Category: Development

Corrosion 2012

The last few months development of Corrosion has been very slow. As with all things, persistence has been cyclical and interest has waxed and waned. As a result, user participation is slowing too and I don’t generate as much traffic any longer. Usually in a project of this magnitude and nature, where a long term commitment to develop is needed and resilience is a must, this usually leads to the slow death of the product. Disinterest, poor motivation or more interesting projects come along and kill any chances of a revival. I think it’s even more dangerous the smaller the team is, because collective enthusiasm and moment counts and when you’re essentially by yourself the strongest link in the chain is automatically the weakest.

Corrosion’s code is already thousands and thousands of lines and I haven’t even scratched the surface of what I want to do with it. I have decided that 2012 is going to be the year in which I either give it a proper go, reboot or scrap the project. By the third quarter of 2011 I wanted to reach the alpha stage, but Deus Ex and Skyrim severely undermined that goal. I’m still very far off, but there are still eleven full months in this year in which, if I dedicate myself, I can get a shit load done.

My heart goes out to continuing this project because I’m very happy with the stuff that’s already been done and I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback. There are quite a few people that want to see me continue and finish as well. The project is flawed, but you learn as you go and I have the feeling that even if I reboot the project, that six months in I will have regrets like I do now.

But rebooting does have advantages. I made many mistakes that prevent me from progressing as fast and as smoothly as I would like. Also, deciding to incorporate all the aspects of Shadowrun the way I would like is a very, very daunting and ambitious task, the likes of which I am not a hundred percent sure of will lead to a playable browser game, especially multiplayer. It’s a case of waiting and seeing, tinkering and tailoring. Rebooting will likely net me a cleaner framework. Lots can be recycled and upcycled while the problematic bits can be canned. I have had several ideas about other projects to try, but I’m trying to keep my enthusiasm from wandering in that direction and focus it on Corrosion. A lot has already been done that would have to be redone. A lot.

Scrapping it has been on my mind too. Especially now that it appears an official Shadowrun browser game is in the making. Quite more high tech, done in a Unity type engine that will give a far more immersive type of play. It’s of course unsure when that will be published (if at all), but I would love to play it myself so I can imagine it would wipe the floor with my relatively amateur, hobbyist game. Then there’s the probable cease and desist I might be served, since I’m doing all of this in good faith, knowing that by the grace of the IP owners I am allowed to do this. At a whim they could shut me down.

But for now, I think it’s a learning experience and character building as well. A project of this magnitude is forcing me to exercise my planning and strategy muscles as well as testing my fortitude. On top of that, and anyone who has made anything and seen a project come to life will attest, there is something invigorating and exhilarating in making something. Creating and nourishing something.

20/20 Hindsight

A clean slate. This has come up several times over the last few days, in different contexts, but it’s coming back to haunt me once again. This time, it’s Corrosion. I am getting the itch to start all over, from scratch, and fix some of the mistakes I initially made. Set things right. I’m not going to do that, because I realise that you’ll always keep that urge. You work, you learn, you grow, you look back and you realise what you could’ve done better. It’s also one of the traps you can get caught in. Always go back to rewrite and redo your own code and never push forward to finish anything. I just have to keep telling myself that. :)

He Who Persists, Prevails!

Lately, Corrosion hasn’t been getting the necessary attention it deserves. Sure, I discovered Bloodlines and Deus Ex: Human Revolution which have swallowed up significant amounts of my time, but still, I should’ve been a wee bit more diligent.

Working on the Arena has had me demoralised due to a glaring flaw in the approach we chose, which had been nagging on the periphery of my mind, had been noticed by certain players, but one that I was hoping to find a work around for. Tweaking the opponents in the Arena became almost impossible.

For those who care to know the details, read the following paragraph. For those that don’t, skip this paragraph and move on to the next one. In essence, we had decided we’d like to let go of racial attribute maximums, allowing a near endless expansion of ¬†attributes only soft-capped by a maximum action points you can spend in one go to raise it any further, etc. etc. Unfortunately, a really high Strength attribute means a very high body resistance target number. A very high Willpower attribute means a very high sorcery target number. As soon as an attribute becomes the target number for something, this concept breaks. Nobody will shoot an Ares Predator with a damage code of 9M when the body resistance test is done with 25 dice against a modified target number of 4. Especially when you can also fight with a Combat Axe which, when you have a strength of 25, gives you a damage code of 25S and even if you have a Body of 25 to resist that, a target number of 20+ is brutal.

So yeah, we had to change that. So attribute maximums are back in and we reset all characters, basically wiping the slate clean. Everyone understood, but not everyone was very happy with starting over again. Asking for starting karma and reputation, which we weren’t so keen on granting. It means we really have to step up our development from now. We’ve got a great idea for a new mission, which will incorporate some new things and should be available almost immediately. We’ll retweak the Ripper mission so that it’ll be available sooner and we’ll hopefully keep some of the dissatisfied players.

Anyone, short update over!

Corrosion: New Mission

We’ve just released a new mission for Corrosion. Anyone with a reputation of 50 or over now will get a msg in their inbox asking for a meet. A rich man wants you to retrieve a reminder of something that was taken from him by a gang. You have to find that item in the gang’s hide out. (Not without them putting up a fight.)

With the introduction of this new mission there will the introduction of three new enemies. Previously, there were just the ghouls to fight — mindlessly running at you hoping to claw their way through your stomach. Now there are dogs, gangers and ganger lieutenants to deal with. Some of them carry weapons and shoot at you from a distance while they sick their dogs on you.

Also, while ghouls were mindless, gangers are social creatures. If one of them spots you, he’ll warn the others. If you attack one that hasn’t spotted you yet and don’t immediately kill him, he’ll warn the others. Yeah, it’s not so simple anymore. :)

Also, there’s the option of searching mission premises after you’ve cleared them. You might be able to find something worth using or selling…