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Wuka World and Realistic Development

Wuka World and Realistic Development

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HighQuality #1
  08 Sep 2014 - 20:01
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HighQualityDeveloper Site

Quality over Quantity
Group: Founder
Posts: 222
Joined: 03 Aug 2012
The successor to the original Wuka World truly is one of the classic new developer clich├ęs, for a few months ago it passed it's 4th year in development.
For the past month and a half I've been working on the game essentially full time, spending approximatley 6 - 8 hours on it every single day. During that time development progressed at a steady rate, although still way too slow to realistically be finished within the forseeable future.
For two weeks ago I began my last year of the Swedish equivalent of high school and not surprisingly I neither got the time nor energy to put more than an hour or two of work per day on the game. This means that development is progressing a lot slower than originally expected, explaining the lack of a release on the 30th last month.

The original game was extremely limited in both goal and my own, personal knowledge of game developmnet.
Even though it's scope was extremely unrealistic for a first time multiplayer developer I pulled through it thanks to the wonderful people over at the Game Maker Community and all the help I got from them creating sprites and helping me with the code.
The process from beginning to create the game to finish it took almost a year and a half of work and Wuka World 2 began development a month or so before the original game went out of beta.
One of the major goals of Wuka World 2 was to make content development easier and therefore speed up development while simultaneously make major improvements to gameplay and graphics, as I'm sure everyone can tell it didn't really work out like that.
Initially we were still using Game Maker for it, this soon proved unrealistic due to the larger scope of the game and the inherit limitations of creating a server-client architecture using it.
It didn't take long until we moved on to a C++ version of the game, being new to both the language and development in a truly OOP environment the code soon became both unmanagable and non-compilable.
After a few iterations of prototypes using C++ we moved on to C#, the language we still use today, to some extent the game still uses the same code-base as those original C# versions had.

To sum it all up, the game has gone through and unimaginable amount of work and iterations and it's essentially taught me everything I know about game development today, which mostly is why it has taken so long to bring to the state it currently is at.

I began working on the original game with a large scope in mind and with very limited knowledge of the tools in my disposal.
Even though I came out a master at Game Maker at the end of it Wuka World 2 had the exact same problem when it first came into development due to the language switch, but with one crucial difference, a way larger scope; we had to develop tools, animation engines, custom renderers, better AI, better gameplay, custom networking, serverside security and a truly outrageous amount of more things all while programming in a language we had no previous experience with.

This all seems like a "Goodbye, Wuka World is cancelled" post, but it's really not, it's pretty much the contrary.
If there's one thing the development of Wuka World 2 has taught me it's that scope is everything, you can develop a game in any amount of time; anything inbetween ah hour and 20 years.
Up until this point the game's scope has truly been unrealistic for me to finish and program on my own while still attending school, therefore I've decided to significantly cut down on the game's scope, finish it and then move on with my game development career only pursuing smaller projects for the forseeable future.
I'm still deciding on what to cut and what's important enough to keep, I neither want to turn the game into a grind nor only make multi-player content, but here's a lits of my primary thoughts:
* Less flavour text for quests (Rename them tasks and make them dynamically discoverable by exploring the world, quests should be story-based)
* A significantly smaller amount of worlds (9 -> ~3)
* Significantly lower the max level
* More than one dungeon per world
* Single-player bosses and instances
* Possibly get rid of the archer class
* PvP-based stuff (Somewhat easy to develop, provides replayability)

I'm sure a lot of you won't be happy with these changes (especially the archer one), but I simply don't have the time to justify spending it on developing a game with an unrealistic scope.
Thank you for sticking with the project for the past few years, there will soon be an update with a complete project plan and schedule for the rest of the game's development.
Regards,
Erik P - a.k.a. HighQuality.
Founder - Wuka World Main Developer - Website Programming Assistant
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HexZyle #2
  13 Sep 2014 - 07:29
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HexZyleDeveloper Site

McDonalds' Employee
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Posts: 619
Joined: 23 Aug 2012
Seems quite reasonable, I know very well what it's like to bite off more than you can chew, and the way things are progressing it would have been a long time before we saw the archer class, if at all, the other things you mentioned even less likely.
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Aidiakapi #3
  06 Oct 2014 - 11:43
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AidiakapiDeveloper Site

Nevereal Someone
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Posts: 853
Joined: 21 Aug 2012
HighQuality wrote:
For two weeks ago I began my last year of the Swedish equivalent of high school and not surprisingly I neither got the time nor energy to put more than an hour or two of work per day on the game.

I have exactly the same situation. I started collage, and at the same time have major medical issues. I haven't had much time to work on games other than the ones I have to do for homework. (My homework alone consumes about 50 hours a week.) I have to make choices on what to drop and what to support when it comes to community projects.
For me the WW codebase is too cluttered to work with, it greatly reduces my effectiveness and therefore progression, I doubt my time spend on WW2 will have the results it should have relative to the time invested.

So in my current situation, where I lack time for well, everything, I cannot really contribute much. Nonetheless, I can see that the scope of this project is vastly beyond what is feasible in your current situation, and it's only logical you made this decision.
Finally a new signature.
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