Abduction Action! Game Progress Update 3
I've made a lot of progress on Abduction! in the past couple weeks (especially in the last week) and it's really starting to feel like something solid and well polished. My ability to give a game a really glossy polish (figuratively) is something I feel like I've improved on a lot since Nasty and thus most of the menus, transitions, and introductions feel much more like those in a quality title.
The biggest news for this update might be the name... Abduction! will henceforth be known as Abduction Action!. Whether or not this name ultimately sticks I'm unsure (it probably will), but it's the new working name as my previous, shorter name is already taken. The current version of Abduction! has been rebranded though I have not gotten to making these changes to the website yet.
Nearly every feature I wanted to include in Abduction Action! is now included... distributed high scores (thanks to jwatte's most excellent XNA distributed high score component), saving of your progress through the game, all the required menus, title and intro sequences, transitions between levels, etc. Basically all that is left at this point is the gameplay, in-game graphics, and all the different events/tasks that make up each level.
Global high scores are cool... they allow everyone else playing online to compete for the best high scores. This offers a level of replayablity that was missing in Nasty (though adding this feature at a later time isn't out of the question). Jwatte's component was pretty easy to implement too (though I haven't fully tested everything yet). There were some hiccups and I had to tweak the component some, but overall it was probably easier to implement than it would have been to create my own local list of high scores (which is what I did for Nasty).
My goal with Abduction Action! from the beginning was to make a smaller scale game which I could release for 80 points and finish in 3-4 months. I did this by keeping the scope of the game much smaller (4 levels for Abduction Action! as opposed to 100 for Nasty) and concentrating on making each of those smaller aspects great. Judging from publicly available sales data on XBLIG and my own experiences, making a smaller game is the least risky route and often most profitable. I have high hopes that Abduction Action! will sell better than Nasty did (it should sell more copies at least due to being 1/5 the price) and be much more profitable as my costs (money, not time) are far smaller this time around.
Making money (despite how that last paragraph probably sounds) it's my only motivation with Abduction Action!. It's a solid, fun game too and I hope that many people (many more than played Nasty) get to enjoy it. The lower 80 price point opens that door a lot wider than 400 points for Nasty did.
As of today, I'm at about 3 months of solid work on Abduction Action! and one more month could easily be enough time to finish. If I do happen to finish around Christmas / New Years though, which isn't out of the question, I will probably hold off until January to release as I don't feel that would be the optimal time to release an XBLIG. So expect to see Abduction late this year or early in the next!
As of last night, Abduction Action! is now in the playtest round on the XNA forums. Hoping this will net me some good feedback... it has been in playtest for about two weeks during it's life (the last time was about a month ago) and has already benefited by some good developer feedback... can't wait to see what else comes about to help me make Abduction Action! the best game that it can be.
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