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Monday, February 12, 2007

Dev Diary: Oh Wii, Oh My

My overall concern with Dreadnought right now is with it's format. Not so much "inner loop" like worrying about combat mechanics or "outer loop" like thinking about graphics - but rather more basic ideas like the size of tiles, resolution concerns, etc.

It occurs to me that the Wii might be a great baseline machine to keep in mind for designing webgames. It's a low common denominator with an energized user base. And anything that runs on the Wii will run on any PC and possibly even a few handhelds (depending on their browser implementation). In fact, if I avoid using AJAX it might make for a very wide audience - but I still like using AJAX for data loading ... so we'll have to see.

It's not easy though. The Wii has a tiny recommended resolution - about 600x450. That's not surprising ... TV resolution minus chrome, I suppose. However, I was trying to make the tiles large enough to be readable on high res monitors as well... so that means my viewable map area is now something like a 20x20 grid. Complicating that further is that the interface is based on absolutely position divs (which get compared to mouse inputs) which might make scrolling very complicated.

So I might make maps sectioned into 20x20 areas which will be linked togethers. There will probably be a limit to the number of sections as well. I don't know how much of a turn off this is compared to sprawling maps.

I just got the foundation for this working yesterday, so we'll see if I haven't changed my mind by Friday.

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