Today is the very first day of development for my 12 Games In 12 Months project. I have really looked forward to this, but I'm also bit afraid. This year will be really tough, with me working essentially 1.5 shift for the whole period. I need to keep the goal in mind though: Get better at creating games, and prepare to earn some serious cash this way, so I can worry less about not being able to support my family, especially the kid that's on the way. He/She is also my first kid, so I'm in for a ride ;). Let's see how this will turn out.
I decided that, since writing on how the project is coming along takes a lot of time, I can't keep you posted every day, but I need to share my progress at least every so often, I need some kind of updates schedule. It will work like this: first day of every month I will write a post about the new game. The design document will be there, and I will outline the challenges that lie ahead of me. Then, every weekend (preferably on friday evening, after wrapping up the work for that week) I will write about my progress and what's left, doing a tiny post mortem and saying how my goals went. Final upload will be when the game is finished, at the very least with the last day of month.
I will be working only on weekdays (at least if I can pull it off), so that I have weekends still off. I have no doubt that rest will be needed, so I need to keep my 'just one more line of code' attitude in reins. Hopefully I'll manage ;)
So, without further ado: first game, as mentioned before, will be a shooter. It will be ripping off a lot from old Cannon Fodder game, but I hope that choosing that great of a role model, it will force me to work harder and make sure everything is tip top.
I have put up a Design Document that I will be using (and most likely modifying) during the development. I tried to write down as many rules as possible up front, to make the coding easier and more to-the-point. I plan to have gameplay demo as soon as possible - the latest after the first week, so I can figure out if the game is fun. There's not much point in re-making the game from scratch 3 weeks in, when I see that it's not as fun as I hoped it would be. The second week should focus on making the game complete. Create the menus, the pre-mission view, make sure that all the functionality is working. Third week should focus on building interesting levels, applying the polish and weeding out the bugs.
My friend said that he'd help me, so at least for this project I don't have to worry as much about the gfx content. Which will hopefully mean that the 4th week I'll have off, so I can rest a bit.
The hard bits I foresee:
-Camera: I have created couple planet-based games, and there are many challenges here. Getting good camera view that shows you the action as well as shows the curvature of the planet is really hard if you try to go for differing planet sizes.
-Obstacles: creating paths for player units to walk through will be hard. I'll most likely will have to write some kind of level editor plugin for the Unity3D, so that the maps are more than couple obstacles sprinkled here and there, but have also dense, unpassable forests (that aren't too high on polygons, but still LOOK unpassable).
-AI: it will have to work in 3D, along the curvature of the planet. I don't know what problems it may cause, but I suspects some demons hide here.
See you again soon, wish me luck!
So far in the series 12 Games In 12 Months:
2. Game 1: Intro
3. Game 1: Week 1