Hi there! Welcome to our first blog post! We’ll be using this a place where we can post updates on the progress we have been making with Yellow Rock Road and anything else that might be interesting during the course of development.
We started this week moving into our new office generously provided by the fine folks at the Digital Creativity Labs here at the University of York. Perhaps the most exciting thing about this move has been the chance for us to get our hands on some extra monitors for dual-monitor setups!
Before getting into any details about how our development process has been going, now is perhaps a good time to share some more details about the nature of Yellow Rock Road, as it may not be entirely clear how elements of both rhythm and narrative games are being combined. Structurally, Yellow Rock Road takes inspiration from the rogue-like genre. As a time travelling band, each new timeline you move to can be seen as starting a new “run”. This gives the player the opportunity to make different choices every time they play – think along the lines of Groundhog Day and you’ll be on the right track.
As this was our first week of working on the game full-time we are still very much in the early stages of the project. Lots of our efforts have been spent implementing and iterating upon the core elements of Yellow Rock Road. In our discussions surrounding the design of the game, there has been a consistent focus on pinning down what makes rogue-likes so compelling to play. We feel that the sense of progression and build-up that a player is able to experience from run to run is really important in holding their attention and making each run feel unique. For this reason, we had to shift various elements of the design to accommodate this, the biggest being a change in the way in which players earn “curses” to the rhythm game. Curses are the way in which the rhythm game is augmented, adding new challenges and ways of playing. In our prior design, players would choose what curses they would have at the start of each run. Now, players will gradually earn them throughout the run as they play. Not only does this new implementation help give the player a sense of progression, the change also helps us solve other latent problems such as giving the player enough interesting decisions and increasing difficulty as a run advances.
There is still lots to do and the countdown to EGX is something we are keenly aware of. Nonetheless, we are really pleased with the progress we are making so far and hope to carry this momentum with us all the way to September and make something we can be proud of!