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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Dev Diary: Want Some Rope?

Dreadnought is still coming along smoothly. I got "crates" and "loot" working, so you can actually get things now. You can't do anything with them, but they're shiny. I started to define some objects which might resemble the actual product like certain monsters and weapons. I'm going to start working on some of the more advanced interface concepts like switching weapons, declaring attacks, closing doors and the like pretty soon.

But I've been thinking about one of the major features I really want to add - the ability to easily create your own maps and tasks (quests). The question is ... how much rope should the player get? Enough to tie a knot or enough to hang themselves?

Theoretically, if a player can create any map they want - they could create one room, fill it full of crates with powerful weapons, play it and go beat down whatever they like. Now - some of that is contained because if Dread's skill system works as designed ... that Iron BloodBlade Of BeatDown won't be nearly as powerful because they won't have any powerful attacks with it.

That doesn't alleviate the possibility of map creation becoming a Christmas party, just lessens the after-effects.

The question is ... do I care?

For one thing, Dreadnought's entire engine will be in JavaScript. That means in runs on the client side and is nearly infintely hackable. I won't go into details here, but one could pretty much do anything from give yourself new weapons to double your health if you wanted to take the time reverse engineer the scripts and write a couple javascript: bookmarks (this being why Dread won't ever be multiplayer in this form).

So - it's the player's experience they are tinkering with. Their own backyard. So why should I make a restrictive system to protect them from themselves?

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