Best Buds, Interview, Status
Buddies for (Artificial) Life
You've seen them there, lurking on the left of the screen. The enigmatic little faces of Gun Buddy, Shield Buddy and Repair Buddy, the ship's three main systems represented as semi-belligerent AI's (Artificial Intelligences). But why are they there, what purpose do they serve?
Well, I'm glad I made you ask me that.
When the main focus of a game is a spaceship it's difficult to impart character into it - it's not a cute little critter, or a person, it's nothing relate-able. It has no facial expressions, or characterful movement style. It's just tin can, albeit a heavily armed one.
This worried me. I worried that without some characterisation in the game, players would have trouble attaching to it in an emotional way, that it would only be appreciated on a mechanical level. I like games with character so I was keen to inject some into this game.
At that stage of development I already had an idea of how I wanted the power core and shield/gun power balancing to work. I started thinking about it's looks. I'd been staring at car dashboards for layout inspiration and noticed that some of them are shaped like happy or inexplicably furious faces. My mind made a mental connection with an old comic called Rogue Trooper, in which fallen comrades personalities are downloaded onto computer chips that can be clipped into guns, helms and backpacks and assist the hero of the piece, Rogue himself. The actual purpose within the comic was to aid in exposition as this 'lone' Rogue Trooper travelled around totally 'alone' yet with three other personalities to interact and banter with.
Thank you, Rogue Trooper!
That's when Gun, Shield and Repair Buddy were born. They would be embedded into the dashboard and have a face-like quality to them. Each would have it's own personality and they would banter with each other and help inform the player about what was happening in the game. You should have seen the smile on my face that day :)
But we have a question for you - Do they work? Do you find them appealing or appalling? Are they too chatty, too ugly, too... basically, just telling us how you feel about them would help us evolve their place in the game. There's a Comment button at the end you can use, we'd really love to know your thoughts on the Buddies.
For the curious you can see the original programmer artwork for the buddies here. Ooof!
Interview and Video Preview
A few days ago I was interviewed about the game. I haven't listened to it yet (like most people I cringe when I see or hear myself), but I really enjoyed doing the interview with @FerrousPilot . You can find it here (and let me know if I did ok):
There's also a great video preview from @GAUStudios about the game:
Where are we at?
As of this email we're at 47% of the way to the total goal of £10,000. That's pretty good going so far, but that's not to say we're not nervous about hitting the target. We're contacting the gaming press as fast as we can but pledges have slowed right down. We need your help.
If you'd like to help out then keep Tweeting and Facebooking about how much you're looking forward to the game and include the short link to the Kickstarter: http://kck.st/1onIukY
If you're comfortable with it then contact your favourite gaming sites and youtubers/let's-players and ask them if they'd consider covering the game. Gaming sites love to know what their audience is interested in. Just a single mention from one of the big sites or people could put us over the line.
In the meantime we'll keep plugging away at our big-list-of-who-to-contact.
The Mighty Git