excuses will be always-online, because that is the best way to experience the game — in constant flux with your friends and relatives and people you don’t even know yet, with all the latest news and updates a single click away.

How does a game achieve that? For a start, it will be a free-to-play system with tight social media integration. Download the client and log in with Facebook or Twitter, and away you go. There will be no barrier to entry, for anyone — you know my graphics are about the same as a 90s shooter, so there won’t even be much of a technological barrier. Got a ten-year-old computer and a 56k modem? Come on in!

Aside from the moment-to-moment interaction, social media integration also provides a way to make a player’s history open to the wider world. A great way to make new friends, to meet new people, is to connect through a common interest — like a game. With new achievements and ways for even uninterested real-world bores to affect your play (Likes and Shares and Retweets and so-on will bolster your in-game clout through powerful bonuses and traditional currency), people don’t even have to be interested in playing to have a positive impact on your game.

A continuously fresh experience

Obviously a competitive arena needs a constant turn-over of new experiences, so the foundation of No Excuses will be a tightly scheduled churn of new content — from full scenarios to game-altering equipment to cosmetic trinkets. Prices will vary to suit every pocket, though there will be considerable attention paid to balance to ensure that people aren’t simply paying to out-compete their friends: No Excuses is still going to be a game of skill, and no amount of money will stop you from sucking.

A microtransactional ecosystem that also allows for trading of certain items means that, as new items are phased in and old ones phased out, items will change in value to suit the current state of the game world. Like a real world economy, it will shift and evolve, encouraging constant engagement to make the best investments and snap up the best deals.

The Verdict

So there you go. The plans may sound big, but there are so many precedents set by other games, and so many statistics backing up these ideas, that this is surely the future of gaming. No hokey stories, no hours of pointless dialogue and no cheesy lore that nobody cares about and no moulding alone in your mother’s basement — just pure action measured against the only thing that counts: real people.

What do you think?

12 thoughts on “Blog 588: The Experience”

  1. Silver Dragon that is exactly what I did .

    Holes ( theirs more then what is mentioned here )

    “No Excuses” ya right , ”A top-down hack ā€˜nā€™ slash RPG game” as far as I know you wanted your game be unique not like very other RPG dungen crawler , “A competitive cooperative action game” all the maps you made for Warcraft are single player and you are a part of the single player group on hive , never going to happen .
    “always-online” I remember you saying something about disliking game that required registration ,
    ” free-to-play system ” and “social media integration ” the rest of that paragraph is a pain to read. “traditional currency” , you don’t like taking people’s money … I think .
    “balance” like that will ever happen , stuff u balance I support FUN .

    The verdict is obviously * exaggerate or read in posh accent * a reference to modern video games and how they have become more socially orientated shunning single player aspects such as story-line ect .

    I think you made it a tad too obvious , last year I totally believed it šŸ˜€ this year not so much I just hope we receive a proper update soon.


    1. I guess you’ve scooped me this time. Most people thought it was legit at least until “social media integration”.

      Though you’ve made a few poor guesses:
      It really is codenamed NO EXCUSES. That’s not it’s real name, but I haven’t decided that yet. (It is because I have NO EXCUSES not to do a stand-alone anymore.)
      It really is going to be a top-down hack ‘n’ slash action adventure, if not a true RPG (i.e. no leveling up).

      Ah well, Must Try Harder.


  2. Wait… eSports? My dreams have come true! I need this game so I can show off my dominance over the Internet population. There is nothing like being number one in a community of millions of people. However… there is one problem:
    … I have no Facebook or Twitter! I’ll never be able to log on… *dreams ruined*


    1. I’m afraid technophobes like you that hate progress will just have to be left behind. Join the social media revolution, maaaaaan. eSportz r waitin.


  3. Either this is an April fools joke or you are trying to accurately recreate the experience of playing borderlands with you.

    “We’re getting shot to hell, where is Robbie?” Why, looting every chest in the room while we engage the monsters. Taking guns he won’t use but we will to sell them. We are low on ammo and being overwhelmed. Will Robbie lay down his turret. A powerful ability that will have recharged before we finish this fight? Will he fuck.


    1. On a serious note I’d play the shit out of a well designed “time your backstabbing game”. I’m sure I played something once that was meant to be one but all the missions were easy for one person to complete. So the first 10 seconds was a player vs player murderfest followed immediately by the last man standing speed running the level


      1. Finally a game worth streaming! Pro level commentating is going to bring this game to tv!


And you tell me...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.