Someone on Discord asked us: How come we never see your other games and we only hear about Last Regiment and Legends of Callasia? The quick answer is: our other projects are with publishers, who own the rights to our games. This brings us to a discussion about how the game development industry works, including the developer-publisher relationship.
There are two (or three) ways to make games. One is first party publishing, wherein a publisher makes the game and figures out the whole process of getting the game out to the consumer. The other is third party publishing, wherein someone else develops the game, and the publisher runs it through their established processes, platforms, and pipelines. Either the developer (who may not have the resources) approaches a publisher to distribute their game, or a publisher goes to the developers and asks them to make a game.
There are three important parts of this deal: prepaid payments, backend royalties, and IP ownership. This final one pretty much explain why we haven’t continued making our successful hidden object franchises, and why we don’t promote our newer games as heavily as we do for Last Regiment.
Last week we talked a lot about writing the story, which led us to thinking about writing conventions for specific genres. When we apply it to game development, it’s mostly the same. In the case of Last Regiment, we ask: What do players expect in a turn-based strategy game? Genre differences are important in the entertainment industry, so we have to be in that framework of how we make Last Regiment better.
Right now we can say that the game is in a good state, but still very much in development. Last Regiment is the type of game that’s a bit experimental because it has not been made before. We need to prove that the core gameplay is interesting, and now we can say that at this point that we’re able to verify that it is fun.
The second stage is to ask ourselves: How do we make it more fun? Why is it not amazing yet? It’s an iterative process to get a game from “good” to “great”. These are the things that we’ve found that we still have to address:
Concept of fortification is not working well right now
Stealth mechanic still needs some work
Unpredictability of unit movement at the end-turn resolution
Polish and visual effects
Meanwhile, here are some of the improvements we’ve made so far.
We’re also going to start the the Alliance System next week – we realized that we need it for a lot of the campaign missions, so we decided it was time to start looking into it. For those of you who remember the alliance system in Legends of Callasia: What did you hate or love? What did you want added? Let us know!
Anyway, we might have fewer streams this month. Chris will be away on a working vacation and meeting some of the team, but we might do one final stream next week before we leave. We’ll be announcing it on Discord, where we also post some real-time updates on what we’re currently doing. Join us if you still haven’t, and let us know if you’d like Chris to record some podcasts in the meantime.