Post-Mortem: Black Sword RPG Part II, “Looking Back”

Welcome back for the second half of a review of my experiences in creating Black Sword RPG. I encourage you to see [link?]Part 1 if you haven’t already. Part 1 focused on the creation of the game, while today will focus on evaluating the product, post-creation.

I’ll start with what could I have done better – always a good question to ask every couple months and after every few updates. I came up with a few things in particular, though this is not an extensive list by any means.

I could have involved the storyline and quests more. Black Sword actually does have a storyline, but it got left behind in the rush to get a working game released. I’m not sure if I could have done more about this, but whether I could have or not, it is a shame that I didn’t. It would have helped with player immersion and involvement.

We should have had better help files and/or tutorial available from the very beginning. While my game is actually based upon fairly simple foundations with complex results, it is still hard to gain your bearings when you first join a PBBG unless you have previous experience in other games.

I failed in the area of successfully advertising the game; a small thing that can make or break a game. Our population is far lower than it could have been. Money and time both factor into this (I’m a full-time college student and first year husband) but more could have been done, regardless.

By the way, I play my own game. If you don’t enjoy playing your own game, you should stop making it! Playing my own game has allowed me to see through the eyes of my players. In other games I played I would come up with criticisms of how something could work better or be streamlined. Now I can turn that same critique against my own creation, to step out of the owner and into the player. I suggest you always take the time to do this as it can show you faults and holes in the game that cannot be seen when looking down on it as the creator.

As you have seen, it wasn’t an easy process. It took a lot of patience and determination to make it happen, but it finally did. Nine months passed from when I started the project until it launched. And only four months after release did we finally have everything from the original design document added. I still don’t consider it finished, as there are several key features that I had always planned on adding later that will help to flesh out and balance the game a little bit more. I have always had the tendency to not finish projects I start. When I started this game I knew it was going to be long and hard, but my passion for the dream would push me on. If you plan on making a game, don’t expect it to come overnight. Make sure you have a passion for what you are doing, something to drive you onward through the monotony. But I assure you, your work will be well worth it in the end – maybe not in dollar signs, but at least the pride of creating something you can call your own.

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Turin is the designer/project manager of Black Sword RPG, a game that brings “king of the hill” to a fantasy world where you can play your character the way you want to, not how the game tells you to.

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008 design, postmortem
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Building Browsergames is a blog about browsergames(also known as PBBG's). It's geared towards the beginner to intermediate developer who has an interest in building their own browsergame.


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