Spending lot of my time on the development of Shadowrun: Corrosion, I naturally keep an eye out on what the competition is doing. Nine out of ten times you stumble upon something, it's an established game, or an established studio doing a new game, and it usually looks and feels and acts a lot better than our project does at the moment. Most of the time the games are either super simple or unnecessarily complex to the point where it's not playable. Sometimes it's...clunky. Not the mechanics, but rather the interface. Future Lost is a good example of that. Great idea, good mechanics, good visuals if you're into that kind of thing, but the interface sucks big time. Due to our decision to base the game on rather complex mechanics of the third edition of Shadowrun, partly so that we didn't have to reinvent the wheel, partly to promote Shadowrun, and partly because it would give current players of Shadowrun a sense of familiarity, our own mechanics are still a little clunky, but we're working on that and I'm confident we'll get that under control.
And then sometimes you stumble upon a game that is such a gem in the rough, even in its open beta; Zombie Pandemic. God this game is good. It's really what I aspire Corrosion to be like some day soon. It's a great concept, it's got great visuals, it's got great and simple mechanics that for the statistician among us still gives a fair amount of depth. It also has fairly good interface, but those maps! Those maps are fucking awesome. The way to get around is clever and fun and their looting system is awesome and their combat system is not just statiscs and not full fledged action either. It straddles that line just right. The way you progress your character and the missions the game offers... and it's huge! I love it. Anyone who's a fan of browser games, especially browser games about zombies, should really try it out.
God, it just reminds me of how far away of our goal we are. Sure, they have a small team of people and we're with two. They've got a business, a business model geared towards monetisation and therefore can invest in graphics and artists and perhaps hire people to do work for them while we have no plans to monetise, especially considering we're floating on someone else's IP, and we've got very limited funds to pour into this, especially considering how we have no real way to make money off of the game. I wish I was independently wealthy. I'd quit my job and work on this project full time.