Oh well, learn as you go. And nobody's been a better teacher to me than experience.
I've been working on a series of milestones for development and it really forces you to think a lot more about your game in detail. Sadly, this is yet another lesson learned in a short period of time. As much planning as we believe we've done on our game, we could always have done more. Next time will be better. Next time will be better.
We've made a few interesting design choices in Asparagus, including the creation of a "hub" within the game. This meaning, in order to better allocate our resources and focus on creating a better user experience, we cut out some travel across the island and have now decided to focus more on the micro (regions) versus the macro (island as a whole). This should allow us to really put a lot of time and effort into making some truly special locations.
Next Gen had an interesting article on game design, and I actually felt that he hit the point of games early on. There are, as he implies, two schools of thought in game development:
1) Those who think games are compelling because they are 'fun'
2) Those who think games are 'fun' because they are compelling.
I belong to the latter group. I play games because they interest me. Honestly, I don't really seek out ways to kill my time, as I have so precious little of it, so I don't go out seeking 'fun'. I have plenty of stuff to do right now. I guess this explains why I'd rather watch documentaries in television than sitcoms.
In any case, read the article. Well worth it. Hope everyone is having a top-notch weekend.