Looking back on the Journey
The SteelPinion game has been at top of my mind since February 2021. It has undergone some significant changes and leaps forward over what feels like a long time. It is that period of time that I intend to review and share with you some Saturdays.
SteelPinion at its heart is a turn based tactical strategy game. You build a squad or fleet customizing individual unique snowflake units, then pit them against another opposing fleet by cleverly combining positioning with striking.
I am a BIG fan of games like XCOM, Triangle Strategy, Final Fantasy Tactics, Invisible Inc, Divinity, Othercide, Fire Emblem and prolly more I can't thnk of on the spot. SteelPinion takes inspiration from many of these games and yet plays closely to that of an oldschool Fantasy Flight tabletop game.
Finding My Focus
With so many great ideas out there, it has been tough to focus on which inspirations to act upon first. So I started with a ship battle game design that was originally intended as a mini-game within Regal Arbor. (Regal Arbor is a different game which sadly never got to see the light of day despite many years of work from a team of talented people).
The making of a game is fraught with peril, doubt, fear, loss, and embarrassment. Through this journey, some steps occasionally reveal bountiful level ups, and to my suprise the growth of others around me as well.
My eldest son (6 yr) can read, and read well. One morning this fact became glaringly obvious as he approached from behind me silently and said;
Just try and sink em with this ship's standard salvo.
He then promptly requested the definition of "salvo". Stunned a moment, I explained three levels deep before eventually getting to his question a few minutes later.
It is moments like these that bring me alive; The combining of world building, game making, and teaching. This is what I love doing. Of course we want the game itself to come alive in its own right. I've already been filled with life long enough to now breath some of it back into the gaming community where I've spent much of that time.
At this point SteelPinion is more than just a game to me. It is my work of art combining everything I know about software, architecture, people, and (most importantly) strategic gameplay.
Bout This Diary
For 699 days, SteelPinion has been in development. Each day may differ in what was worked. The early days of 2020/2021 were all about data, tools, and toys. Arguably the most fun part of any project is its blissful beginnings, and SteelPinion was no different.
I'll not commit to a specific release cadence for this dev diary. That commitment would be a distracting trap, and at worst a demoralizing obligation. However, my personal goal is still to reflect some updates at least one Saturday a month; a fair sustainable rate for a solo dev.
My intention is indeed to share the whole tale, perhaps teach a lesson, and learn something myself in the process. This is therapeutic for me to review the past progression of the game and remind myself that SteelPinion is moving forward at an exceptional pace given the depth we are trying to tackle.
Comics & Mangas
One final note is that I love comic books! Even though I own mostly mangas and no comics... That embarrassing secret aside; SteelPinion needs a comic series on the side to express its alternate history and storyline. We'll do our best to share any comic page updates. Like this very first one!
In the next entry, I am eager to show much more about the early day architectural design as well as early game design!