Over the last few days since my last blog post I have been spending most of my time thinking about as many story line ideas and characters as possible, as well as designing multiple different level layouts. But what i really needed to do was to set my main goals and begin drafting up my main milestones and tasks.
Because I have only worked on games of smaller scale, and I didn’t have to worry about art or most other content, setting my milestone dates was a little bit of guess work. So to try and get a better understanding of how long it is going to take me to get some of the tasks done I decided to make a room, make a character and write some basic code to get them interacting with the environment.
My First Character.
I had already had a NPC character in mind. This was to be “the scientist” (real name to be decided later). I have actually already designed this character in Adobe Animate and just had to animate it. So over a day and a bit I was able to animate a Idle, Walk and an Interaction animation.
My First Room
I then spent another day and a half designing the first room. This room was going to be a power generator room for the ship, which is quite large and I actually ended up getting a little bit excited while designing it and ended up adding in some object animations which are probably not necessary for this part of the design. Looking back at my draft room designs it doesn’t too different.
So in the end it took me about 3 days of work (part time) to design a character and a room, as well as a little bit of coding and animation to get the scientist walking around.
So what’s the goal and how do we get there?
Now that we have a bit of an idea about how long it is going to take to build our room and environments, we need to set our goal and set our milestones as a map of how we are going to get to that goal. So first, the goal is to create a game that tells a captivating story through character development and environment, as well as being challenging through resource management and environmental puzzles.
The first step to being able to tell our story is to give the player an environment that they enjoy navigating. There is no point building up our story, creating all of our characters just to find out that the player is put off because the game controls badly, is hard to navigate and the player is not motivated to continue playing. So the first milestone is to have a playable prototype that can be tested by real players.
Milestone 1 – Prototype. Due 4th of September
(2 months away, 1 day before my birthday)
- Task 1 – Build environment (3 rooms plus hallways)
- Task 2 – Build characters (1 playable, 2 NPC)
- Task 1 & 2 due 24th of July.
- Task 3 – Item interaction system (1 computer, 1 notebook).
- Task 4 – Build speech system. (Talk to NPC, get task, do task return to NPC)
- Task 3 & 4 due 14th of August
- Task 5 – Build Resource system. (Get power resource up and running).
- Everything due 4th of September.
In an article by David Mullich on Gamasutra about setting milestones, he states that out of the three main goals when making a game, make it quick, make it cheap and make it high quality, only two are ever possible simultaneously. You can do a game cheap and quick, or cheap and high quality but not usually quick and high quality without spending a lot of money. Because this isn’t my day job and everything i am doing on my own in my spare time with pretty much zero budget, setting long times for milestones doesn’t worry me too much. In saying that though i think 2 months is possibly a wee bit optimistic.
As for additional milestones, I am not going to add any for now. I am just going to work towards the first milestone and then get people playing the prototype to see if we are on the right track. If not we will have to rethink, and if we are getting good responses we will work out the next steps from there.
Until next time…63 days till prototype due.