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Nighticus

Organization and prioritizing

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I'm making slow progress building assets up for my game, so far i have a list of things i want to include and their general functions in mind, but I'm wondering how i can prioritize my work and make more progress, i feel like my list is very long and its hard to keep focused on one specific element of gameplay to work on, i end up losing interest over time on a particular mechanic im working on and tend to move to another i find interesting / would like to see. How can i organize my ideas better and prioritize my work to see more progress? Should i keep moving around slowly filling art assets in?

 

I also noticed i lose track of my thoughts when thinking about a lot of the smaller mechanics in relation to what elements of gameplay id like to see and how they all relate to each other, such as perks, disease, environmental effects, etc... little numbers that can make a difference, and how i should flesh this type of data out in my game.

 

Also, another thing, when im listing a great number of objects in a particular category, for example player/npc class/race, how do i know when my list is complete enough to make these particular areas of the game worth exploring/replaying?

Edited by Nighticus

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Listing all wishes is easy, but it may become too long to be realistic.

One tactic to tackle that is to start with the absolute minimum that you need for a tiny version of the game. Try to delay non-essentials as much as you can, then try again to do that a few days later, if it works, try again a little later. You'll be amazed at how little you really really really need to make a game.

Obviously it won't be feature complete, and missing a load of stuff, but the game becomes faster to make, and reach the playing point. Once you get there, play the game, and decide how to expand a tiny amount to make it better.

Repeat until you've had enough, think you're done, or have run out of ideas or time. (Whatever comes first :) )

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I personally do the following with any project:

I create a blueprint with the general requirements I need to complete the game (It doesn't have to be static, because new ideas can change your blueprint).

Once my blueprint is ready I will use excel to map out branches, example:

Main Menu -> Play Now - Options - Quit

                        Play Now -> First Level Load -> (Loads all assets and level data)

                        Options -> Change Brightness - Sound Volume - Res Change -> Back (Saves option changes)

                        Quit -> Return to OS

ect... then on to:

First Level Load -> Load Level Asset ID List - Apply Sprites/Textures - Set Positions

ect...

The purpose for this is just to see what I need to make to complete the Main Menu, and each object in the Main Menu has it's own object to branch from with requirements. In real practice, this is nothing more than listing out a goal which in this case is to complete the Main Menu, and listing each step that is required, which includes smaller goals or sub goals.

Big Goal = Complete Main Menu

Small Goal or Sub Goal to complete the Big Goal = Complete Options Feature

One of the biggest mistakes people can make with any form of planning or goal setting is to map out too much at once, and way beyond a point in which you can set a reasonable and obtainable competition date. There is a reason we're told to make goals that you can see, and once you hit that point, make more goals to stretch a bit further.

@Alberth I also agree with this. You can be stuck in planning forever, and if you don't have a clear idea of what exactly you might need, just program as you go.

The planning phase comes easier with more experience because you'll already know the components you need to complete task a, b, and c. Keep in mind, blueprints are not set in stone, and either are your goals, change as needed.

Quote

Also, another thing, when im listing a great number of objects in a particular category, for example player/npc class/race, how do i know when my list is complete enough to make these particular areas of the game worth exploring/replaying?

Your list is complete once you've satisfied your game requirements. This question is very broad and depends on your game design for what is required in each level.

Edited by Rutin

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Let me tell you my case and you can see what can be useful for you.

let say Super Mario Bros didn't exist and I imagined it. Yes I will write on paper most of the game mechanic and all the feature I want to see in it for a period of time T (pure example T = 3 days)

during those 3 days, I'll compile ideas without thinking about anything else. Then when it will be time for working on the game, I'll just work on Marion and Mario only. all his possible movement. it is an easy and near goal:

- make Mario move.

- make Mario jump.

- long jump.

- crouch,

- transform. (grow, reduce size, fire ball)

you can notice that all of those steps can be more or less challenging but they are small enough for me to finish it before losing motivation. Then let go to something else.

Your main charactere is ready, you can continue like this for each step.It is not forbidden to add features to Mario but not during the implementation of something else.

The question you may ask is how I make steps list. Well, this will depend on how I make the game (Game engine or not, Reusing previous code or not, ...).

 

 

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Thanks for the swift replies, they've been helpful to think about, hopefully ill be able to apply what you've said and see a noticeable change.

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13 hours ago, lilington said:

Let me tell you my case and you can see what can be useful for you.

let say Super Mario Bros didn't exist and I imagined it. Yes I will write on paper most of the game mechanic and all the feature I want to see in it for a period of time T (pure example T = 3 days)

during those 3 days, I'll compile ideas without thinking about anything else. Then when it will be time for working on the game, I'll just work on Marion and Mario only. all his possible movement. it is an easy and near goal:

- make Mario move.

- make Mario jump.

- long jump.

- crouch,

- transform. (grow, reduce size, fire ball)

you can notice that all of those steps can be more or less challenging but they are small enough for me to finish it before losing motivation. Then let go to something else.

Your main charactere is ready, you can continue like this for each step.It is not forbidden to add features to Mario but not during the implementation of something else.

The question you may ask is how I make steps list. Well, this will depend on how I make the game (Game engine or not, Reusing previous code or not, ...).

 

 

Agreed! :) 

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10 hours ago, Godzilla Blitz said:

In case it helps, I found the Extra Credits video on Minimum Viable Product helpful in thinking through these sorts of questions. It’s a quick watch and might help you rethink where you’re spending your time.

Didn't know this channel, it is full of useful informations

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