Jan 14 2012

Thought it would be a good idea to document us making our game. Hopefully it provides insight to others later when the game is finished of the process that went into it, and it also forces me to actually have a process, and not just wing it as we go along (which happens, a lot).

Since we haven't properly finalized any of the details yet, I won't put them here, they'll probably go in a later post when we have some concept art made up.

Even though our first two games were quite small, we learnt an incredible amount. In particular, we noticed there were three ways to go about starting game development:

  • Be spontaneous, make it up as you go along, roughly following a few notes scribbled down here and there.
  • Create a plan that outlines the major parts of the game, and fill in any minor parts in production.
  • Create a monster plan that covers every single element of the game, all the way down to writing onomatopoeic sound effects of when you press button X.
Spontaneity didn't work in our case, and quite frankly after 3 months of making a game with a very simple concept, I'm surprised it ever got finished. Add on the fact it was our first game as well, it wasn't as great as we could have made it.
 
Going over the major points and worrying about the little details later seemed to be the best idea (after all, minor details could be added in easily, right?) but then a simple concept like adding an in-game reward after unlocking an achievement, after the achievement system has been fully made and finalized is a bit more work.
 
So a potentially good idea is ignored, and our game suffers a little for it.
 
Creating the plan of all plans seems to be excessive, but even with my example above, there is going to be a time where your sat staring at the computer, wondering what sound effect this button should make. Why not plan it early?
 
Just a few minutes ago I was coming up with every single possible item that could be unlocked in our game (hint: our game is going to have unlockable items) and admittedly yes, I now have a headache. But the fact that it takes me a few seconds now to write down things in excruciating detail means I also have the flexibility to change entire chunks of the games innards without weeks of re-coding, debugging, asking Thomas for new models, deleting old stuff, and then finally sobbing because I broke something somewhere.
 
So, in short, we're going to be spending quite a while in the planning phase, talking about how things are going to be blown up (hint: our game is going to have things being blown up) before actually being able to see things being blown up.
 
Yay.

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Sean Lloyd-Booth

@seanlloydbooth

Talented, and remarkably dashing

TPenny

@thomas_penny

Quite good at whistling