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Self set Challenge: 2 month dev cycle


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#21 speciesUnknown   Members   -  Reputation: 527

Posted 25 August 2011 - 05:04 AM

I thought I ought to update this thread now that the 2 months are up.

I didn't manage to get the game idea finished to a worthwhile state; working full time takes too much time out of the day. I'm going to have to slow it down if I plan to get 2 months worth of dev done while still working full time.

Anyway, ill wrap up the game since I started it, and see where I can go from here. Maybe I need to think up a less intense development cycle.
Don't thank me, thank the moon's gravitation pull! Post in My Journal and help me to not procrastinate!

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#22 ryan20fun   Members   -  Reputation: 661

Posted 25 August 2011 - 06:09 AM

I thought I ought to update this thread now that the 2 months are up.

I didn't manage to get the game idea finished to a worthwhile state; working full time takes too much time out of the day. I'm going to have to slow it down if I plan to get 2 months worth of dev done while still working full time.

Anyway, ill wrap up the game since I started it, and see where I can go from here. Maybe I need to think up a less intense development cycle.


how far did you get ?
Never say Never, Because Never comes too soon. - ryan20fun

Disclaimer: Each post of mine is intended as an attempt of helping and/or bringing some meaningfull insight to the topic at hand. Due to my nature, my good intentions will not always be plainly visible. I apologise in advance and assure you I mean no harm and do not intend to insult anyone.

#23 speciesUnknown   Members   -  Reputation: 527

Posted 25 August 2011 - 06:19 AM


I thought I ought to update this thread now that the 2 months are up.

I didn't manage to get the game idea finished to a worthwhile state; working full time takes too much time out of the day. I'm going to have to slow it down if I plan to get 2 months worth of dev done while still working full time.

Anyway, ill wrap up the game since I started it, and see where I can go from here. Maybe I need to think up a less intense development cycle.


how far did you get ?


I got a tank driving around (with a nice skid steer behaviour) and turrets shooting at you. My ballistics system is pretty good as well. I massively upgraded my component based system, worked out how to use object pooling, and made some minor improvements to my resource loading systems. I simply didn't get to spend as much time as I had hoped - it seems that two months of dev time cannot be compressed into two months worth of spare time. Who'd have thought it Posted Image

So I wont be buying a 360 or paying any apphub subscription yet, at least until I am certain that I can be productive. Ive spent a lot of the 2 months implementing engine behaviour that I needed for the game, rather than any game play programming.
Don't thank me, thank the moon's gravitation pull! Post in My Journal and help me to not procrastinate!

#24 zedz   Members   -  Reputation: 291

Posted 27 August 2011 - 04:56 PM

so basically you didnt work on your game at all :wink:, what you listed were mainly parts of the engine, thats the reason why you didnt finish it, hell you were only perhaps 10% of the way in, if that. Im not rying to sound mean but just realistic.
By coincidence I finished a game yesterday, Ive just gotta name it & upload it to googles web store site.

Mate no doubt youve heard the saying work on the game and not the engine, .... well, its true.
Next time try this (and I cant emphasize this enuf) get it playable on day 1.
Trust me, you do this & you will have a game finished in 2 months

#25 speciesUnknown   Members   -  Reputation: 527

Posted 27 August 2011 - 05:16 PM

so basically you didnt work on your game at all :wink:, what you listed were mainly parts of the engine, thats the reason why you didnt finish it, hell you were only perhaps 10% of the way in, if that. Im not rying to sound mean but just realistic.
By coincidence I finished a game yesterday, Ive just gotta name it & upload it to googles web store site.

Mate no doubt youve heard the saying work on the game and not the engine, .... well, its true.
Next time try this (and I cant emphasize this enuf) get it playable on day 1.
Trust me, you do this & you will have a game finished in 2 months



I think that the game idea I was trying to implement is of sufficient complexity that i really needed a lot of backing framework - call it engine, API, framework or whatever. The point is, there was a lot more basic ground work required than I had anticipated. I havn't been trying to implement an engine for the sake of the engine, everything I have implemented has been in some way targeted at the game itself, so the old adage "write games not engines" is not relevant here. The game was a 3d vehicle combat game with semi-realistic physics and a stylised renderer - and at the same time, i was trying to implement a theory I've long had about a combination of DoD and component based models.

Anyway, I'm in the process of wrapping up the game functionality to something playable so I can look at more realistic goals, either in terms of time frame or game complexity. Its not been a total loss.
Don't thank me, thank the moon's gravitation pull! Post in My Journal and help me to not procrastinate!

