Author Topic: The Purpetual Development Cycle  (Read 9424 times)

guest509

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The Purpetual Development Cycle
« on: April 17, 2013, 09:07:39 PM »
Having had a lot of fun with the 7DRL I decided to start another project right away, but I messed up and started a project that will never end. Now I feel dumb.

I know most developers just go on and on developing the same title. That's fine, but that's just not me man. Not at all. I want to finish a game and move on to the next. That's why the 7DRL is perfect for me.

I started making a base building, tower defense, dungeon diver game. You build a town and some defenses, and then dungeons open up around the map disgorging baddies. You then have to lead your team of soldiers, like a TBS game, and clear out the dungeons. Defeat the fiend/boss of the dungeon and close the hole so no more baddies can come out to attack your fort.

Yeah, so a city builder/tower defense game AND a dungeon diver AND a TBS. Bah!!!

Here's a concept screen shot. Note the yellow Gremlins, the Mine in the hills, the little base, the Archers and Foot Soldiers and Her@. The mountains and streams and walls and archer towers. The Red Hellmouth to the north, along with a Dimensional Rip and Wizard's Tower that you need to close lest it overwhelm your defenses.

I like the ideas, but I really need to narrow the focus and cut it down to the essential fun elements...and have an end to the development in mind.


Geminosity

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Re: The Purpetual Development Cycle
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2013, 09:52:34 PM »
Heh. They say the real art of design isn't in adding/creating features but rather in the cutting of them.

If you want to try and bring focus down to something you can finish, then once you've got a fairly solid idea that you're really excited about, you take a chainsaw to it and keep cutting until it stops working. then you sew that last piece of quivering meat back on and resume chopping away again and again until you reach a situation where the game no longer works if you remove anything at all.
In hindsight this is a somewhat gory metaphor ;D

That all said, what you've cooked up so far looks pretty good though. Ultimately you just need to nail down what it needs to still be fun and what you're willing to do from what's left on the list after you weed most of it out. Or so goes my thoughts on it :3

As for my own project I think I'm managing to keep the scale in check. The real concern is the time I'm going to spend on pretties as I'll be continuing to go graphical and once I've made proper sprites I'd like to animate my odd lil' creations to add some character :D  Sound is also on the cards. Music I'm undecided on though I'd like to add it.

guest509

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Re: The Purpetual Development Cycle
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2013, 09:55:38 PM »
Sprites and sound and stuff? Wow. It sounds like you actually want someone to play your game. :-)

Geminosity

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Re: The Purpetual Development Cycle
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2013, 10:02:07 PM »
<.<

>.>

~pulls Jo into an ally and pushes him against the wall~
Who told you?  Who sent you??? Nobody must know that this game was intended to be played! NO-ONE!!!


:P

guest509

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Re: The Purpetual Development Cycle
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 12:11:14 AM »
 :'( I'm sorry. I won't tell no one. It's just that, you know, the goal of most roguelikes seems to be to wallow in obscurity. That's all. I didn't mean nothin' by it.... :-\

Ex

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Re: The Purpetual Development Cycle
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2013, 02:36:22 AM »
I go back and forth between long term projects and short term projects. Probably 90% of the projects that I start are never finished, but the remaining 10% I tend to work on for years. My standard long term development cycle seems to be about 4 years of total development time for serious long term projects. I'd like to get that down, obviously, but it's not something that I plan on to begin with. I just end up looking back and realizing that it's been 4 years. For every one long term project like that though I easily start 9 projects that go nowhere. It's all something I'd like to change, but there it is.

I also agree that game design is more about what you can remove rather than what you can put in, but it's a very hard decision because often you end up removing so much that you take out what makes the game fun.

Krice

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Re: The Purpetual Development Cycle
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 09:13:55 AM »
I also agree that game design is more about what you can remove rather than what you can put in

It's really getting things right the first time. That way you never have to refactor (and waste time in that), only implement. If a roguelike seems to have perpetual development cycle it means the design is not planned, it's not ready to be implemented.

TheCreator

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Re: The Purpetual Development Cycle
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2013, 09:22:22 AM »
That way you never have to refactor (and waste time in that), only implement.

That never happens in a real life. Well, you are a notable exception, because as we all know you never make any mistakes, but most of other programmers would either do some refactoring or have their project completely unmaintainable and eventually abandoned. Refactoring is not a waste of time, but avoiding it might be (in a long run).

Fame (Untitled) - my game. Everything is a roguelike.

guest509

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Re: The Purpetual Development Cycle
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2013, 07:02:10 PM »
Is that what happened to Kaduria? It was planned properly?

Krice

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Re: The Purpetual Development Cycle
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2013, 01:05:47 PM »
Is that what happened to Kaduria? It was planned properly?

It's actually a good example what happens if you don't have a plan. Kaduria started like most(?) hobby roguelike projects, you just do something and try some stuff. It's difficult to reach any goals that way. How can you finish anything if you don't know what it is?

guest509

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Re: The Purpetual Development Cycle
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2013, 05:21:56 PM »
This is the situation I desperately try to avoid.

tuturto

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Re: The Purpetual Development Cycle
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2013, 03:34:39 AM »
Is that what happened to Kaduria? It was planned properly?

It's actually a good example what happens if you don't have a plan. Kaduria started like most(?) hobby roguelike projects, you just do something and try some stuff. It's difficult to reach any goals that way. How can you finish anything if you don't know what it is?

But how can you finish something, if you have to know everything? It's like trying to take a walk in the park and counting leaves on the trees beforehand in order to optimize your route.
Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't.
 - Bill Nye

guest509

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Re: The Purpetual Development Cycle
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2013, 05:12:34 AM »
I dunno about metaphors and what not, but it seems to me that having an ending in mind can be essential in order to finish.

I think that some of these projects are more of a 'lifeswork' type of thing. A passion. It happens with novel writers too. Rewrite over and over, lengthen, expand.

Knowing how to be done is just not simple it seems. I'm thinking knowing the final state can help with that, but what do I know? Zip.

Nymphaea

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Re: The Purpetual Development Cycle
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2013, 11:27:34 AM »
Pretty much it :P Anything with a story, you need to know the ending. It's common for writers/developers to never want to finish if they didn't plan for an ending, which is fine for something like a webcomic, but games and books need to end eventually.

And turturto, you don't need to plan everything, you should leave yourself some creative freedom, but a good majority of what you want should at least have rough ideas planned. Specifics can come in later, but if you don't know what the game will be like before making it, you won't get far. Jo did the right thing with his new project, came up with a specific idea of what he wanted, tried making it, and then didn't like it. If he didn't plan everything ahead of time, he would probably still be working on this project, and figure out much later he didn't like the idea.

guest509

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Re: The Perpetual Development Cycle
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2013, 09:35:58 PM »
  Thanks!

  I do what I can to avoid the perpetual cycle.