Game Development

Oracle’s Eye Planning

I’ve been working on the design of Oracle’s Eye and have been trying to do a high level breakdown. I’ve also tried to work with the smallest subset of ideas that would make the game functional.

I’ve identified the following basic entites:

  • Ball
  • Player
  • Exit
  • Walls

I have more details on what I need for each entity, such as functions, but I will likely post them at a later time.

While I want other things in the game, such as pipes and warps, those aren’t strictly necessary to make the game. They may be necessary to make the game fun, but to make the game work at the simplest level I just need those entities listed above. I don’t know exactly how long it will take me to try to make this game, so if I work on a smaller subset I know I can finish it. If it turns out that it was too easy and I was able to accomplish it in less time, I can always add to the game later. Obviously I can’t change the gameplay terribly at that point, but I can add small things. If anything, it should give me more experience when planning schedules.

My plan is kind of hard to create. These days I find myself doing something almost every night, and my nights that are free aren’t consistent from one week to the next. I can’t just make a daily schedule. I can make weekly goals, however. No matter what, I always have some day available, so I can just make sure that I know what to work on that day. By Saturday, I should have met the goals for that week. And since I know I won’t have more than one evening to work on the game per week, I need to limit the number of things I want to try to implement.

So here’s my plan:

  • By August 6:
    • Should be able to move player about room in four directions.
    • Should have room take an arbitrary size according to input (10×10, 12×9, etc).
  • By August 13:
    • Should be able to kick ball across room.
    • Should be able to end level by getting ball in exit.
    • Ball should stop when hitting wall.

Technically the above is all I need to do to make the game basically work. It doesn’t sound too fun, and with only two weeks it probably won’t look great either. So the rest of the month:

  • By August 20:
    • Can load a level/map from a file.
    • Create banked walls to redirect ball.
  • By August 27:
    • Implement pipes to redirect ball and to move around when pushed upon by player.
    • Implement warps to move ball from one to another.
    • Create two different levels.
  • By August 31 or September 3rd:
    • Add new object, such as a grinder or pit.
    • Add as many levels as I can.

I think the above plan is ambitious enough. There are obviously a lot of details missing, but since I know that the game will evolve as I make it, I don’t think I will have too many problems.

Famous last words. B-)