TALE TUESDAY #7 – Unexpected problems

The development started looking really well. We had working prototype we kept developing, we had our image, we announced who we are and what are we doing – everything was prepared. We were doing nicely. We’ve made a website and announced everything. As I had a little less work to do (due to lack of ability to code), I took care of the website. I had to develop some new ideas.

First idea was to start a series of articles called ‘Dev Minutes’. With that series, from time to time we would post updates on the game and ongoing prototype feautres, especially the new ones. We also explained the logic behind them. It was a very interesting concept. It did work, however due to our lack of knowledge in leading a blog, we had slips and got slowed down. Lack of experience was one of the main factors in our issues. We definitely had to learn our lesson.

Graphics Atlas for ‘Figurama’ – I did it quite  well I’d say!

Probably the most determing factor in the failure on the website was lack of consistency. We didn’t have one said time of publishing articles. No day of the week, no hour – nothing. We had a very large freedom in that matter and it caused us to be quite irregular. We simply waited until we had enough interesting material and then wrote the post. It definitely wasn’t great, as posts could be every few days, but they could also have 3 or so weeks of break in between them. That’s not good. Eventually, we did change our strategy and got it figured out. Now our main posts are released weekly on Fridays in series ‘Dev Friday’. We are updating people on interesting, important matters frequently.

Sometimes posts were pretty delayed because we had a big issue or a concept was complex and we didn’t have anything special to show in between. Those situations are also not perfect, but we can definitely learn a lot from them. Eventually, we’ve learned to find a way around such issues and simply show smaller parts of given feature or try to show something in between. However, sometimes there simply isn’t any way out of it.

Game development is our passion and we are not doing it full time. It is nothing new that sometimes we end up busy with our private lifes and we cannot do anything to jump over that. In those cases, quite big delays can happen at times, slowing down the development for weeks. Smallest inconveniences can turn into quite the delays if they’re causing trouble. That surely isn’t preferable, but that’s just how things are – we cannot really fight with it.

Animations sprites were pretty fun to do and design (Figurama)

Often private issues cause the delays, however sometimes the way some of the concepts are designed also bite back and cause issues during the development. It was even more common in the first stages, when we were still highly inexperienced. With time, we’ve learned proper ways to design concepts and not over-do them and to not fill them with complexity. Now, it’s quite rare to get big delays due to the complexity of a certain design. We carefully study what we’re doing and if there is a better way to do something or a way to reuse already existing design in the other game of ours. It sometimes is useful to recycle your own ideas, designs and code – just do it in a smart way.

Nowadays we don’t really struggle from delays anymore, however they did happen in the past, especially during ‘Market Dominion’ development. We have definitely learned a lot since and know better ways around the art of game development.

To be continued…

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