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Randy's Changelog v0.6

Randy's Changelog v0.6
Happy Sunday fuckers.
(from this point onwards I shall dub you all collectively as “the fuckers”, because I have no doubt in your fucking capabilities) (it’s not a hub link dw)
I’m on time, and since the last letter was only 4 days ago, I don’t really have that much to share with you…
because /resources as a heading is too specific
+ “Lost Garden” - a beautiful blog on game design. I haven’t read much yet, but just looking at this 1 hour long article on cozy game design makes my mouth water.
+ Thanks to the power of the collective Twitter consciousness, I was able to find this great video on the flaws of Minecraft’s current game design.
+ Excellent video on “The Joy of Note-Making” - I didn’t realise how shitty my relationship with note-taking was until now. I just over-captured the hell out of everything and 90% of “my notes” weren’t actually mine.
Suffice to say, my semi-private digital garden is back up and running, if you can find it ;)
I wrote an article about why I shelved Arcane, which explains why I shelved Arcane.
Yep that just about sums it up.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Minecraft Survival mode recently (the alpha version when beds didn’t exist). It was practically a completely different game, building had a purpose beyond just an intrinsic creative one.
When I was 10 years old, Minecraft felt like a horror game to me. I remember looking up Redstone tutorials on my Mum’s brand new smart phone, hoping to find something helpful I could use.
Bases had to be practical and defendable.
Building had meaning.
simpler times
simpler times
After watching that critique video from earlier, this image has been burned into my mind for days now.
I can feel these motivational building mechanics calling out to me, they’re pulling me to recreate something similar, to bring back the sheer excitement of the old Minecraft survival.
Maybe one day.
One day when I’ve got a higher scope ceiling.
“scope ceiling” - The amount of scope you can reliably introduce into your game without you shitting the bed. (a randy™ coined term)
The only way to increase your scope ceiling, is to take your previous game’s scope and slightly up it.
If you haven’t made a game before, your scope better be fucking tiny.
If you try to develop a game with a scope higher than your current ceiling, you will crash and burn. In fact, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.
Speaking of, I was having a conversation with my boy Timothy yesterday when a realisation struck me.
I’m not “taking a break” from my recent base-building game because the writing course I’m taking is too much work.
I’m doing it because I’ve lost motivation.
I’ve set the scope of the game beyond my ceiling… again.
I <3 over-scoping
I <3 over-scoping
Despite my best bar-lowering efforts after shelving Arcane, this still wasn’t low enough. The game that I had in mind would have taken two months minimum to ship to Steam.
Two months at my stage is still way too long.
I need something I can pump out in two weeks flat.
So I’ve decided to shelve the base-building side of things and create a game centred solely around choppin trees, hehe.
wow, that sounds absolutely riveting, this will be a 10/10 - IGN, a behemoth of a game that will rival the likes of tetris, an instant cult classic
Alright, maybe not.
Remember, I’m still just trying to get on base here.
The idea of trying to make a satisfying game out of something as mundane as tree chopping is just too fun of a challenge to pass up.
It’s also to spite this one PC Gamer writer guy who really hates tree chopping.
I’m still on a game dev hiatus for the remainder of the writing course though.
Just gonna let the excitement of this game simmer on stove til the lid is ready to fly off.
/rewards vs perks
After posting this article last week and seeing some of your comments, it’s gotten me thinking - what would be a good example rewards that actually hold up against my argument?
Not giving anything in return to the homies that support me? That just doesn’t sit right with me, no matter what angle I approach it from.
There has gotta be a nice middle ground between the extremes of the two funding models I discussed in that article.
And I think there is… but since offering “rewards” already has negative connotations in my mind, let’s use a different term instead: “perks”
Here are the differences between the two:
I'm envisioning a chad vs incel meme here, surely The Fuckers™ can make that happen?
I'm envisioning a chad vs incel meme here, surely The Fuckers™ can make that happen?
Active vs Passive - with active rewards you’re continually putting effort into them to make them valuable. Passive perks just sit in the background peacefully without a care in the world.
Primary vs Secondary - “rewards” can be the primary reason some people contribute. With perks on the other hand, it’s clear that they are just secondary bonuses.
Rigid vs Fluid - by changing rewards you risk losing a significant portion of people who only came for those, which makes them a lot more rigid to change. Perks on the other hand can easily be iterated upon and tweaked (since they’re just secondary).
Perks really seem like the way to go here, so I’ve decided to continue providing them for the peeps that support me.
I can offer all of these “bonuses” passively:
  • monospace font
  • the supporter discord
  • access to my s̶o̶u̷r̸c̵e̷ ̸c̴o̷d̸e̸
  • a perma link to ṋ̸̛̪̎̆̾e̶̻̼̔̎̊͆̾̿́͊̕ď̶̡̛̲̜̦̩̠̦̜̞̲̬̂̓̒̒̇͛͘ṙ̵̢̡̛̮̝͎̘̟̱̌̂́̅͗̈́̽̀̏͜͝ȧ̶̛̹͉̫̥̖̝̪̫̬̩͗̇͆̉́̑͌͒̋̒͘͝͝g̷̡̡̥͍̞̟̱͔̝̜͖͗ͅļ̷̢̛̳͖̣͓̹̜̜͕̽͌̋͛̂̈̍̚͘͜a̷̭̱̯͔̹̗̫͉͌̊̾͊̔͌̄͛́̈́́͆͜͝t̵̨̟̱̭̺͊̐̂̋̋̈́̏̈́̆̑͠͝͝͝͠ͅí̸̢̛͈̮͓͙͔͈̑̚̚g̷̼̺̩̊̀̈́̆̿̈́̑̆͆͋̕͘͘i̷̫͖͉̱̺̜̝͓̝͓̪̋̂͊̋̽́̈́̅̅͊̃́̊̑̚ͅḑ̵̳̹̥͛̕
(purposefully hidden)
I’ve got to be careful not to advertise these up-front, otherwise I run the risk of incentivising them too much. If they’re clearly valuable, too many people will donate just for the sake of the perks.
When incentivisation starts becoming my goal, that’s when I hit that shitty downward spiral of reward optimisation which makes me feel icky (like I discussed in last week’s article).
So I’ll try my best to steer clear of that.
sidenote: I realised how shitty the whole user experience with DonorBox was, so I promptly took it down and swapped it for Ko-Fi, which feels a lot more familiar and friendly.
That’s all I’ve got this week, I’m really just thinking about loud with these letters, hopefully it makes sense. Either way, thanks for reading :)
As always if you’ve got any questions or things you’d like to add to the discussion, would love to hear from ya.
I’ll leave you with this quote from the Minecraft end poem.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Good luck out there. I’ll cya in the next one,
- randy
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Randy @bigrando420

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