So, back in October or November 09, Jamie Young approached me about creating some new formulas for the next Sacred Seasons game. I put together a spreadsheet that featured many different formula choices, all simple and meant to scale in a similar way to SS1. Then I didn’t hear anything for a while. Fast forward to mid December, and I begin speaking to Derek Day, who had been working more on the game’s lore, features, and content. It’s with Derek that I spent the past 4 months.
Initially, I thought I would be making some formulas, maybe doing some class balance. In the end, I wound up laying the foundation for 24 classes each with 4 seasons, 17 different weapon types with 100 total descriptors, 58 monster types, and 60 dungeons with ~2500 battles. Basically, I would get a document with names and ideas on what something would do, and I added values to do it and made sure it’s balanced with everything else. I say laying the foundation, because a lot of the initial work I did wound up being changed, tweaked, or modified by Derek. He and I had many a discussion that revolved around making changes to work I had done, sometimes weeks or even months after the fact. Derek “won” 99% of these discussions, and he managed to change my opinion on about half of them, with another quarter ending in indifference between the two.
I want you to go back and re-read the 2nd sentence of the previous paragraph. Take that in. Then add in the massive world, encompassing 13 areas, tons of quests (I’m not sure exactly how many… but it’s a lot), and all the features that are still planned for future content updates. It’s been a huge undertaking and I only played a small role. But the experience has been fantastic. If I had been allowed to design a lot of the systems and mechanics that I thought I was going to be allowed to design without oversight, the game would not have wound up as complete as it is. I’ve been frustrated on numerous occasions, having spent 10+ hours designing something, only to then find out that Derek wants part, or all, of it changed or done differently. There were times I wanted to bang my head into a wall because I felt my way of doing something was better, yet I was being overruled time and time again. But through it all, I have done what I thought was best for the game’s success… and then adapted to all of the requested changes. I’ve gotten to see and experience what it is like to design an MMORPG.
So, I hope that all of you enjoy the gameplay in Sacred Seasons 2, because an awful lot of time, energy, and thought went into it.
Expect some more game-related posts and post-mortem type stuff in the coming weeks.