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How (if at all) are you planning?

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Hey all, Was curious, how much time are you spending on planning? I understand a lot of you are going solo so maybe planning isn't as essential, but I was quite impressed to see a fair few people able to jump straight in. Me and Rim have spent a lot of time so far just jabbering on about ideas, conisdering whether xyz will work, etc. We're keeping all our notes in a small DokuWiki (which is a very nice system!) After that, we're (well, I am, anyway) thinking about making user story cards, then moving onto the coding. Hopefully start coding some time next week, I'd imagine. What about you?

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We spent three months brainstorming on Rumble Box before we ever wrote anything other than physics code. On the other hand, I'm currently working on a project that I just jumped in and started writing a prototype, and I'm going to play with it to see what will make it the most fun.

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I plan some stuff in my head and usually write a few things down in Notepad, but since I generally work alone, I do all the code planning as I go.

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As past contests have proven, planning, communication, and camaraderie are essential.

Don't kill me, pi, you need my art!

We have a small team, and generally just send email around like crazy and type up word files. If I can get the hang of this Wiki stuff, we'll be set. Unfortunately, wiki has a bit of a learning curve.

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I made out some rough plans at the beginning, now i'm just coding away to meet the deadlines I set myself. I have a very rough idea of the story and gameplay i'm after and the rest will kind of fill out as I go on (I hope [lol]).

The World Cup is starting to maybe take its tole and I think i've fallen ever so slightly behind. Will need to pick up the pace a little if I am going to have enough time to implement all the stuff I want before I get stuck into the game related things and the scary part (the artwork) [smile]

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Mmm...well we kind of planned. We were already designing a game like this..and some of the code was already written...but I am the coder and since we are hoping to get this game kind of big...I am re-writting all the game right now using good clean code. lol. But..yeah we are designing and talking and that stuff. Like actually...I was looking to complete one goal today...but I quickily realized I needed to design code a little more, to get that...so I actually went to word and typed up a code design doc, to keep my code ideas down on there. Me and the artist are talking about this game all the time.



Chad.

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I won't start coding until about mid July, although that's because I'm away at the moment and don't have all my resources with me. Even then, the first month of coding was stuff I was planning on doing anyway and will be universal to a wide variety of games. I don't expect to really get into the game specific coding until August. I'd like to get a good idea of all the gameplay details planned first before jumping in.

Of course, prototyping art and music is something I love to do early and often, so I'm doing that already.

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Still designing the game a bit. I'm going to extend this phase a bit because I'm going for an iterative approach. The game will require quite a lot of tweaking, so after the basic ideas have been written down I'm going to implement a barebones prototype with minimal graphics. Then start tweaking and slowly adding stuff. According to the guy who will be doing the AI, this genre game needs to be pretty much complete gameplay wise before AI can be done (if we don't want to rewrite AI al the time), so that will probably kick off at the beginning of oktober or so. For art I'm starting to contact people now, but that won't kick off until August/September when I'm pretty sure I'll have the coding to such a stage that it can at least be entered (don't want to waste other peoples time).

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Although I'm still doing the entry by myself, I'm going to plan it thoroughly :).. have spent the last week collecting data for the entry

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I'm writing all the ideas in a txt file:
- story
- some texts that will be displayed
- some gameplay elements
- a few specific pseudo-algorithms
- some C++ class descriptions
when everything will get precise enought, I will start coding (at the end of the month I think...)

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I just finished setting up my development environment.
- SVN repository properly setup on my Linux box
- CodeBlocks and TorotoiseSVN installed on my development machine
- Irrlicht Engine setup

Yeah, I'm all set :)

All I just have in my head now are just random ideas. I haven't sat down to think about the whole thing yet, too much work on my hands at the moment. Would probably sit down and brainstorm over the weekend.

So far, I think I have bits of the following:
- A story
- What the gameplay's going to be like (somewhat hybrid)
- A few characters

I'm also learning how to use Blender for modelling (I'm not going to give up on this this time around!)

EDIT: Also set up a wiki for keeping records.

[Edited by - liquidAir on June 17, 2006 12:51:30 PM]

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You assumed right off the bat that everyone working alone will not plan. That is not true. I am working on this alone, and I have spent a fair time planning. I am coding the basics right now of a little MSPaint like program that I am going to add into it for sure, and planning when I am not online. I think that the actual coding of the game will start in about two weeks, maybe. As soon as I finish the Paint part, but I am planning in all my free time. I have 3 sheets of paper filled with ideas. As for the main idea of my game, finished. It's just details that I'm planning.

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Well, solo might require less formal planning, at least, as you never have to explain your scattered postits or thoughts to anyone else. At the same time, planning is still a great idea [smile].

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I have a wiki set up for the project even though I'm currently working on it alone. It's easier to get feedback when the design document is on the Internet (and I'm not paranoid about "people stealing my idea" ;) and makes it easier for other people to join on the way.

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I've been thinking about creating a game of this type for a long time. The contest just gave me the incentive to dive in and do it.

I am studying up on:

-Medieval Ukraine and the Byzantine empire
-Daily life in 1000 AD
-Pseudo-randomness, leading to...
-Algorithms for the procedural generation of towns, caves, buildings, populations, treasures, names and quests

I am still thinking about the gameplay. I think it will be something like FF7 or the early Ultima games, in which there is a travel screen, a combat/NPC interaction screen, inventory, trading, etc.

I have found that if I break a problem down into small enough questions, the answers (and therefore the code) provide themselves.

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I started on an engine a few hours ago. Going to stop and do some real planning once I get some my engine rending and have a better feel for what I can produce with it. So about mid July I’ll have a more concrete idea of what I’m doing.

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I just started coding, using Ogre as the rendering backend.

Since the development cycle is short, and my intended focus is on gameplay. My plan is to get the game running as quickly as possible, with basic functionallity. Test the game for gameplay/bugs, getting peoples input to see what features they would like added.

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