Making games is often viewed as a high-tech activity but this week we've gone back to tools that are older than computers. I mean paper and scissors and, well okay, a little help from Mr. Printer.
Why go the old-fashioned way then?
This week we've been designing the mission system which is a central part of Spymaster. We want the missions to be fast-paced, exciting and generally feel like you're sending your spies on a very quick little adventure. Like, let's say we need to go to Paris, infiltrate the science lab and get the blueprint for the new Axis jet fighter. What do you know about the mission beforehand, how do you select your team and how do you plan the mission? What do you see during the mission, and what decisions can you make? What are the rewards and risks of missions? Computers are great game development tools but sometimes it's much faster to get the feeling for various design options with pieces of paper, dice and a pen to quickly revise numbers. It's also great fun to play the game together around a little table!
So after a full week of playing the missions on paper we're super excited and feel we now have a pretty solid understanding of how things should work. Your choices as a player affect many things, such as if you have a stealthy approach the alarm level doesn't go up so quickly, and you can also choose which agents are taking the biggest risks and thus face the greatest danger of becoming stressed, injured or even caught by the Gestapo!
Btw you should try to avoid getting caught at all costs because it can have really bad effects for your organization if your agent later breaks and starts spilling your secrets to the opposing force. If things do go wrong and one of your agents gets caught, you can still try to locate and rescue him from the prison where he is being held. However, that rescue mission might be a pretty dangerous one. ;)
Disclaimer: Game development is an iterative process where things tend to change many times over before the game ships. That's a fancy way of saying that we can't promise any exact features discussed in this blog.