Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Big Picture

"It's just behind that one over there!"
I always have this kind of mental picture in my head about all the things that need to happen before I can launch a game.

It's filled with lots of tiny little things :

  • Putting in a 'squish' sound when you press a button on the main menu. (5 minutes)
  • Re-export a piece of artwork with different quality settings. (10 minutes)
  • Building out the website with a FAQ section. (15 minutes)

For each one of those little user stories, I'm thinking : "Oh, I can do that, that's easy."

There's also a whole bunch of medium sized things :

  • Make the draw routines faster so it doesn't skip quite so much. (1 hour)
  • Add a 'Load' screen to, umm, cover the loading. (1.5 hours)
  • Make the 'Undo' button work properly. (2 hours)

I guess if I had to, I could cut those user stories, but in the back of my head I'm thinking, "Oh, I know how to do that too, it's not that hard..."

Of course, there's a whole bunch of difficult things to do too, but even those I'm not too worried about.  I know in principle that they're solvable, and I've solved similar tricky problems in the past.

The problem comes when I try and find all the things that need to happen before I can launch a game, and then add up how much time it is going to take to get all of those things done.  It's a huge chunk of time. It can be a little daunting.

The Plan

My original plan was to have an app out on the appstore by now.  So I guess that didn't happen :)

But I hope you'll allow me the indulgence of quoting former US president, Dwight D. Eisenhower:
         "Plans are worthless, but planning is everything."

The easy thing to do right now would be to just keep chipping away at the original plan.  I am making good progress after all, even if there has been considerable discovered work.  It definitely feels like I'm getting closer to something.

"... That one over there looks easier to get to..."
But maybe there's a smarter way through here.  Maybe I can find a smaller game to make.  One that I can launch sooner.  Something to at least establish a presence, and then use that as a base to launch bigger games.


What would you do in this situation? Any advice? What do you think I should do?

    ... watch this space ...

1 comment:

  1. Love your blog, as usual! :)

    In finance, when you are trying to get rid of debt, you can do it in two ways: concentrate on the biggest amount and put more effort to pay off that one first, that way the little ones will be easier to take care of later. This will take longer, but it will really be worth every effort made. The other way is take care of the smaller debt first, and then concentrate on the biggest one. This way it feels that you've accomplished something in a shorter period of time which encourages you to continue.

    I guess it is the same in the video game world, and it would depend on what you want to feel that you have accomplished....

    Maybe do little mini game (teaser/demo) first through your website (or the app store?), Kind of to let people know about the awesome game that you're working on... that way you feel that you've accomplished something in the short term, while continue building up your game?

    Either way, you're awesome for doing what you're doing! :)