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49 Prototypes games

Making Frail: Ego 49 public

I haven’t shared a lot on Frail. That’s mainly because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. Originally the game was part of a much larger concept, and Frail is only a teeny-tiny slice of that idea.

Even with Frail: Ego 49 being that small slice of a greater whole, I was afraid that I needed to dumb down the game even further. My coding skills are horrendous, and the scope was still was quite large for my taste. Large being, it will take me more than 6 months. Starting 2019 I initially set out to do one-month-games, now I’m already a couple of months in with Frail and got a couple of months more to go. Check this link if you don’t know what Frail: Ego 49 is.

In these past few months though, I’ve made quite a bit of progress and received a lot of enthusiasm and positive feedback when showing it to friends and colleagues. Initially, they were confused by the fast-paced mechanics and the duality of the interface and the movement of the characters. But after they got the rules of play down, they were eager to beat each other’s score and get a higher ranking.

Letting others play I noticed three big takeaways. One being, they already like the current art style and design, even though I keep commenting that everything they see is placeholder art (artistic self-protection). So I might keep the final art more in line with the current placeholders and spend less time on new art.

Secondly, the game is way too hard and confusing to understand at first. So I need to start thinking about how I want to introduce a tutorial. I’ve already put in quite some effort to gradually improve the difficulty while you play. As a player, you progress through 4 different ‘worlds’, each world presenting a new layer of options and restrictions in battle as well as new enemies. So, back to the drawing board on that one, see if I can simplify it even more.

And last, but the most important one; they enjoyed it! So that gave me some new incentive to keep working on the game and that it does have some potential in the market. It’s a common developer thing when you lock yourself and your project in from the outside world you will soon find yourself in a tunnel vision, where either everything is great, or everything you made sucks. So it’s important to keep playtesting, for feedback and for validation.

Anyway! This is the start of me sharing more Frail: Ego 49 content. I’ll be polishing a test build in January and want to share some game-play soon. I’m also thinking about showcasing the game in February and will start looking for Alpha testers. If you want to stay updated, check out my freshly made newsletter in the footer and follow other vague updates of mine on twitter.