– Michael, how well do you know C#? Would you be able to create a game?
– I used to know C# quite well and I probably could make a game. What did you have in mind?
– I was thinking about creating a game, it’s on my mind for a long time. That’s a proposition, kinda.
That’s how it all started.
And it continues.
At the end of August and with September starting, we’ve already had the general idea set. We didn’t know any big details and we just decided to continue planning out mechanics over time and start working on the prototype. We definitely knew how we wanted to start out with the game.
First important topic was the map. After all, that was the main component of the game. Everything would happen on it and player would have to control everything on it. We had various ideas over the days and there were a few versions of the map itself. I was the one to make all the graphics and as a person who rarely did any, especially by himself, I got to work. It definitely would take a few attempts. What later proved to be an interesting way of making graphics, didn’t show up yet. However the idea soon arised.
I’ve started just making a map and painting borders over it. However, it wasn’t exactly what would be great for us. We wanted to be able to spread it out a little bit more. What would be perfect is adding a system of states. We knew, that it would be preferable over just controlling given countries. The first map had to receive a rework. Not only because of the poor quality, but also because of the changed form.
In the meantime, we’ve been throwing around some crazy ideas. Not only about a map, but also in general. Those were things that luckily, we soon realized that were pretty hard to achieve, especially on the beginning. The problem was different – while we saw obvious difficult solutions, we didn’t see the plain inconsistency of the basic design. Something that we learned the hard way and came back to bite us later. But well – what can be said – that’s just the learning curve.
One of the craziest ideas for Market Dominion was the idea of a map, which was… a globe. That’s right! We had an idea to make the map a globe and navigate around it. With first interesting tests though, we quickly realized it will challenging not only for us but also for the engine.
On other things we still had to finish was the database with information for the states. We’ve already decided what states should be present and we went ahead and started putting together a full list with all information. While doing that, we needed some extra information on the populations and other things, so we had to dig a little deeper. After all, finding information from 1960 isn’t easy! However we did succeed and the database was soon finished. All the info we’ve come up with was later used during the development and actually came in pretty handy. We’ve used spreadsheets – they can be easily transofrmed into a database. They are also very handy when it comes to reading information from them – it’s a very clear and transparent form.
We had quite a lot prepared – we had the first map iteration, we also had the database we’ve needed and the ideas written down in a long, a bit unorganized document – there was still a little more to come, however we could start putting the first prototype together…
To be continued…