Ass worked off; still faithful

May 25, 2006

This an old status update on my web-based game Engineering Faith.

While I’ve been working away on Faith (11 releases since the last blog post here) it occurs to me that people who aren’t watching the Changes page might think things with Engineering Faith are going slowly. Things are still indeed live and kicking, although I’m busy with various other things as well. For those who are curious, my various ongoing projects include:

  • Altering Time Redesign: to include a more general blog, a fresh new look, and an improved What’s New view
  • Engineering Faith: might be out of beta status at the end of summer
  • SFU Computing Science Student Society: Site rewrite, as well as separate site for Frosh Week 2006
  • One Laptop Per Child project: Students from my university are helping out with MIT’s project to produce inexpensive computers for education in the third world.

Plus I have a couple projects ongoing at work… but that doesn’t count because I’m paid for that! So, does me being busy mean I don’t have time for Faith? Heck no! It just means I’m a crazy ambitious mofo who plans to write ridiculous amounts of code this summer!

Faith is progressing along, with a constant stream of bugfixes and tweaks. While I’m not spending as much time writing new features as I’d like, I really want to get things right. I think that a smaller number of better-written features is exactly what Faith (and most projects) really needs. I don’t want Faith to end up with lots of features that never lived up to their potential, the way Attacks and Covenants are right now.

One thing that seems to be happening that I’m glad about is that disparate strategies seem to really be becoming viable. Rather than getting everybody always telling me the same thing is overpowered, I’m getting some people telling me one approach is the best, some saying another, and so on. While things are still very much imbalanced, it’s slowly approaching the point where there really isn’t one overpowering strategy. This is helped a fair bit by the fact there’s multiple goals (holiness and followers).

One thing there’s been some talk about is Faith’s complexity. It really is damn complex, and I agree somewhat that it’s more complex than it needs to be. This isn’t just in terms of features, but in the sheer number of things you can do and the number of numbers flying around. However, I don’t think it’s unworkable - just challenging. :) It’s possible I may do some things to try and tighten things up and make things more stable, but I think the complexity adds a bit of charm to it, in that you don’t really know what’s going on… and neither does anyone else! Real life is like that anyway. If anything, I think that less numbers should be exposed to the players, so that the complexity is less overwhelming.

Another thing there’s been talk about is that your gain isn’t necessarily somebody’s loss, the way it is in Asylum. This is very much by design, and results in a less directly competitive atmosphere. My intent was to make it so everybody could enjoy themselves, and not have a game with 1 winner and 99 losers. However, it’s made the low level of player interaction and conflict much more annoying, and I totally agree. Thankfully, work on that is high on the todo list.

© Allen Pike. See also Twitter and Steamclock.