If you know anything about our project, you’d know that it started out as a single-player, story-based platforming game. And if you’ve been watching it evolve on Twitch over the past 6 months, you probably know that we changed direction, focusing instead on a smaller game that is a multiplayer team-based ball & goal game.
How did this happen?
We decided to go this route after a couple of marathon whole-day meetings, the core of which was agreeing on our definition of success or “DEF-o-SUCK” as I like to call it. We agreed that a single player “Last of the Dashkin” style game with all my crazy ideas will be at least 2 years of hard work, with no assurance that it’ll ever be successful. Sure we could commit to finishing it. Brackenwood fans would probably buy it, play it and maybe even like it, but would anyone else? Would it have any replay value? Would it be talked about for years to come? Because all of these are in our DEF-o-SUCK.
The final decision was to start small. A more modest first project would allow us to set up the pipeline, the character, the world, the aesthetic and importantly, ship a product before the end of the year. Along the way we’d be watching and gauging the reaction from fans and gamers. A success would be our green light to proceed with the larger single player project, which would have all of its systems, aesthetic and movement in place. With a success under our belt, we plan to recruit a few more people and make a bigger, more ambitious multiplayer racing game. Only after those successes do we think we’re ready to commit to a single player.
So we had our 2D Bitey running around in the level, jumping on platforms and over obstacles. Planning a possible fatsack mini-game, we gave Bitey punches and kicks. In testing the movement and responsiveness of the controls, we gave Bitey the goal of getting fatsack up onto a ledge, or into a hollow log. You can see where this was headed. In order to test our movement and controls, things were beginning to point to multiplayer. That worried me. Lots of dashkin playing against each other? argh, that is NOT the story of Brackenwood.
Or is it?
Bitey of Brackenwood grew up alone in the world with only vague memories of his people. But they did once exist in Brackenwood along with the flying people – that is canon. So why can’t we have many dashkin in a Brackenwood game? Why can’t this be a prelude, a prequel, even a dream or memory?
In coming up with a name for our first Dashkin game, I decided to recycle the name of the very first BrackenSack made in Flash in about 2004. It was a solo mini ball game with click-to-move controls.