One of the reasons I wanted to create a demo for Echo Feedback (besides shameless marketing opportunities and hopes at virality) was to make an easy place for people to try out my early ideas, and leave feedback, so I can see what does and doesn’t work for the main game. While I do intend to make periodic updates to the demo in order to prototype new features and get additional feedback, some features will just be too large to work into the demo.
One of those is the addition of a map, as well as fast-travel capabilities. One of the things I got consistent feedback on was that there was a lot of repetitive text upon revisiting rooms, and having to backtrack through each room was a bit clumsy and not generally fun. So, for the main game, I’ll be adding a map feature, and through that map, the ability to fast travel. I’ll also make sure that you only see room descriptions upon first encounter, and not on subsequent visits (though I’ll make sure to include an “examine” feature to display room descriptions, in case the player missed something).
Creating fast-travel has made me realize how awful my algorithmic knowledge is. But it’s done, and still returns a path in the event all paths are blocked (you’d just stop at the blocked exit). I’m generally pretty comfortable in my ability to create clean code and intuitive architecture, but re-implementing popular algorithms can be a bit difficult.
At least my Algorithms book finally came in handy. Just wish they weren’t so frustratingly terse in their terminology and code. I suspect terseness of expressions (that is, having to constantly cross-reference symbols rather than descriptive terms) is a very large reason so many people find math boring, which is a shame.
Next up, actual map generation, and tying in the fast-travel feature. Should be fun!