I slacked off for a week writing a blog, so this post actually represents two weeks of work. However, I can say that if there seems to be a lot done, it’s not just because there is two weeks of work involved. By the second week, I realized I was on the home stretch and did a lot of work. This will be the last blog post I forsee for CBI.
This week saw me struggling to keep interest in my game. As to why I can’t be sure. It could be that all of the most interesting features of the game (the features essential to gameplay) have been added, and all that’s left are “nonessential” features (not that they are not needed, but that they augment yet don’t directly affect gameplay at all). Perhaps it was because I REALLY did not want to move forward on certain tasks. Perhaps it was general apathy, or a reaction to a lack of interest from others. The most plausible answer, though, is a recent increase in other distractions. I’ve been trying to get out of the house more and all week I’ve been going to concerts, dances, or to the arcade with my brother. When you’re getting home around ten every night, you really start to want to just go to bed and not go back to “work.”
Last week ended on a bum note, with a game that did not seem to be any fun, begging the question, “Why continue?” I continued anyway, and I’m glad I did. Unfortunately, though, this week ends on a bum note as well.
By the end of this week, my game finally had a working prototype. All the systems that I felt were needed were in place. The game “AI” was completed. I was finally able to play my game and see what it was like…
… It sucks.
I think I was being somewhat optimistic when stating that I would have a prototype working by this week. I do have a tendency for optimism that I find hard to check. I am nowhere near a working prototype, but this does not bother me. I have managed to keep to a more important goal: working on my game every night for at least an hour, even if this does not involve any coding. For now, I would much rather develop the habit of working on my game than worry about where I am in its development. My strategy for motivating myself to keep working has been to think of one task I believe I could accomplish by the end of the night, be it adding a new feature or resolving some bug, then make it a goal to complete that task. These little goals keep me from being swamped by what is likely to be the biggest game project I have attempted to date, and what I believe could be a good game that challenges my programming abilities and, even better, is completely mine from concept to completion (and hopefully it will be fun too).
Mark Alexander started a series of blog posts a few months ago that I have read religiously every week. In his blog, he describes how he is making a game in GameMaker: Studio from start to finish, providing me valuable insight in not only tips, tricks, and techniques in game design and programming, but also the process of how to make a game. I have been itching to make a game ever since August when I started using GameMaker, and I have always planned to get back into design once I earned my bachelor’s degree; I even paid for the full version and the HTML5 export module, and published the first game I ever made on GameJolt. The semester is now over, and it’s time to make use of my investment. And like Mark Alexander, I will be documenting my process in a series of blogs.