While I continue to review other developer's games and wait for Ultimate Dodgeball to move through the peer review process, I am also laying the groundwork for my next project.
Today marks the start of the new project - an FPS (first-person shooter) with a twist. While I've been dreaming of this project for the last few months while I slogged through multiplayer issues with Ultimate Dodgeball, all I had was a few pages of design notes. Today I made the first code build for the new game, as well as built a first person camera and an asset viewer for my modeler (which is something that was sorely needed last project).
The biggest unknowns for this new project will be collision, lighting and AI pathing in a complex 3d environment. I've found many good resources but have also discovered that there is a lot I need to learn. I've also discovered an XNA engine called Sunburn, which is specifically designed to handle lighting and collision for 3d games. While I was initially reluctant to get tied to an engine, I am coming to realise this is exactly what I need.
With my first indie game Kick'n It! there was a certain pride in doing everything myself, until I realized that my art skills just wouldn't cut if for the box cover and my friend Chris came to my aid. For Ultimate Dodgeball I realized I would need to spend months learning how to model a 3d environment until my friend Raphael stepped in and offered to do it. Now, as I continue to step up the complexity and production quality of my indie titles, its time to allow the programmers who made Sunburn come along side me and do some of the technical heavy lifting so I can be a designer again.