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How to structure a big project

Discussion in 'Editor & General Support' started by mathiasj, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. mathiasj

    mathiasj

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2015
    Posts:
    64
    Finally, finally, I am motivated again to develop a game. I now have that idea that might actually work. I know how I will get the assets for my game, I know how I will create levels, I have lots of ideas for lots of different content.

    I don't expect to succeed. My experience has taught me that I will probably give up halfway through with a hell of a mess of code and a lot of wasted (ok, not really wasted, but still...) time. So my question is: How should I plan my project?

    My plan is to first start with a prototype. Create some assets, write throw-away code, until I have something that resembles those essential 30 seconds of core gameplay that I want to create. If that is not fun and I don't manage to make it fun - leave that project be.

    Ok, so let's say I have a worthy prototype. How should I proceed? Of course, it's obvious that I should begin planning the project thouroughly. But how thorough do I need to be? In my experience, I often plan things out to the last detail, but in the end, everything plays out differently and a big part of the planning has been useless. Should I maybe start thinking about the first couple of systems and then try to implement those before I think about further systems? The risk then is that I might have to heavily adjust these systems because I did not think of other elements of the game that influence these systems or make design decisions that I made about these systems seem wrong.

    Once everything is planned, where do I actually start? Should I focus on the art first, so that I have something that I can use in the game? Or start with programmer art and implement the game logic first? Or create the art 'on-the-fly' e.g. create a new monster model when I finished the game up to the point where I need that new monster? The benefit of creating art first is that I would have something to show off, so that I could maybe start gaining some traction. On the other hand, creating art is a distraction from creating actual gameplay and that is even more important I think... Should I start with the core gameplay or at the start of the game, which might be a little different from the core gameplay? Or should I maybe focus to get an alpha version out as quickly as possible? Should I create an MVP or a vertical slice?

    I was just writing every questions I could come up with down, you don't have to answer all of them, but you might see that I am kind of lost. I now finally have an idea for a game again and I think I just need some advice beforehand from somebody who has actually been able to finish a project.

    Thanks and feel free to leave any input if you think it'll help me!
     
  2. mathiasj

    mathiasj

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2015
    Posts:
    64
    This was meant to be in General Discussion, not General Support. Can someone be so kind to move the post?
     
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