So finally we near the completion of development for our Tribal game as part of the Magellan game platform.
It has been a long and complex process and many of our initial concepts have been modified in order to adapt to the changing requirements of the platform.
The most challenging part of the development has been trying to build a game on a piece of software that is still in development itself. The shifting sands of software versions, compatibility and feature change has meant that sometimes the process has been a little like trying to paint a landscape from a moving car.
One of the key aspects of our game was that it would be a multi-player game where 3 people could engage in playing our game simultaneously in the real world. This requires real-time connection with the server between 3 players on a 3G networks and this doesn’t come without its own problems. Between ensuring network coverage, server connection and synchronicity of experience, the Tribal development has highlighted some of the limitations inherent in these kinds of games even in a modern metropolitan smart city. This probably why Pokemon Go is still a single player experience because mobile networks still have a high level of uncertainty built in, making real-time interactions with other players challenging for any multiplayer game.
In moving from our earlier version of the game we had reengineer the entire resource system for the game. We have added new metrics in the form of Attack and Defence. These have now impacted on the fighting mechanics – attacking and defending, strength and a teepee system which creates a defensive platform to help protect players from one another. Making sure the metrics were correctly increased and decreased based on different outcomes and balancing it overall so the game stayed fair was tricky at times and required many trips outside in varying weather conditions to tweak the experience for someone playing outside.
However, we reckon we’ve managed to build a compelling game experience. We’ve successfully managed to get 3 people to play. They can now build a tribe, collect resources, stealing and fighting each other for dominance in the game, while avoiding random attack from the wild beasts who prowl the game. They have been able to play through until the last surviving player is declared a winner.
We plan to continue testing during the summer in order to have it available for the public to play in the Autumn. Only the strongest will survive.