Even though World Train Royale is Versus Software’s first commercial product it is by no means its first actual product. One of his initial efforts to venture out into the game development world was with a product now known as Solis.
Solis is a 2D action/rpg game with heavy influences from the 16 bit era consoles, like SNES and SEGA Genesis. I’ve seen countless attempts through out the net on developers trying to re-create this sort of gameplay mechanic. Probably for the same reasons I did, a nostalgia trip mixed with a desire to develop games.
It took me 1.5 years to finish Solis, mostly because I was doing it in my spare time but also because I had zero design knoledge on how to pull a game like this. But I kept at it though. What I failed to realize in the beginning of development was something that in some ways only becomes aparent once you’re dealing with it. The idea is simple : different games require different ammounts of resources. It seems obvious once you’re saying it but back then it wasn’t. At least not for me.
If you compare an RPG style game with a platformer you’ll see that in the platform game you can get away with not having any story, complex menus, hub worlds, equipment/item/armor interfaces, mathmatical based combat sytem, tons and tons of scripting, and so on.
Now you could obviously put that in a game and get a Symphony of the Night as a result, but my point is that if your desire is to make an RPG, you’ll pretty much have to add those things in your game. Different game designs requires different resources and in different quantities. Pretty obvious, huh?
So with that in consideration, as a developer without an artist or a designer to work with me, doing an RPG wasn’t probably the best idea in the world. I only managed to understand that once I had actually finished the game and sent it out to several forums and game blogs.
Which brings me to my next point, one that I’ve seen countless game designers say it over and over again. It doesn’t matter how far you’ve gone with developing a game. You will only trully come full circle once you’ve actually finished a game and showed it around for others to see. Doing that puts you in critical distance of your game and all its design, something that’s quit difficult to do while you’re actually developing.
With the experience and knoledge I obtained, I set out to develop a new set of game, that would require a whole new engine and code base. But that’s a story for another post. Until then!