Projects 2014 > Fabulous Beasts > Journal
As we get started on our project, one question that we've been coming up against is: should we making a prototype where the experience is magical, or something where the costs of all the constituent parts are all low enough that we can demonstrate that the game can be made for commercial sale?
Ideally, of course, the answer should be 'both those things'! And that's what we're aiming for. We're thinking about different, simpler systems for tracking blocks than the computer vision implied by that original sketch - computer vision might be the answer, but there are issues to do with reliability, cost and the fact that either the camera or the tower has to revolve in order to create a 3d picture. Instead, we're thinking about strain gauges (as you find in your digital scales) and RFID tracking. One of the interesting things about working in a multidisciplinary design team that covers hardware, software and game design is that every problem is solvable multiple ways. For example, we can design a great game where the system can't see the tower, but knows which block has been placed. Or we could design a block set where each block has a unique weight, which means we can track objects with a strain gauge.
I'm also clear that if it comes down to a straight choice between magic and manufacturability (yes that totally is a word) we're going to go for magic. It's always possible to imagine smart ways to make a thing for less money, but it's a lot harder to persuade distributors & publishers to take an interest in your game if it doesn't have a real spark of fun & delight.Posted by Alex Fleetwood