domingo, 13 de novembro de 2011

Make a Game - Concept and Scope

First up, we have to choose which kind of game you want to make.

Well, I'm going to make an avoiding game. We have a screen where enemies keeping popping up and moving around and you use the mouse to move yourself and escape the enemies while trying to collect prizes.

The basic engine could be written in less than a day, easily. Afterwards, you would only need to draw some graphics and put together some sounds and bam, you have a game.

That's too simple? Yes, it is. And that is good, for two reasons:

  1. We're trying to train for Ludum Dare and you only have 48 hours to make the whole thing.
  2. Overscope kills indie game design projects all the time and a lot of other things in life.
The first reason is kinda obvious, you need to plan something simple and small for Ludum Dare, doable in 48 hours. The second reason...


The second reason isn't so obvious and it is much more important. The bigger you make your before you even actually start to make it, the more likely it is to fail. When you're a beginner, even the smallest game in your head will already be quite hard to make, believe me. You're just one person making a game(or a small team, maybe), and you need to create something that you can actually complete. You may have the fire inside of you now, but in 6 months, that fire might not be so strong. Other ideas may come up and you'll lose heart in sticking with your original idea. That's called overscoping.

And there is also another problem related to that. You should make a playable version of your idea as soon as possible, to see if it's actually fun, if you actually like what you're making. If it takes you 6 months to get that first playable done and you find out you don't like it, well... It's not that bad since you learned through the entire process and you may make less mistakes in your next game. But it's also important to try and make something that can actually be played and that people will like, since that way you can feel more confident in your own work.

If you start now and you start small, nothing can stop you from adding more stuff later :)

Now, we're also going to decide on a theme. So we have the player, the enemies and that which the player must collect. I guess I'm going with an angel theme, so the enemies'll be little devils and the collectables will be feathers.

I got nothing. I just wanna make the engine and try it out. But, if I must write something simple, then I'm going with...
"You're Raphael, the Angel, and you lost some of your feathers in the Earth sky. But the devils are waiting to get you! You do not wish for battle, so avoid them while trying to collect the feathers!"
Do not get me wrong, I love story. I'll make a post about my story-intensive games later :)

We're going with some very simple sprite art. I'll make a post later about it, it'll be basically be sprites for non-spriters.

This is far from my specialty, but I'll discuss a lot of free solutions for sound effects and music on a future post.

The next step,
My next post will about making some very simple sprite art and then we'll get on to the engine! :D

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