Nearing one month to the initial deadline to the 2006 Independent Games Festival (IGF) and I've hit a brick wall from the perspective of my production schedule. In order to enter the game into the IGF, you can't have sold it commercially before the IGF through a publisher. That means if I don't get it submitted on Sept 4, then I can't submit it at all because I've also got a publishing deal signed, and there is no way they'll wanna wait another year, or any way I'd wait another year to release it.
It's all or nothing right now for the IGF, which has really been my inspiration behind all this. Plus there's a $20,000 first prize in the IGF...which divided amongst all my team members (wait...it's just me) equals a very nice payday for me if my game wins.
I've set a schedule for myself over a 2 month period, and the first 35% went great, I'm at the 40 -> 50% mark now and it has slowed to a halt.
I've been wasting my time tinkering with the ragdoll physics and the little things that don't affect the game for shit. This is a classic mistake/problem that every programmer can relate to....feature creep. It consumed me for a while there, but no longer. I've still got a month...which is a decent amount of time, given the "gameplay" stuff I've still got to do, worst case I could back out some of the more advanced features for the initial submission deadline.
I'm re-planning my whole operation, and I'm going to get this done. I'm backing out several half completed features, and I'm going all out on completing the more important things (Hell I don't even have the traffic AI working in this build, I took it out a while ago and never got around to re-doing it) there are a lot more important things than ragdoll physics.
The game can still have bugs at the point of the first deadline, but it needs to be "feature complete, or beta status" according to them.
One other option I do have, and this is rather crafty ;-), but I could just make a simple "kill as many people as you can" in x amount of time, arcade game using the Gang War engine...and submit that, then submit my final, beta tested strategy/RTS version 3 months later in January, for the final round of the competition. By then the game will be much closer to completion, and hopefully finished by March, and time for the IGF.
I don't know about this, maybe I should e-mail the chairperson? Or maybe they would not even mind if some features were misssing? I don't know. Any suggestions are welcome, I could use some input.
The IGF is just icing on the cake in the big picture though, I really want to be a part of it. I guess the retail release date is still: "When it's done"...I don't like deadlines, if you can't tell ;-)
Alright...back to work. This could be a IGF showstopper, or one of the hurdles I overcame...I'd prefer the latter.
[EDIT] Here's a screenshot of the first thing I've completed since this revelation..the Civilian/Police AI, they already panic and run away, and the cops come towards you and try to keeeel you.
If you've played half life you know that enemy soldiers have this radio chatter type sound they emit when they're close the player, I think that adds so much to ambience of the game...I've got the same thing with a CB radio and the police...it sounds cool :-D