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Age of Decadence May Update

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Age of Decadence May Update

Editorial - posted by Infinitron on Sat 6 June 2015, 19:30:23

Tags: Age of Decadence; Iron Tower Studios; Vault Dweller

The Age of Decadence Early Access release received an update today adding two more locations to the game, which along with last month's Ganezzar release brings it to 21 out of 22 planned locations complete. With an end to development now truly in sight, Vault Dweller appears to have entered a contemplative mood, which has motivated him to finally release a new development update post on the Iron Tower forums (my badgering may also have helped). It's a chronicle of the game's 11 year long development, which attempts to explain why it took so long. Here's the beginning:

Every now and then, someone asks, “What’s taking them so long? Why is the game still in development?” The questions are understandable. You hear that a game has been in development for more than a decade and you think that a decade is a very long time. Only the infamously mismanaged projects like Duke Nukem Forever take that long and nothing good ever comes out of it.

Since we’ve just released 2 new locations – 21 out of 22 locations are now available – and the light at the end of the tunnel is shining impossibly bright, now would be a good time to tell you a tale.

***

It starts deceptively simple.

You’ve been imagining your own RPG for a while. One day you decide to take it a step further and start toying with a character system in Excel. Then you start jotting down notes on the setting; maybe you even write a few quests as a mental exercise. Why, you’re half way there already! All you need is an engine to scotch-tape it together and you’re done!

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Months later you have an engine, one or two likeminded, overly enthusiastic and always inexperienced (if they were experienced, they wouldn’t be there) people, the very first, hastily created screen to reinforce the notion that you’re in the business of making RPGs and the business is a-booming.

You make plans. Big plans. I want my dream RPG to have a crafting system! And an alchemy system! And a reputation system! And three factions with mutually exclusive questlines! No, make it four! Four? You have to think BIG! Make it seven!

Shortly afterwards, the honeymoon phase of imagining an RPG ends and the hard work of making one begins. That’s where most new undertakings wither and die. That’s where you discover how insanely complex RPGs are and that it would take a couple of years just to put together a functioning combat system.

You’re stubborn or stupid (or both) and you push forward. After all, when the combat system is done, you’ll almost be there. Not really. Well, if you want to make a combat game and you don’t mind cutting a few corners, maybe. Make some maps, sprinkle them with enemies, and your masterpiece is complete!

But what if you want to make a game with a complex story and branching questlines? What if you want to a make a game where Choices & Consequences aren’t an afterthought but the main feature? Then you’d best get ready for the long haul because the combat system is only the first step on a very long road.
Read the whole thing there, it's quite a tale. It would be interesting to juxtapose this with the developments of other indie RPGs.

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