#26 zedz   Members   -  Reputation: 291

Posted 28 August 2011 - 04:26 PM

mate, you didnt get anywhere near achieving your goal,
from your initial post
"So far, I've always worked on one pie in the sky idea or another, and this has usually resulted in a fun, but fruitless, process and very little playable material"
i.e. you said this time I'll finally do something playable but ultimately what happened is the same as all the other times, the famous adage from Satayana 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.'
My offer still stands, If you want to make a game within 2 months, tell me & I'll outline the steps that you need to take, theres no shame in taking advice from someone more experienced

#27 speciesUnknown   Members   -  Reputation: 527

Posted 28 August 2011 - 07:43 PM

mate, you didnt get anywhere near achieving your goal,
from your initial post
"So far, I've always worked on one pie in the sky idea or another, and this has usually resulted in a fun, but fruitless, process and very little playable material"
i.e. you said this time I'll finally do something playable but ultimately what happened is the same as all the other times, the famous adage from Satayana 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.'
My offer still stands, If you want to make a game within 2 months, tell me & I'll outline the steps that you need to take, theres no shame in taking advice from someone more experienced


OK, if you have any idea how I can break out of my current cycle, I would appreciate it. I thought I was going to be doing gameplay programming pretty quickly, but still this didn't happen. What am I doing wrong?

I couldn't get the game playable on day 1 because the idea was too complicated for that. Are you suggesting that I cut back on the complexity? Makes sense, I guess.
Don't thank me, thank the moon's gravitation pull! Post in My Journal and help me to not procrastinate!

#28 zedz   Members   -  Reputation: 291

Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:15 PM

not so much cut back on the complexity. But like I say again
always have the game at a playable state <- very important
I think youre doing the opposite i.e. making all the pieces and then hoping to fit them all together at the end and hoping you'll have a game (this is the path to tears).

If I was you I'ld choose a nice easy game idea you think would make a fun game.
I know you prolly think why not continue on this tank one, but youve been there 2 months already & everyones interest wanes with time, hell mine does after 1 month or so i.e. Im prolly half as productive in week 6 as I was in week 1.

Do you have any game idea that you think will make a fun game?
Personally I'ld go for a 2d game (but with 3d graphics), theyve had a bit of a revival over the last couple of years

#29 speciesUnknown   Members   -  Reputation: 527

Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:17 PM

not so much cut back on the complexity. But like I say again
always have the game at a playable state <- very important
I think youre doing the opposite i.e. making all the pieces and then hoping to fit them all together at the end and hoping you'll have a game (this is the path to tears).

If I was you I'ld choose a nice easy game idea you think would make a fun game.
I know you prolly think why not continue on this tank one, but youve been there 2 months already & everyones interest wanes with time, hell mine does after 1 month or so i.e. Im prolly half as productive in week 6 as I was in week 1.

Do you have any game idea that you think will make a fun game?
Personally I'ld go for a 2d game (but with 3d graphics), theyve had a bit of a revival over the last couple of years


I can rehash what I already did in 3D to make it playable. I'm doing it now as we speak, it wont take that long. I think what you are suggesting is that I continuously add features, but at each step in the process I continue to playtest it; a sort of agile game dev methodology, where play tests replace automated tests.
Don't thank me, thank the moon's gravitation pull! Post in My Journal and help me to not procrastinate!

#30 kuroioranda   Members   -  Reputation: 304

Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:24 PM

Just a word of encouragement that this is very possible, and good luck! I put this game together in a little less than three weeks of spare time, so this is definitely a doable and worthwhile goal to set for yourself. Like you, I tend to become stuck in ruts of over-engineering, and sometimes just blasting through getting something done is the perfect medicine for those ills.

#31 speciesUnknown   Members   -  Reputation: 527

Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:26 PM

I think its time for a confession - i did overengineer, in two cases. This project wasn't just focused on getting a game developed in 2 months, I was also exploring a new methodology theory I had - how to combine DOD with component based logic.

I'm refactoring the game to use the type of structure I usually use for rapid development games.
Don't thank me, thank the moon's gravitation pull! Post in My Journal and help me to not procrastinate!

