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The Controversy of Looter Shooters, and is Witchfire One?

A short talk on what's good and what's bad about the looters shooters, and addressing the elephant in the room.

I asked a few people how they define a looter shooter and each gave me a different answer. “A game about amassing loot”, “A power-up/levelling grind”, “a shooter with RPG elements”. They’re all right. You can find such a definition on Wikipedia: Loot shooters are shooter games where the player’s overarching goal is the accumulation […]

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Internal Demo 2

It's done. What's next?

Previously on „Witchfire Development Diaries”… Right now, some of us work on new features needed for “Demo 2” (e.g. we only had one melee and one spell ability in “Demo 1”), some work on bringing what we already have to final quality, and some work on the AI. It’s clear that “Demo 2” will take […]

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Stormball, or the lesson on original gameplay ideas...

What to do when your unique gameplay idea turns out not to be so fresh after all?

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, and someone else already working on that gameplay idea you thought was oh so original and fresh. Of course, there’s always the story of Knight Lore… It was a 1984 game for ZX Spectrum that was actually made in 1983 and sit […]

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Breaking Out of the Development Lull: The Results

We did it. Let's talk what we've learned.

A month ago, I said we’re in a “development lull” hell: despite everyone putting in the hours, we didn’t feel like the game was progressing. Our proposed solution was: Instead of keeping on building the game, we’re dedicating August to building a demo. An internal one, focused on the flow of action, and the minute-to-minute, […]

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Breaking Out of the Development Lull

Risking an internal demo at the cost of fundamentals

Every project I worked on suffered from what I personally call a development lull. When you start a project, things happen fast, you prototype like crazy and make decisions every day. When you finish the project, it’s mayhem, you almost lose control over your tasks. But somewhere in the middle, nothing happens for months, sometimes […]

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The Dark Souls of Shooters, Part 2

Let's talk gameplay

„Punishing difficulty”, says The Myth of Soulsbornes. “Prepare to die”. Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but finishing any Soulsborne can be done by any dedicated gamer. The games are indeed a bit on the hard core side, but they have nothing on the madness that were Spectrum and Commodore 64 games of the 1980s. One […]

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The Dark Souls of Shooters, Part 1

Which elements of Witchfire are inspired by From games?

„It’s like the Dark Souls of shooters” came up quite a few times already, and that’s kind of expected, considering we’re a dark fantasy game the creators of which both love and are inspired by Soulsbornes. But is Witchfire really going in that direction? Is making a Soulsborne shooter even possible? There are four major […]

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Why Prototyping is Important

And also why we stopped writing design docs

Not a big post or reveal but that’s kind of the point of this dev diary, with rare exceptions. So let me you show you how we dealt with one of the design issues this last week. Check out this video. Can you tell me what happened here? (You may want to turn on the […]

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Destiny's Influence on Witchfire

What elements of Witchfire are inspired by Destiny?

Many times when I am asked a design question by a programmer, my reply is: “See how Destiny does it.” This reached the point when this appeared on our team chat… People following the game have also noticed a lot of Destiny in Witchfire. Luckily, no one seems to have an issue with it… Comment […]

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