Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why are you doing this?

Often when I reach a point of frustration during a project, I ask myself "why am I doing this?"  And often times, I am unable to really answer that.  By then, I have either lost sight of what I wanted to do or never really knew to begin with.  When this happens, you lose your mojo, get lackadaisical, and this project becomes yet another unaccomplished half-assed job.  That's why it's important when you set out on a journey to know what you plan to accomplish.  It helps you keep your focus especially during the rough roads ahead (and the roads WILL get rough!).  Here are some of mine:

Goal 1: Finish a game. 

How?  Here are guidelines I've set for myself to help me reach this goal:
  1. Quick turnaround.  I want this first game to be completed within half a year.
  2. Simple and easy.  Keep the game 2D because 2D is easier than 3D.  Don't bother using OpenGL ES for now; Android's SurfaceView will work fine with a small number of sprites.
  3. Don't over-engineer, over-think, over-analyze.  Don't focus on pixel perfect collision detection algorithms.  Use simple, albeit inaccurate, algorithms because they can be revisited later on. 
  4. Mimic an existing game.  Basically, I want to walk a path that has already been traveled.  I'll think about originality for my next project!
  5. Keep motivated.  How?  By focusing more on results you can see.  Work on graphics before gameplay mechanics.  Work on implementing functionality before working on code optimization.

Goal 2: Make some money!  

Let's face it.  I'm doing this mainly to get some additional revenue aside from my regular work.  The plan is to eventually put this game up on the Android market for mass consumption. 

Goal 3: Make the game fast-paced.   

In high school, I made a turn based game which was lots of fun to make.  But ultimately, it was not a fun game as it was just too static.  This time, I want to make something that requires reflexes!

Goal 4: Learn about game design. 

I don't need to learn everything about it.  I just need to get something out of it.  Now that I think of it, this one is pretty much a given. 
My plan is to revisit this post during my development and use it to keep me from losing sight of things.  What are your goals on your own journey into game development? 
Side Note: I've been skimming through this guy's blog about his journey as a game developer and came across this interesting article.  It talks about keeping motivated during development.  JW: You don't know me, but thanks for the article!  Hopefully it will help me maintain my focus on my own journey. 

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