Archive for July, 2014


July 28th, 2014 7 comments

Most things start with a simple idea. Although I was not working for InnoGames at the time The West was created, I’m pretty sure there was an idea which resulted in the game you play today. The multiplayer instances, in short MPIs, started off with an idea as well but as the development progressed, that idea evolved into more than everybody would’ve thought of. When we first started working on the MPIs, it was designed as an improved fort battle, with similar graphics and gameplay but different maps and objectives. After a couple of technological decisions, the developers started working on an initial visual prototype, a proof-of-concept:

First MPI prototype

There was a small graphical update with an actual cowboy and some trees and stones:

Slightly improved graphics

After a couple of playtests, however, we thought that we could do better visually. Meetings were conducted and several options discussed. We looked at different games and their perspectives and, in the end, decided to try out an isometric one. We got back to work and started on another visual prototype. The initial result was the following:

First isometric prototype

From there on, we went with both versions, top down and isometric. The player was able to switch between them while playing the game as the top down view presented a better overview but the isometric view looked nicer. Although it was better, the visual quality of the images was lacking as they were mainly dummy images. After a couple of iterations, sweat and tears, we put together a simple new map with the latest version of our graphic assets:

High quality graphics in the isometric view

And it looks great. With the art style and high-quality images finished, there was one more big task to take on: the UI. Again, ideas had been gathered, nerf-guns had been used but we, as we always do, settled on a first version:

There’s also a new, second setting: desert. No grass here!

However, although we have played the MPIs quite a lot, we haven’t with such an UI. More playtests and your feedback will decide on the UI’s future. There was also another victim that couldn’t keep up with the pace of changes: the top-down view. As the isometric view received more and more visual information, the top-down did not. At one point, the isometric display had the better general overview and therefore we decided to cut the top-down, freeing up resources to focus on the remaining view.

Anyway, did you see the icons in the bottom bar? Those are your abilities! Not just the graphics, but also the gameplay evolved. Instead of a basic Attack and Move, one will have the possibility to choose between different abilities, such as Eagle Eye, which increases the chance of your next shot to hit critically, or a Quickshot, which shoots your target twice!

We are very happy with how the feature evolved, and we hope that you, as soon as you’ll have a chance to play the MPIs, will also like it. There surely are still a lot of question marks around your head but we’ll try to answer those in the upcoming weeks with further information and dev blog posts!

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