This has been a pretty hot-button topic at least since the infamous horse armor in Oblivion. EA's new Star Wars Battlefront II is the most recent high profile offender; though criticism has been leveled at most everyone at some point over the past several years.
I'd like to talk about it a little- but first I want to lay out my personal approach.
The Bounty: Deluxe Edition has a LOT of post-launch content updates coming. It's all stuff that I'd like to have in day one, but time just doesn't allow.
It's all coming for FREE. Here's why. First of all, it's what I want to do, and it feels like the right thing to do. I love it when a developer adds stuff to the games I enjoy- and doesn't ask for anything in return. It gives an impression like, "Man, these cats really care about this thing they've built." It keeps me personally invested. Secondly, my overhead is low. I'm just one dude. So I keep these updates coming, keep the game really alive, keep attracting new players; and keep the older ones involved. It's good for everyone, and for the game that I've invested so many years in.
Here's the Schedule-
Endless Dungeon Level Pack 1
New Player Skins
Spring '18 #1
Extra Episode 1
New Dungeon Skin
New Player Skins
Spring '18 #2
Endless Dungeon Level Pack 2
Extra Episode 2
Endless Dungeon Level Pack 3
The first year's updates will effectively double the amount of content to be found at launch. Some of these are already partially finished. The Endless Dungeon's framework is built in a way that all I really have to do is make new maps, and plug in the array of events, and voila. Level pack. So yeah, it's a LOT of stuff... but I'm not going to kill myself getting it out. If I were a big company, a lot more would be at stake.
Paid DLC, is it that bad?
Sometimes, yes. Let's say that right now. There's a lot of skeezy stuff out there, man. So, when is it ok? This depends on you, but my threshold seems to be about where it's definitely value added, and wasn't just present content locked behind a paywall. This can get tricky though, right? In Capcom's case with Street Fighter X Tekken, they had character files on the disc itself, which became available for purchase later on. I was ok with this, but why? The assets were built, yeah... but fully testing, balancing, and integrating characters in a fighting game? That's the real work, so I was happy to pay there. There are a lot of people in these companies that work very hard; games are overall cheaper than ever too, so how do they keep this thing going? Paid DLC is definitely one way.
What if a game launches, and on day one there's DLC available for extra levels or something? Are you ok with that? Did they have a assign a separate team to get that content built and ready? It's hard to say, but I'd like to hear YOUR opinions.
I often long for the "good old days", when you bought the cartridge and that was it. The game was in your hands already, totally complete. I also look back very fondly at good old PC game expansion packs, which I mean... were well packaged DLC. On the other hand, these streamlined additions are cool. Not having to buy 3 versions of Street Fighter, but just adding the new content. Diablo 3 is hardly the same experience as when it first launched. The fact that I can release a game... and keep adding to well after launch is special to me.
There are abusers, and that is not ok. I can't just dismiss the concept because of a few bad apples, but that's me.
Tell me what you think.
A Post-mortem, Part 2 of ?.
This will be a short piece, I promise. The graphics are pretty much the least important part of this game from my standpoint- so besides some neat simple things and the (awesome) monster sprites, there isn't much to say! (famous last words)
Generally speaking, the look and feel are really simple. Very deliberate, edged map layouts. Very plain "textures" to keep the player focused on the action and inconsistencies/clues. Lots of breaks in patterns for small levels, with a mix of clear and subtle landmarks or "tells" for larger ones.
All of the visuals adhere to a pixelated 16 bit standard. This means 15 colors + transparency maximum, a 4:3 viewing area, and size consistent with the era. Where we did cheat a bit is with the dynamic lighting! The effect is just cool and easy to implement for a number of things from torches to Bonus Level collectibles, so that's what stuck. ;)
One of the more distinguishable parts in The Bounty Deluxe are the multitude of player and dungeon skins. Using a in-game items (and sometimes passwords) you can change your character's appearance and the style of the game's graphics. Some are based on gaming history, some on backers, and some are plain silly- but there's a variety. A lot more will be coming with the free game updates, so there should definitely be options for everybody.
The game is constantly breaking the fourth wall to keep your aware. One of the ways this happens is visually. From swappable graphics, arcade cabinets and code peeking through breaks in the walls, to the office and secret test lounge, to "glitches", you'll see plenty of irregularities! These are meant to keep you from getting to comfortable in the game world; and hopefully get a chuckle or two.
Here's where things get expressive. Every last one of the beasties were lovingly crafted by Michael Wright, aka The Quester, aka The Bard of Badassery, etc. These guys are more evocative of perhaps the NES, with big, bold designs that really get in your face.
That'll do it for now. Next up will be music and SFX, with some input from Dya himself. That one will be a lot of fun, so I hope you're looking forward to it!