This past Friday night after working with Dell Tech Support, I spent the majority of my time installing software into the late night hours. Man, talk about a suck beginning to 09 so far. It can only get better I'm sure. God willing, knock on wood while throwing salt over my shoulder, no more personal disasters please.
Anyway, I've been thinking about the engine requirements for this fighting game project and how much reusable code I have access to from current 2D projects. On the surface it doesn't really look like I have much which means I will probably be writing this from the ground up while basing it on the feature set of the game, which has not been hammered out yet. Honestly, I'm quite a ways out before I actually start writing any serious code for this especially with much research still left to do.
I also have not locked down in my mind what I really want out of this game yet. Meaning, I need to figure out the style, game play, fighting system, character abilities, game modes, etc, etc. While at the same time keeping in mind that simple is my friend. Taking the time to thoroughly plan this out will make designing the engine and coding the game play much easier I'm sure. It's just a matter of doing the due diligence, setting realistic goals and creating solid documentation even though it's only me.
So where to begin? What to work on next? Well, I need to start putting together a list of fighting games that I need study and invest a considerable amount of time into that. Sure, I've played fighting games for years, who hasn't? Now, I actually need to study them. I also, need to level set some objectives before studying which will allow for better notes during these sessions. I'm sure I'll talk more about my findings and what I took away from the games that I studied.
Off the top of my head I'll definitely be looking for what is appealing to me, what I would want to try to implement, add, change or improve upon so I don't end up with a clone (as if I'm that good LOL). Yet try to stay as close to what makes fighting games enjoyable or at least what I consider enjoyable.
The development of the artwork although fun will be just as an undertaking as developing the game. For me at least, this will be even more challenging because I'm such a perfectionist (so I've been told) and I will go through tons of revisions before settling on what I like, even if in reality it looks good. I'm one of those programmers that enjoy creating mock screens in order to get a vision of the game early; this usually motivates me a lot and keeps me coding.
Once I lock down the style of the game, I'll need to write some kind of back story. Back stories no matter what the project allows for me to tap into my creative side and come up with artwork to fit my minds eye. The initial concept art usually contradicts this in my case and only proves that my minds eye needs a corrective lens...regardless, I enjoy muddling through it until something I like appears on paper or on screen.
As I embark on this journey, half of me wishes that I had some broad and experienced shoulders to stand on. This would allow me to see how far up the road I have to go and the best routes therein to take. But this is not the case, and I really have no idea and no clue how long or what will be the right or wrong way of doing things.
I'm sure my analytical and problem solving skills will be challenged but when was that never a good thing?