Working on 2nd edition of my book

So this past month I haven’t worked a ton on my strategy game. I wasn’t just being lazy; I’ve started working on the 2nd edition of Unity in Action! That’ll probably take most of the summer to complete, so in the meantime I probably won’t do much on my game. Which is annoying but that’s life; I didn’t know in just a few months my publisher would be asking for a 2nd edition when I started on my game.

That said, I really like working on this game so I can’t stay away from it completely. First off, I’ve done a bit of work figuring out how the UI system will operate. Nothing worth showing off, just creating popups in HTML and writing JavaScript to control them.

Second, I’ve been looking for and playing simple strategy games for research. I know, haha “research”, but seriously I’ve been making a concerted effort to find other games similar to what I have in mind and/or which will give me new ideas. For example, I learned of Crown and Council, which I really wish I could play directly but it’s PC-only so I’ve watched playthroughs on YouTube. Similarly, I’ve been googling terms like “free web strategy game” and “simple html5 strategy game” to find more examples. There are two in particular I want to talk about:

I recently discovered 50 Years. It’s very similar to my plans: it’s a very simple game but very engaging (for me anyway). It reminded me a lot of A Dark Room actually, and I hadn’t been thinking about that game so that was a useful connection to make. 50 Years is also similar in terms of the business plan: it had a web prototype released for free on itch and then a commercial release on Steam. The game mechanics are very similar to what I’ve been planning for my game, only my game will have a map and 50 Years does not, so that difference gives me food for thought…

Anyway the other game I recently discovered is Ocean Tribes. In this case, I wasn’t so much learning from the exact mechanics, as I was learning from how to build a simple game from those mechanics. In particular, I noticed Ocean Tribes was a lot of fun at first, but was an interminable grind part-way through. I’m going to need to be watchful for that happening in my game, and plan how to avoid that issue.

For starters, since the victory condition in my game will be defeating a specific enemy rather than conquering the entire map, that’ll help mitigate any boring period where it’s clear you are winning, but there’s a long war of attrition before you claim victory.

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