Since I’ve decided that February is going to be a work retreat of sorts for me, I’ve been trying to get all of my ducks in a row so that I have a clear idea of what work to do once I get there. I’ve been spending my time collecting my thoughts, writing them down, figuring out what idea goes in what part of the game.
It’s kind of frustrating because, at the same time as this is genuinely difficult, it also doesn’t feel much like real work.
It makes me curious what the daily work-flow is like for people who actually have the ‘game designer’ title. I know that as a programmer I had my share of downtime, but it mostly came in chunks of an hour or two while I read articles and mulled over how to approach problems in the back of my head. It’s hard for me to imagine being in the position of coming up with project outlines of this sort professionally, because so much of the actual work seems like it’s being done entirely in my head.
On the other hand, at the same time as it’s somewhat frustrating it’s also very encouraging. It’s easy to get lost in the scope of a project, to get intimidated by the scale of the ideas you’re trying to invoke, drown under the multitude of things you’re trying to fit in. However, when forced to actually write down what needs to happen for the project to exist, when you actually list out all of the programming and art and music and whatnot that you need to do to complete a project, it’s incredibly reassuring to see that, as numerous as these things may be, they are still finite.
So, after a week of pondering and several hours with a legal pad, I have the intro sequence and the first area outlined. The maps themselves aren’t made yet, but I have a very strong idea of what they’ll look like, what will be in them, and what it will feel like to play through them– strong enough that getting started this February and getting most or all of this first area done is actually somewhat feasible. I’m not sure if that’s my target goal here, but it could be is what I’m saying.
Which actually raises the question: What is my target goal? I suppose that’s what next week’s DevBlog will be about, since that should be right about the time I’m getting settled in and preparing to get to work on, uh, more concrete aspects of the project.
Our world has gotten stuck Our gates have rusted shut And the people are waiting And the people are stymied They need our help But I cannot reach them That place is too small for me That place is too real for me And our covenant forbids my intervention You must go You must find them They have been apart too long to remember what it is to be together Bring them together Bring them to me Though they will not believe they want to go They do want to go So make them realize So make them return We will be together once more We will be whole again Forever