Back to work after a much-needed break, I have gained a better perspective on the current state of the game. I concluded that, if I am to finish this game on time, I’ll have to reduce it in scope significantly.
The following are the changes that I made to the overall design:
- Instead of 12 levels, there will only be 3: easy, medium, hard. Designing and playtesting 12 levels will be too much work.
- Instead of three different supermarket styles, there will be only one. This reduces the modelling and texturing work to a third, most of which is already complete.
- The system with stamps and medals will be dropped. All three levels will be open from the start, although you won’t initially stand a chance on the higher two.
- There are only three opponent characters on each level, but the starting positions are randomized to give some variety without much effort.
- When your cart is fully upgraded, a fourth “boss” level will appear. This might just be the “hard” level but with more powerful opponents. Each time you want to try this, it’ll cost $10 (or something like that). If you rank first on this level, you have officially beaten the game.
- Maybe I’ll also eliminate some powerups, if they turn out to be uninteresting, or too hard to implement.
To me, it seems that only a tiny fraction of the game remains, and I fear that these cuts will make it either too short or too repetitive. However, I really don’t know how the scale of the game will appear to someone who doesn’t know the original design, so this is something that playtesting will have to point out. With these feature cuts, combined with some hard and diligent work, I think I can have a beta version ready in a few weeks.