The Minimum Viable Product Approach

The Minimum Viable Product Approach

One of the greatest hopes that I have for Lands of Oneiro is that the world that will be one worth exploring and the stories will be fun to experience.  With the date for the first alpha test approaching, I want to create the smallest game possible that would be:

  • at least nominally fun to play – a test of the game design concept overall.
  • provides useful testing feedback – from both the game engine and the play-testers.

So far one of the greatest challenges I have had while working on Lands of Oneiro is the loss of focus on creating a fully functional albeit tiny game.

  • I spent hours getting a MUSHclient plugin to work with automapper. It looks great and functions well, but I have several more hours of programming work in the codebase get it to the point that I would feel it was ready to share.  This is 100% not necessary for testing the core gameplay for Lands of Oneiro and is not a good time investment this early in development.  It is fun to play around with and I am glad to see how easily it can be done.
  • On a related project I spent hours working on adding color background codes and swapping out the automapper for amap because it would look awesome with the MUSHclient plugin. Unfortunately one of the extended color codes (silver which is necessary for mountains) does not work.  I haven’t made progress on getting this to work and it seems like a long term time sync.  It’s 100% unnecessary for right now.
  • I wasted hours working on removing the many dividers that show up during the character generation process. I want to increase the accessibility for the game as much as possible but after almost getting the character generation to be more screen reader friendly, I somehow broke cpp.  I remember from the years I worked on Athens, touching nanny.cpp is always precarious business.  I shouldn’t be messing with it when I’ve barely started to re-familiarize myself with Dawn of Time.  This is a high priority but I don’t think it will make the first alpha test.

Lands of Oneiro: Minimal Viable Product

One Wilderness Continent

The basic rooms for the northwest corner of Akir has been built.  It is a wilderness area with a grid size of 30 x 30 rooms that are connected in all 8 directions.  The entire continent of Akir will be four of these wilderness zones stitched together using the same process I used to make a grid perfect overworld map for Athens.

One Playable Race

I’ve built most of the rooms for The Kingdom of Zaltyra, the Dusk Elf home city.  I have specifically designed the city to have room for growth by leaving openings for future connections.

One Playable Class

It has been a fun challenge familiarizing myself with the mage class in the DOT codebase.  I had no magic users in Athens since everyone was playing a human or demigod hero in that game.  I am looking forward to expanding the magic system in the future.

One Class Specific Newbie Tutorial Quest Storyline

I want each class and race combination to have its own storyline and there is no better way than to highlight this than having unique tutorials.  I feel this increases replayability, gives the gameplay experience a more thematic feel based on class choice and creates an immediate hook into the class story-line.  This will be a great test of the quest system I am designing for the game.

Help File Organization and Rewrites

This is absolutely necessary before even the first alpha test.  There are hundreds of uncategorized helpfiles in the Dawn of Time codebase.  Almost nothing is categorized and many of the helpfiles reference game settings and options that are different from those that I plan to utilize for Lands of Oneiro.  I would not ask anyone to even playtest the game without at least an attempt at fixing how unwieldy the help system is.