Indie Game Development - "Having fun, making fun"

Saturday, October 8, 2011

First Playable

I just reached my First Playable milestone for my new – as yet unnamed project.  One of the things I learned while working on Quantum of Solace for Treyarch is the value of rapid prototyping.  The faster you can hit first playable for a design the sooner you can determine if it is fun and the easier it is make changes or discard the idea entirely and try something else. 

On Kick’n It, I took 14 weeks to hit first playable.  I had to teach myself how to animate, do 3D, and handle collision and physics - all just to reach a first playable where I could determine if the game was fun.    This time I was able to build on my experience and code base from Kick’n It! and reach first playable in less than half the time.  I also had to discipline myself to focus only on those systems and bugs that were necessary for my first playable milestone. 

Significant improvements have been made to the animation system, and almost all functionality has been consolidated into the ball and player classes – which will allow me to scale up the number of players.
Initial feedback so far has caused me to speed up the game, discard a dodge mechanic I was partial too, and simplify the controls.  The preferred camera angle appears to be a side view, which was not what I expected. 

My next step will be quite a challenge.  I intend to get 8 player online multiplayer up and working.  Other developers have said that this is very difficult, but a lack of online multiplayer was one of the chief complaints against Kick’n It! and I am determined to conquer it.  Onward to victory!

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