You know, the results of the last poll, admitted with few responses, heh.. They showed most people only work on 1 or 2 projects at a time. With my answer thrown in it was about 50/50. But that brings up another question or three.. When you start a new project, what on earth do you work on first?!
I guess the answer really depends on the type of game, the story behind it and the assets available to you. But over the years I have seen people start a project a myriad of ways. The majority I think start off with the game and gameplay itself. This is really a smart move, it allows you to get something concrete down then as time allows and progresses, add in your new assets, incorporate the story better and build your menu’s to fit the game.
Other people I have spoken with start at the other end of the spectrum, creating assets, then getting their menu’s and options down before going on to work on the actual gameplay. This way has benefits as well, and this is how I started The 10 Gallon Squiggle. I haven’t even touched the game yet, it just draws a mockup to the screen. But my assets and menus and options are almost done!
There is a reason behind this as well. I knew what I wanted the game to be about; it was a relatively simple concept. An aquarium racing game. I knew I wanted a sideview.. I think. Knowing what I wanted and the general look of the game, I didn’t want to work on the gameplay itself just yet since there were variations and things I wanted to think about; but I did want to start the project. So I adapted the GSM (game state management) and went to work on my menus. Yeah, its taken a couple weeks but it has given me a lot of time to think about all the little details I want to add into the gameplay. Some of those details might have even changed how I would have written the code. Then again, other projects such as Kollectiv and a bunch of other unreleased stuff I started with the gameplay and built the menu’s and all around that.
What way is right? IS there a right way? I really don’t know, and I don’t think I even care to be honest. I’m sure there are going to be people on all different ends of the spectrum. Some I’m sure will write out a complete design document, others will start experimenting with different aspects, like physics, then build the game into those. I don’t think it makes too much of a difference so long as the final goal is to have that completed game released into the wild.
Hence the march poll. What do you work on first? If you have any thoughts or comments, feel free to use the contact form and let me know!
PS: If you actually even read this, why not drop me an email? =) Im addicted to email..