Smaller Steps

As usual when a project has advanced a lot, like Project “W” did, the steps you make get smaller and smaller. At first you implement the big features and see big changes within a few days of coding but that phase is over for some time now.

And therefore I’m currently working on a lot of the smaller things that make the game more playable/enjoyable, and that includes a lot of small facets of game design. The last days for example I concentrated almost alone on the small tidbits of the military feature for Project “W”. Although that feature was actually done, there were still a lot of things that need to be tested and then turned out that they needed to change at least to some extent to give this feature what it was lacking. So together with a lot of other things I changed the building queue for units so that you now can construct four units at once (contrary to only one unit which was initially planned) and you’ll also be able to queue twelve additional units. This was necessary cause otherwise it would have taken too much time constructing enough of the later units (like heavy tanks which take some rounds to build). Though this sounds like a small change when first reading about it, it’s a huge change in gameplay if you think about it twice. And this is just one of the “small” decissions/changes I made over the last fews days. I’m not going into detail about the other ones, cause that would be pretty boring, so take this as a fine example of what I did over the last days.

Another thing that was badly needed (and already can be seen to some extend in the last screenshot) were icons for the buttons of the GUI. This also doesn’t sound like something important at first but believe me, there is a huge difference between a button that only has text written on it and the same button with an added icon. The icon will make the button much easier to recognize and even if you’re using those dialogues dozens of time each day, text-only buttons still make it hard to find the correct button that triggers the functionality you’re looking for. So a lot of time also goes into making awfully small icons (32x32 for the final release) to make it easier finding the correct buttons. And since those icons have to resemble a given functionality within a very limited space it can often take a lot of time for just making one small icon. And as an extra here is a small selection of some of the icons I made for Project “W”, with most ones being prerendered with an added 2D part :