So, I've been thinking hard about this little project of mine and I came to the conclusion that I'll never finish it if I don't get some things in order around here. I'm not talking about smelly code either. That's a constant cleanup task in my world. NO, I'm talking about Project Management type thingums and stuffs.. So, I spent a few hours working up a mind map on mindmeister only to get it nearly to where I was happy and then their whole interface started failing miserably on me, browser related weirdness.. So I tried xmind, decent, but I knew it was more than I ever wanted to pay for... FreeMind (https://sourceforge.net/projects/freemind/) to the rescue!
So, here's a little picture that's STARTING to describe all the little bits and pieces that need to be massaged into existence in order to call my game nearly functional in most of the ways I would like. Every time I look at it I add another two or three or twelve nodes...
In addition to Beginning the Mind Map I've also started using hacknplan.com to keep track of Tasks and my Time investment.
I wish very much that I was able to break my entire project down into 50 more tasks that will take less than 200hours to complete.. Very very much.. Sadly, no, this is the result of me entering a goodly portion of the Mind Map data into hacknplan's "Design Model" which is just a simple tree system. Simple, but quite functional. Tasks can be created out of items in the tree or attached to items in the tree. If you are looking for a good free project management system that is designed for building games, it's working great for me so far. These 50 tasks are probably a 10th of what I still have to add before I have the project "roughed out" in hacknplan(I'm adding in tasks for items that are in "Completed/Testing" stages as well, so I can get an idea of total time investment).
I was hesitant to stop working on things for a few days to get this stuff up and running, but I'm already starting to see the benefits. First off I'm developing a much clearer idea of what I'm actually building. That's going to be a game changer I think. Being able to look at the bigger picture of the whole eco-system, I'm able to re-evaluate what code goes where based on what systems need to access/interact with it, instead of a hunch based on a rough imagining of how I want things to work. I'm also able to begin prioritizing my time and deciding if I want to try to build a project team, or continue the solo adventure. If I want to have any help though, this whole process is going to be the absolute key to making it possible.
So much more to do...
I'll post an update again when I get my hacknplan setup more flushed out.