The work on Glittering Marches has already commenced, but I wanted to discuss why I’m building a prototype and to enumerate my goals for it. In the future, I’m hoping to publish a devlog every month, but it will likely ebb and flow with my time and any milestones I hit while working on Glittering Marches.
Software development is hard. Sustaining a creative endeavor is hard. Measuring progress is hard. Game development is hard. For Glittering Marches to have a fighting chance, I need (and want) to set a sustainable pace of development. This means not trying to do everything at once. The goal for the prototyping phase are:
I have a lot of ideas already about what I’d like to do and be possible in Glittering Marches. Dozens of Trello cards and pages of notes. There will be three interlocking loops that zoom in on different levels of play. I’ll certainly prototype out the higher level loops, but my focus for the first part of prototyping will be on the innermost loop, the combat engine, and making sure it is both possible and fun.
With Milestone 1, I’ll start learning Rust and Bevy. I’ll build the first piece of the combat loop by setting up two units that will attack each other until one of them goes unconscious.
With Milestone 2, I’ll expand on the core combat loop by introducing a map, a grid and pathfinding, and ranged attacks. The melee only units will cross the map to attack. The ranged units should use ranged attacks until an enemy unit is in melee range at which point they should switch to melee attacks.
With Milestone 3, I’ll continue expanding on the combat system by enlarging the map, adding a third team, a new combatant type with area attacks, and adding a self-preservation mechanic where some combatants will flee the map when certain conditions are met.
I’m fairly sure that hitting all three of these milestones perfectly in the next few months won’t mean that I’m done prototyping. This set of work is all completely focused on the innermost game play loop of combat. And while it will successfully prove that I can build the base of this game in Rust and Bevy, it still hasn’t even explored letting a player control even part of the action yet.