Online discussion

Writing the dev blog is the last task of the working week, usually completed in the final hours of Friday night with a beer glass to hand. Sadly, external events intervened on this occasion, so please forgive the slight tardiness.

It was a typically busy week, with progress along the three main strands: concept art, interface design, and Kickstarter video. Each group has a different mix of core team members and external contributors, presenting a wide range of tasks to manage.

On concept art, Joe has completed a third work, which will go out on the Newsletter sometime in the coming week, along with a new competition. There will be five Steam keys up for grabs this time, so if you’re not already on the list, please use the red widget at the top right of this screen to sign yourself up.

Video and interface work are also moving along, and offering a host of fresh challenges. Alongside design, production and copywriting work, the core team have been trying their hand at scriptwriting, voice acting, and test filming performances. It is safe to say there have been a few teething issues on that front, and more than a little hilarity.

Of course, there’s still plenty of design discussion going on. One of the main topics this week has been something that arose from the video script: what does the Online in Fate of the World Online actually stand for?

For us, the fundamental difference that FOTWO has from the original is that the game will be based on a central server, so it doesn’t have to be fully installed the user’s machine. This means that people can play it on a much wider variety of platforms than before – Fate required a then-powerful PC or Macintosh to perform the substantial amount of processing the game needed, but FOTWO will do all the end-of-turn calculations in the cloud, before sending the results to the player’s computer, tablet, phone, and every other platform we can port the client too.

Online is also a statement of commitment from Soothsayer, to keep the game up to date with the latest scientific research, and stay on top of any bugs or balancing issues that emerged. The original game proved very hard to patch or add features to, and this is an area we want to get right this time around.

Finally, Online means that a multiplayer version of the game is enabled for the first time. To begin with, we’ll be solely focusing on getting the single player game right, but the architecture of the game – from the online server to the player role as national leader – should make incorporating multiplayer later a relatively simple proposition.

With the start of the next working week just a few hours away, it’s probably best to leave things there. We’ll be back next week with the afore-mentioned Newsletter, not to mention another blog update.

As always, thanks for reading.

The Fate team