What does 'Open Development' mean for 'Foundation of Civilization'?
In the 'Website Launch: A Step Forward' post I spoke about taking an Open Development approach for Foundation of Civilization; but what does this mean exactly?
What is Open Development?
Open Development was used for the development of Desktop Dungeons - so much so, this consideration was inspired by a talk given by the developers during GDC. What this means for Foundation of Civilization is giving you the ability to access the game's prototype builds from the start. You will be able to play, and provide feedback which will help to guide and inform decisions taken during the development of Foundation of Civilization.
Will decisions on how to take the game forward depend entirely on feedback?
Whilst, needless to say, decisions will be taken independently, having information based on people's game-play experience could help inform certain decisions in a more tangible manner.
What does this mean for the future of the project? Will the prototypes always be available?
This is difficult to say - needless to say, taking this approach is new experience for myself - however potentially having feedback available to inform a decision, as well as having the ability to provide a build for you all to try out and play is both exciting, and potentially highly insightful.
How regular would updated builds be present?
This is also difficult to say - especially since each build will likely involve very different components and features being introduced. What was implemented in the previous built could have taken a month - whilst the next build could have taken three months. One key consideration at the time of writing this post is that I am still writing my Masters Dissertation; as such Foundation of Civilization remains side-lined for the moment. As such - it is likely that, at least in the beginning, build updates will not be tied to a specific schedule, and will arrive on a 'once it's ready to be tested' basis.
Will builds be completely playable all the time?
This is more of an expectation being answered rather than a question. Builds will be as playable as they can be at the moment of development. Needless to say - a focus will be put towards helping ensure that players have a good experience playing the game, however one should not expect this to necessarily be the case all the time. The builds that will be played will be heavily 'Work-In-Progress' - if we use what is often used in industry terms as going from 'Alpha to Beta to Release' - this will be the area before 'Alpha'. As such - expect there to be heavy changes, and big issues in terms of balancing, game-play and user experience. The point of Open Development is to help allow users to provide feedback to developers during the development process, whilst also ensuring developers have the freedom to change things around heavily. If you are someone who wishes to play the full experience when the game is finished - that's more than okay - just go into these builds knowing that issues will most likely arise.
I am interested! Where do I get the latest build and information?
At the moment - you can find the latest prototype build in the project section of Foundation of Civilization! You are free to send feedback in the 'Contact' section of the 'About' page! Later on - I will likely build a page that will contain all that you need as you play the game; allowing you easily access the build, and send feedback on the same page.
When will this be implemented?
I will most likely resume small tasks of development throughout my dissertation year - however it is highly likely that this would take place primarily after my dissertation year. If I do choose to begin prior to finishing my dissertation, it will remain as a side whilst the dissertation takes priority. In other words - I haven't quite decided yet! You are more than welcome to try the prototype available on the project page, and send feedback on that build - however it's likely that a new build won't be available for a fair amount of time at the moment!
Thank you for taking the time and interest in this project, if you have any further questions or input - please do not hesitate to contact me via the 'About' page!