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Planning for the future

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First off, a link to the second prototype shown in the last journal entry:
Download Here!

Before I go further, I need to determine what I need to do in order to successfully complete this project. The art aspect is gonna be a bit difficult, so I'm focusing mainly on what I need to do as far as the game system goes. So far, the list I've devised goes as follows:

1. Seperate the elements of the game into seperate entities so they can operate independently in graphics terms. For example, make the orbs their own objects so they can animate independently of the rest of the board
2. Test the viability of differing gameplay themes, for example changing the number of holes on a ring, as well as the number of rings on a board.
3. Along with that, all of the game elements are hardcoded. I have to develop a system that'll allow easy creation of gameplay themes. An editor probably won't be neccesary at this point since the thematic elements are relatively simple, but when thematic graphics effects have to be programmed, an editor may become more viable a solution.
4. Add some dynamics to the gameplay. It could be as simple as a wildcard orb that can represent any color to black orbs that can only be destroyed under certain conditions. Any suggestions regarding this would be dandy.
5. Begin programming the different vital elements of the game. Title screen, options, Score entry, etc.
6. General balancing of the game then takes place to make sure whatever themes are made are fair to the player and fresh.
7. Multiplayer. I have no idea how I want this to work yet, but Puyo Puyo demonstrated how powerful a good multiplayer system can be in a puzzle game, so multiplaer is definitely something I want to include.

This is a general outline of how Iwant this project to progress. Despite the relative shortness of the list, I'm sure that it's going to present many challenges to me as a programmer. The difficulty then becomes generating the resources and integrating them into the game. Music won't be a problem, but my associate and I are gonna have to brainstorm as far as art is concerned. Hopefully we'll be able to come up with something as time goes by.

Also, as an aside, since I plan to sell different types of games, not just this one, we'll need to at least start brainstorming for other ideas for games. This will remain my main focus, but in my eyes it's never too early to find a good idea to stick by.

This journal has been quite fun to write so far, and has been very helpful in letting me organize my thoughts properly. Knowing I have an audience, albeit a small one, also helps as well.
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I've just played Disk Drive from the Showcase.

I thought it was excellent. Really very interesting and original and definately got the weird addictiveness that makes simple puzzle games great.

The motion of the wheels is really intuitive and with some kind of graphics added to make the rearrange-the-dots circle and the destroy-the-dots centre more obvious in function, I think this has the making of a classic.

All I would say is that because the dots generate random colours, once you have cleared the majority of the board it is a bit frustrating trying to clear up the last few colours.

Appreciate this is a work in progress though, so please don't take that as anything other than hopefully constructive criticism. I shall be keeping a damn close eye on this project [smile].

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Actually, I should update the showcase prototype, as the new one has a timer, so you can actually lose, and a button for spawning orbs instantly. I've updated the journal entry with a direct link to the second prototype. The gameplay isn't different, but it's a bit more fully featured than before.

Thanks for your comments :) I'm still unsure as to whether the current gameplay is original enough for people to be willing to pay for it, but the responses to the prototypes have been mostly positive, so I may not have that problem. Thanks again.

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