Happy New Year from the three of us at Blue Drop Games! Hope everybody had a happy holiday. In today’s development update we’re going to be broadly talking about B.C.E.’s development roadmap for 2017. Exciting stuff is on the way this year.
B.C.E. 2017 Roadmap
We are excited to take B.C.E. to the 2017 MassDigi Game Challenge. It’s a great opportunity for us to put B.C.E. out there and get feedback. The Game Challenge is a two-day event where the first day we’ll participate in mentor sessions with industry veterans and the second day we’ll pitch B.C.E. in a pitch contest. Definitely check out MassDigi because they’re doing great work in developing the game development scene in Massachusetts.
In the interest of getting B.C.E. into players’ hands as soon as possible, we’re planning to start a closed alpha test on Steam as soon as the Burnout game mode is ready for online play. We’re hoping to work out bugs and balance issues, and we want to gather feedback from players. Once the alpha is up on Steam, we’ll use that as a platform to push our major updates on the way to releasing B.C.E. We’re not sure of an exact date for the alpha yet but it will be coming soon. Speaking of release, we’re still planning to release B.C.E. in Summer of 2017. However, plans tend to change so it’s possible albeit unlikely that the launch might be postponed. The last thing I wanted to say on the topic of general release roadmap is that we are choosing to prioritize the Burnout game mode for several reasons that I won’t get into right now. That means that new features won’t be added and the Firefight game mode won’t be further developed until we reach the level of excellence that we’re shooting for in the Burnout game mode. Those things will remain goals for our team, but we want to nurture the development of what B.C.E. is in its current state.
Now that I’ve covered the broad roadmap of 2017, let’s get into some gameplay specifics. As we have been iterating and testing B.C.E.’s Burnout game mode, we noticed a few stagnant pieces of the combat, specifically the Club Throw and Spear Jab attacks. Our goal with the weapons system in B.C.E. is to offer different styles of play for players with different preferences and to give players choices to make in the heat of combat. It became clear that a Club Swing attack is highly powerful compared to its secondary Club Throw attack. Similarly, we found that the Spear was only really useful for its throw. On the flip side, we’re really happy with the dynamic of the Punch/Rock Throw combination, so we know that we can do better. Therefore, striving towards deeply dynamic and skill-based attacks for all combat options, we’re changing the Club secondary attack to a Block and the Spear primary attack to a Shove. The Club Block will serve as a parry move. With correct timing, players will be able to deflect projectiles and block incoming attacks like the Club Swing. The Spear Shove is a defensive move that’s meant to push enemies away to maintain safe spacing for a Spear Throw.
Also on the topic of combat, we’re overhauling the player controls in B.C.E., optimizing them for gamepad play. Changes include improved joystick deadzones, aim assist, and sticky aim. These updates will make combat more approachable and the gamepad controls more crisp. Less fighting the controls, more fighting other players. You won’t notice the strings being pulled.
As usual, we’re constantly working to elevate B.C.E.’s visuals, so be on the lookout for new hand-made animations, environment art, and overall prettyness. That’s it for now, I need to get back to work. Here are some initial designs for the incoming Cavewoman player model.