Does it have to be beatable?

The RTS strategy game I mentioned afore, where the aim was running in and then running out? I’m still making it. It is not about running in and running out but takes a dispassionate cerebral experience. I always knew it’d change in development. I think the reason for the cerebralness is that I really like the very robotic and simple AI that was originally meant as a placeholder; it also makes the game far more difficult than it could have.

What does this have to do with the title above? Well, the game consists of one single level with one single mission. Victory is a binary concept of defeating the empire’s capital. Aye, this wasn’t some philosophical ruminating on games of high scores, or something like PacMan this is far more serious and practical. This one level has yet to be defeated, nor can I say with certainty that perfect play allows it to be defeated.

This issue that keeps bubbling into my mind on this subject, is that if I do defeat the game, then – since the game is so simple and predictable – it means that an actually good player would be able to do it in quicker. This rather means that the optimistic state is that it takes me ages to playtest, but in that case I feel bad about causing you to have to wait with anticipation.

I suppose what would be fantastic to have is an ace playtester who could complete the game in a reasonable time period, while still suggesting that there’d be a challenge for people who weren’t ace playtesters. What would also be fantastic is a million quid and a private audience with the queen.

The third – and second decently possible – possibility is to come with a complicated strategy  and declare that that is the way to complete the game. Adjust all the values to ensure that this strategy does indeed work, and adjust the values further to ensure than no other strategy works. This simply feels wrong to me; I’ve tries introspection and can’t work out why that is. The tactic, I’m going with is simply playing it till I think I’ve got a puzzle, but a solvable one with all the pieces in the box.


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