The best thing about deciding what to do, is that you don't need to spend any time thinking about the other options. Very satisfying, I must say. Since I've decided to make a game, let's set up some goals for the design as well (so I don't need to think about stuff that don't match the goals).
- the game will be a platformer
- retro look & fell including low res pixel graphics and 8 bit style sound
- simple controls
- driven by action, not story
- eclectic universe, anything can happen
What can I say? I love platformers. 95% of the ideas I have revolve around 2d platforming, so why make things harder eh? Keeping it simple for myself I will make the game using low res pixel graphics, again because I know how to. The game also has to be dead simple. No weird button combinations or special keys please. Another thing I really don't like is games that have you endure half assed levels just to show you some boring cut scene. Who likes that? (A lot of people I guess.) I want this game to be fun because of the interaction the player has with the game world, not through some badly written script.
Finally, I don't have any intentions to make anything other that sheer entertainment so I want to add one bonus goal:
- no pretentious crap
And with that, I think I'm ready to start developing! Yay! I've already set the project up and everything so it should be possible to dive straight into programming gameplay. Hopefully I will have something simple to show next week. See you then!
No surprise there really, I love making games and now I will hopefully have the time for it! I know I make games at work all the time, but I want to make something that is truly mine. As for the other options maybe I can make a plush of the game's character, bake bread in the shape of power ups, and even play the music for the game myself. What ever happens, it better not infringe on my project time.
With this comes a new set of goals:
- make everything myself, music and sfx included
- release early and often
- use Flash as platform
- utilize and develop Pixelizer engine
- provide downloadable exe
As you can see I've decided to make it really personal by making everything myself. This should be quite interesting as I have very little experience in making sound effects, and even less when is comes to composing. In combination with trying to have new versions out every week or so, you should get to see/hear some really interesting/bad stuff. There's also a couple of technical goals in there. I've used Flash extensively the last three years so developing in any other environment would just be plain stupid. I've also had the fortune to create a game framework called Pixelizer (spritual successor to Duga for those who remember) that I will use to speed up development. However, this comes with a price as I will also spend time on developing Pixelizer further.
Finally, I've decided to also release the game as a downloadable. In honor of tradition. Or something.
There are a few lose ideas bouncing around in my head concerning what kind of game I want to make, but it is far from decided yet. I guess it also should be said that this game project will have nothing to do with Free Lunch Design or Muskedunder. It might end up being used in those contexts in the end, but everything up to that will be 100 % yours truly.
Ok, I've been thinking about the structure for my project. As I mentioned in my previous post, if I don't have structure, I will be lost. I started out by making a set of rules, but rules are too strict so I decided to make them goals instead. That way, should I fail to live up to a goal I still have the possibility improve, instead of breaking something. Let's take a look at what I think will work.
- Work on the project at least one evening every week, preferably on the same weekday.
- Publish progress updates after every session.
- Listen to feedback from anyone who is interested.
- No early end goal, make things up as the project continues.
- Reward myself when I do something great.
Hopefully these five goals will help me not only to find the time, but also want to spend the time (instead of playing video games). By opening up the project for other to see and comment I also hope that the social pressure will make the project progress faster and better. At the same time, I don't want to focus on an end goal just yet, at the moment I just want to have fun. Finally, I will try to acknowledge whenever I succeed at something within the project in order to spur myself into repeating the success.
Next up, what is the project?
I'm in dire need of creating something of my own. Back in the days when I had all the time in the world this was easy. But nowadays... Not so much. So if I am going to pull of something unstructured like this it will, ironically, require a lot of structure. Luckily, that is something I like. A structure that allows an unstructured and creative process. I know all you creative people cringe at the sound of rigid structures, but for me it is what makes it possible to be creative all together.
There are a couple of things I would like to do: Bake various kinds of bread, sew cute plush toys, learn to play the banjo, create a new game, put up some wallpaper or paint the hallway, excercise, etc. You get it, lots of things. But focus is important, so I will choose one and only one.
Over the next couple of days I hope to decide on what to make and set up the required structure that will allow it to happen at all. Exciting! Isn't it? Okay, maybe not the most inspiring first post in the world, but we'll get there.