when i've got a "good idea" that i want to work with, i'm usually pretty excited. i've proven to myself with space fortress and the latest attempt at actionrpg with one-week, that interative programming works. get something up and going as fast as possible and refactor when the code is too messy to move forward. you've seen that i CAN get something going. you've also seen that i can't get anything DONE.
i think the biggest reason for this is that my visions are still visions when i hit the code. i think that dragon warrior was probably closest to being ready for coding, of all the projects i've had so far. i thought out alot of the aspects of the game before i started coding. i still have the notebook i wrote them in.
the probem is, i haven't answered a bunch of important game design questions. should the game maps be single screen like in z:la or should they be bigger? answering this one question might be easy right now, but there are a whole bunch of other questions just like it. answering them all means closing the door to possibilities. if i try to keep the door open that means i'm writing alot more code and worrying about things that i haven't yet envisioned. its alot of effort for nothing at the moment.
you can't really refactor code if the game design didn't support an idea you wanted to add "later". when i've suffered too many disappointments from bad design, it feels like i need to scrap the whole thing and start over.. and by that time i'm ready to give up.
another issue is about aiming too low. when i start out i see something i can attain, and as i think about it more i ask "well why am i settling with A or B being like this when i can envision them being better?" and then i start thinking about what would make them better and it spirals out of control. when i come back to what i was working on it looks like a neandrathal wrote it: why am i settling for this? but i just saw that aiming higher took me somewhere i couldn't acheive. so what do i do, i can't settle but i can't aim higher.
i'm stuck not knowing a whole bunch of things and just being confused about what to do. i used to think my problem was about arranging my information, but it's really that i don't know what i'm trying to program when i'm in the middle of programming it. i saw one of viridian's todo lists for planitia and it blew me away how he had everything broken down. he didn't know what he wanted to do with the game but he had this huge list of things to do. i'm baffled.