#32 mikeman   Members   -  Reputation: 2176

Posted 30 August 2011 - 05:51 AM

I think zedz is saying that, well, you don't need all the components of the framework ready and perfect in order to have gameplay. Right now you have a tank driving around and turrets shooting at you - You could have totally do that in a few days instead, right? It might not have been the world's more sophisticated component data-driven system or what have you, but you would realize a more significant goal - have quick, tangible results that give you positive feedback and encourage you to go on. As you said, it could be an iterative process; you work in order to have gameplay as soon as possible, and in parallel you refine the core components as needed and when needed. I find that works better anyway, and I'm trying to take that route with the game I'm making atm.

#33 zedz   Members   -  Reputation: 291

Posted 30 August 2011 - 01:44 PM

yes mikemans right, just get the basic gameplay up and running, make it playable (hacking is good, since you will find >50% of the stuff/ideas you have dont pan out i.e. dont spend time perfecting something that you find doesnt meet your expectations, you can always rewrite your hacky code later)

FWIW heres what Ive done Im not sure how long it took, ~50 hours I think (including making the music,art,testing etc).
attack of the smilies yes I know, terrible name. Also please dont share the link as Im waiting until the sound api enabled browser hits mainstream.
a couple of bugs (with the sounds not resetting at the start of each level, which I have fixed & will upload a newer version later & also I should remove the debug text)
also u need a new version of chrome -> http://mlab.taik.fi/mediacode/archives/1533 to hear the sounds.

for this game the order of things I done was roughly (I plan & write this the night before in a exercise book)

A. add a 2d board of blocks
B. add a player 2d sprite, that moves from block to block (no animation)
C. change colors of the blocks
D. able to complete a level by coloring in all blocks
E. add an enemy smiley, that randomly moves from block to block
F. coldet between smiley and player

the result is a playable game, within a day. I think you could manage this in a day?
after that, go from one side to making a 3d cube playing field, expand from 1 enemy sort up to 10 enemy sorts, add bonuses, fx's different levels etc.
But ultimately youre just working on the same basic idea

At the moment Im thinking what game to do next

btw, cheers for updating this thread speciesUnknown

#34 ddn3   Members   -  Reputation: 1249

Posted 05 September 2011 - 02:26 PM

It really depends upon the game design. If your aiming for something simple sure you can probably hack something together in day but for more complex projects it will take alittle more though and time. Given that your setting yourself a 2 month goal, you have to be realistic about the design and your abilities. The other side is do you have the tools to execute the design, your not going to create a full 3d engine, physics engine, or gui engine within 2 months and still have any time left over for the game. Your toolkit is just as important as the design. Maybe you have an awesome design but it will take more than 2 months to execute, no need to hobble yourself on the artificial time frame.

Good Luck!

-ddn

#35 djz   Members   -  Reputation: 215

Posted 06 September 2011 - 05:23 PM

Don't be afraid to put code RIGHT where you need it. Refactor only when you really need to! Don't even "engineer" it if it works. This has been the hardest lesson for me to learn in programming...ever.

Every coding session, make simple, short term, achievable goals. Move forward constantly. First, get something on the screen. Next, create a Player object that does some things. Do everything inside that class, until you start to have logic in there that can clearly be placed in its own bucket. If you get to a point where you can't achieve your short term goals in a single session, you need to:

A) break your goals into smaller chunks or
B) refactor to make achieving your goal easier. But you must always balance this with A.

THE PLAYER WILL NEVER SEE YOUR CODE. They don't care HOW you implemented a feature. So focus on goals that have a real, tangible effect on the way your game actually plays. As far as your code goes, you should only be concerned with two things:

A) does it work?
B) can I work with it efficiently?

assuming you have the basics covered (i.e. properly managing/disposing resources, etc.), if you satisfy A and B you are flying.

Always remember the 80/20 rule. It takes 20% of the effort to get 80% of the result. So focus on that 20% that gives you the most gain, as far as your PLAYER is concerned.

Disclaimer: i'm not saying don't refactor your code. But if you feel like you *need* to refactor your entire codebase, it's probably because of some aesthetic issue that only bothers you. There's probably a few small steps you can take right now that will help you implement features faster, so just worry about those. Get shit on the screen, moving around, make it do things - that's what counts.

Mark your progress, set weekly goals. Beat your goals. Surprise yourself!

As far as working fulltime goes, that's 40 hours a week. You're probably not 100% productive for all 40 hours (I've never known somebody who was). If you can put in four hours a night on weeknights, and five hours a night on weekends, and focus you should be able to get output close to the equivalent of what you can get programming full time. If you can't scrape together that much time, then you're probably fucked. Serious business requires serious commitment.




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