Day 7

Today I did some more engine work. Nothing too interesting really. It’s taking me a little longer than I was hoping, but unfortunately I just can’t rush the engine work. I lost a lot of time today fixing a new error that came up with the item action.

I’m one week into this endeavour, so it seems like a good time to evaluate my progress.

Given the scale of my idea for the game, I estimate that the finished product will need:

* An engine capable of handling a junction system.

* At least 38 enemy graphics, one for each Major Arcana character and about the same number for Minor Arcana and other enemies.

* Character graphics for all the main characters and all the game’s NPCs, and at the moment I’m estimating that will amount to about 20.

* Battle animations for all the main characters.

* Spell effects and miscellaneous graphics like menus, cursors, items, and so on.

* Tiles for all the games areas – a mountain area, a cave, a mountain town, a plain, a forest, a city, city interiors, and a couple of special plot locations.

* A soundtrack to accompany the game, preferably with a song for each area, for each main character and villain, for battles, for boss encounters, and a couple for special encounters too. This will involve quite a bit of work, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to get a chance to do it.

* A fully designed game world, with a solid history, and a full plan of events that take place throughout the game.

* Actual maps for each area in the game.

* Dialogue.

When I put it like that, it certainly sounds like a lot… I’ve used a quarter of my available time, and guess how much I’ve got done!

Oh, ok. I made a picture to illustrate. You see these in forums everywhere, so I thought I’d make one of my own:

Not too good. The 90% is only because I’ve been working on this engine for years – in terms of what needs to be done for the contest, it should probably be lower. And the 10% on story is perhaps a little high too.

It certainly looks like finishing this thing within the month isn’t really possible. I guess that leaves me with three options.

No. 1: Scale back the idea, and work on something simpler.
No. 2: Ignore the very likely scenario that I won’t finish, and continue as I’m going.
No. 3: Aim to finish only a small portion of the game in this month, and finish the rest afterwards.

Honestly, I’m considering all three. I’ll give it a few more days before I make a decision though.

I’m not sure which to do. There are major pros and cons with all options. What would you do?

* 6 Comments

6 Comments so far

  1. MRK on February 8th, 2007

    The only games you’ve ever finished have been mini games.

  2. Dan on February 8th, 2007

    I’ve never finished an RPG project ๐Ÿ™‚ but in this case I’d set a deadline for the graphics and then attempt to do as much as possible in the available time. Once the deadline’s up, then those are the graphics that will be used. This will only work if you know what your graphics requirements are upfront. Then you can scale back or continue accordingly depending on your graphic situation.

  3. Terry on February 8th, 2007

    The only games youโ€™ve ever finished have been mini games.

    That’s true, but it’s not a good thing.

    Iโ€™ve never finished an RPG project ๐Ÿ™‚ but in this case Iโ€™d set a deadline for the graphics and then attempt to do as much as possible in the available time. Once the deadlineโ€™s up, then those are the graphics that will be used. This will only work if you know what your graphics requirements are upfront. Then you can scale back or continue accordingly depending on your graphic situation.

    That’s not a bad idea ๐Ÿ™‚ Before I can do that, though, I’ll need to finish the engine, otherwise there won’t be any game come the end of the month.

    I guess for now I should carry on as I’m going, then…

  4. MRK on February 8th, 2007

    I’d actually leave the code till last. In a mini game, it makes sense to write your code before you do anything else, because this is the bulk of your work. This is definitely not true of an RPG… you’re probably going to spend 10 times longer on your graphics than anything else – maybe longer, cause it’s not your thing. (I can’t compose music so I don’t know how that goes.) It must be insanely frustrating doing a big game like this if you can’t draw. I’d just go for something smaller frankly… you’re not managing your time realistically, and you’re setting yourself impossible goals. You can make up for it with a funny story or witty dialogue. Heh, I should send you some of the stories I wrote recently. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was done with my exams and I was just bored. Me and my wife also write erotic love stories together, but I’d be much to embarrassed to show you those. ๐Ÿ™‚ Just remind me of what your e-mail address is if you’d like to see the other stories though…

  5. Terry on February 8th, 2007

    Em, It’s ok, I don’t need to read your erotic love stories, heh. Feel free to send me anything you’d written though – my email address is just my name at this domain name.

    I’d agree with you if I thought it was going to take much longer to finish the engine, but I don’t think it will. If I’m not finished by Friday, I’ll be finished by Saturday, even at this rate. I’m only annoyed because I thought it would be done on Tuesday, heh.

  6. MRK on February 8th, 2007

    Kay, I’ll send them when my Nokia has finished charging if I’m still awake. (I use 3G over bluetooth nowadays. Don’t have bluetooth on this phone unfortunately.) I actually have a site – mostly there’s just my wife’s Buffy fanfic, but we also uploaded all our love stories and I’d die of embarrassment if you saw those. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Yeah, Nicky’s obsessed with Buffy too, and she writes some really nice stories. That’s how I met her, we met on the internet. She’s from the Netherlands.)

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