Healing Blade Dev Notes

July 4, 2009/0/0
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The Healing Blade in Evo

The Healing Blade in Evo

Happiness is figuring out game rules for a game that we think nerdcore med-students will have a lot of fun with. Last week while in Phoenix, Francis and I sat down with a beta build of the game and started card battling. Francis’ first rule iteration was actually pretty awesome, requiring only the odd playability tweak here and there. Bear in mind that we’re just using black and white print-outs of card mock-ups. The real thing will involve proper cards and beautiful artwork a la Magic: The Gathering. After the jump, check out our thoughts on the process.

Once we’ve got the game rules down, the next step is populating the data-base with real-world infection and therapeutics principles, hiring world class artists to bring the vision of Pestilence (MRSA, Pseudomonas spp, E. coli) to life, and then moving towards beta-testing with student focus groups.

As an aside, this process has been nothing other than eye-opening for us. Being huge fans of gaming in general, the actual process of game development only seems to re-emphasize just how amazing actual game designers are. Think about it, a film director deals with a non-interactive medium, teasing emotion from the viewer via manipulations of story, character development, score, etc. A game designer has to do much of the same, in addition to dealing with multiple branching pathways that interactivity brings into the experience. Still, I would be hesitant to say that gaming has progressed to the point of evoking the same range of emotion that comes from watching, oh say, The Godfather, part II. I think we’re getting very close. I distinctly recall moments where I have been standing in front of the tv, controller tightly clutched in my hands, yelling all the while guiding my on-screen counter-part through a particularly harrowing segment. ICO, Metal Gear Solid, Half-Life 2, and Bioshock have all been games that have for me taken me closer to that moment of self-actualization.

Major geek cred to anyone who can identify the beastie that we’ve got our Monster Manual open to.