EverEnding DevBlog 99: Side Tracks

EveHeader

This is a weird one.

Well, first let’s talk about where I’m at with the detail editor. The behavior editor is getting close to finished now: It’s kind of ugly, but it doesn’t have to look nice, and all of the components are in place and mostly working. Here’s what it looks like right now:

EveDetailEditor07

Having said that, I now have to make a kind of weird announcement: I’ll be putting development on hiatus for a month.

Here’s the situation: I decided to participate in Ludum Dare again, partially because I wanted a distraction from all of the insane shit that’s been going on. However, when the date rolled around, though I came up with an idea I liked, an idea I was pretty sure I could execute adequately within the deadline, I just didn’t care that much. I didn’t feel like trying to make something in 48 hours, I didn’t feel like I needed or wanted to prove I could work fast or anything like that.

I wanted to either make a good game, ideally a great game – or to just keep on working on Everending.

So here’s the question I’ve been wrestling with today: Would I rather take some time off, build this simpler game and get it out there, possibly raise a little bit of money? Or would I prefer to keep hammering my head against Everending, pushing it by fractions of inches closer to completion each day?

It wasn’t a decision I made lightly, and the only reason I was able to reconcile myself to it was by deciding that I would stick fairly closely to a production schedule. I do believe that it will be good for me, emotionally, professionally, and financially, to have a finished and fun game project of my own design out and about. So here’s the plan:

Week 1: Programming. I’ve got a lot of the basic functional programming done already for LD, but I want to spend some extra time on graphics programming making sure everything looks nice before I move forward. I also need to use this time to create some decent menus, a save/load system, and some simple audio code. I honestly don’t think this will take a week, since I intend to get most of the hard stuff done tomorrow, but that’s how I’m blocking things out. Any spare time left over from this phase will be used on…

Week 2 & 3: Content. This is going to be a puzzle game, and puzzle games aren’t much fun without puzzles to solve, so this will be the production period for the puzzles. I’ll start off aiming for 10 or so a day while I do the simple tutorial puzzles, and slow down to 2 or so at the end when the puzzles have to be tight and intricate and challenging. I also will need to write story and tutorial text during this phase.

Week 4: Polish and Testing. I’ll send the game out to friends and family for testing while I create music and final art to replace whatever programmer art I use.

So all-told it will take a little bit less than a month, if I can hit these milestones.

Wish me luck. I’ll be replacing the EverEnding weekly devblog for the duration of this project with a similar devblog for the project itself. Title and details will follow next week, since it will obviously  be difficult to talk about what I’m doing without them.

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