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Weekly Update: Back to Basics?

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Trapper Zoid


I've finished up my research paper, so now I can start properly working on game dev. stuff without feeling guilty. I can also start filing these weekly updates on the weekend, like I had originally planned to.

I've spent a bit more time now trying to figure out the best way to animate my characters, but now I've got a bit more energy to properly evaluate the project, it's becoming pretty clear that once again I've dragged myself way off the original plan. "Project Jack" was orginally meant to be a simple dungeon hack 'n slash that I could throw together in a few months to get my feet wet on a small but complete game project, but during the recent period of dray-dreaming and sketching during periods of procrastination during my paper write-up, it's morphed into a platform action-adventure epic about a band of heroic mouse-creatures. Admittedly, I like the new game concept, but for this first prototype game I'd prefer to stick to something that can be described more often with the word "simple" rather than "epic", and which I might have a chance of completing in the next two years.

So now I'm strongly thinking of going back to the original plan of making "Project Jack" a Rogue-like Gauntlet/Zelda-esque game, where the hero is just a mop-haired vehicle for swinging a sword, and the game story is merely "Fight stuff, avoid traps, collect loot". This way I can focus on making the project what it was meant to be, and I won't mind so much if I make a complete pig's breakfast of the internals because it's a learning experience.

Meanwhile I think I'll write up a few game design documents for other potential projects, such as the mouse one, to figure out which ideas catch my fancy (and to get experience in document writing and more concept art, of course).

Quick question: in your opinion, what's the best tool to use for writing game design documents? At present, I only really use LaTeX for large documents, which is great for automatic sectioning but not so good for transposing artwork within the text (other than as figures). Do you think including lots of diagrams and pictures within the text is a useful thing when writing up designs?
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I use LateX for everything I want to have a "standard clean" look. Usually formal papers with lots of equations, sectioning and arrow diagrams.

General informal stuff, like a game design doc would, i think, be easiest and best done in just plain word or equivalent.

DUDE wassup with your journal? Its hemorrhaging! Why is your IP to the top right and 3 same posts with 2 saying this is deleted?!? NM. Tis ok now.

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I had some problems with the initial version of the journal entry. Since there's no preview on these journals, I often make annoying little typos that I fix on the edit. However for some reason they weren't updating for me when I refreshed the page in my browser, so I ended up deleting them and posting them again a couple of times. I was hoping I did it quick enough for to not be a noticable, whoops [grin].

I don't have a copy of Word or Office, but I'm sure I've got a copy of OpenOffice around somewhere. I'll see how easy it is to construct a game design doc in that.

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