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Sharp17

Laying the Foundation For a New Game Project

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<>I'm starting dev on a new side-scroller but need help in getting organized. This will be my first game. I and another person will be producing it. -How does one go about determining if whether or not it's truly feasible? -Surely there's a sequence of steps the big companies follow when starting a new game. I've heard 'Design Documents' referred to here as something you should compose before going very far, a 'game plan' of sorts. What exactly is a design document, and how is it laid out??

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Could I just suggest maybe you try a smaller game such as Tennis / Pacman or space invaders first?



Creating any game always has more complications than you can anticipate, and a side scroller has many hidden complications you will be unaware of if you have never created a game.

It may sound boring, but beleive me any of the three above games will be more than challenging enough for a first game

James

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Quote:
-How does one go about determining if whether or not it's truly feasible?

By prototyping.

Quote:
What exactly is a design document, and how is it laid out??

A design document is the output of one or more of your company/team's initial procedures when starting a project. Generally, a design document comes somewhere after you have the initial idea and before you begin constructing the various parts of the product. Think of it as a prototype on paper. The exact layout depends on the project. Ideally, it would be laid out in a way that allows yourself and anybody reading it to quickly locate whatever section they are interested in. I'm sure you can search around and find some good examples.

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If you want to know more about Design documents i suggets you should
read "Swords & Circuitry: A designers guide to computer role - playing games"

It has a chapter around 50 pages about Design Decuments

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Could I just suggest maybe you try a smaller game such as Tennis / Pacman or space invaders first?


I second the motion for an easier game. Its always better to finish an easier game than to start a harder one and never finish. If you think it will be too easy, then humor us anyway and finish it off in a few hours. You will be much better prepared for your sidescroller.

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<>Well thanks for the feedback guys. I found the EmberScribe ( http://www.okita.com/ES/EmberScribe_CompleteDesign_2005-06-03-1955.pdf ) design document by digging around on indiegamer.com as suggested to me by someone here.

-Talked to my coder today about starting out with a small game, with a basic gameplay concept like Tetris or Pacman, or the like. We both see the logic of making a small game first, but we've decided to go against the grain and start by beginning our efforts with making multiple 'mini-prototypes' that'll move us closer to completing the game, rather than writing code and creating graphics we'll just toss aside once done. Each 'mini-prototype' will allow us to master certain aspects of the game, which we have no experience with, yet.
For instance, user keyboard controls and collision detection, here is a small image of the *.PDF I'll be sending my coder, detailing how to lay out this particular 'mini-prototype' : http://www.sharpshade.com/lettuce/omega1/OMEGA1_prototype2.gif General physics like gravity and momentum, and maybe even particle generating may be the next 'mini-prototype'.

-What's the general concensus on that? It's not following your guys' advice exactly, but it still is in a way. I'm much more 'don't bite off more than you chew' conscious now, after this thread, and others that I've read now.

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GDNet's Design category in the Reference section has some things that may help you, including a sample design doc for a commercial game (Monolith Software's Claw) and an example doc template.

As for your approach of prototyping individual systems before trying to bring them all together, that's a very good idea and as such quite a common approach. Good job for figuring it out yourself [smile]

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Original post by yaustar
Seems pretty solid to me, the idea is very simple and should ease you in nicely. There is a minor movement bug on the play but it is irrelevent at this point.


-Movement bug? What do you mean?

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