Game Development

Oracle’s Eye Development: What’s Left?

While I have pretty much made the game “feature complete”, I feel there is still a bit of work to do. As most developers would put it, I did the first 90%. Now I have to do the remaining 90%. Except I feel like I did the first 20% and still have 160% left. B-)

What improvements and additions can I make?

  • Sound. Right now, the game is completely silent. It shouldn’t be. Even simple beeps would be an improvement.
  • Improved collision detection. If the Ball hits a Wall, it is possible that it can become stuck. It shouldn’t.
  • Level loading. It’s very boring in its current state. It has only one level, and it is a trivial one at that. It should be able to load an arbitrary level layout from a file, which will allow multiple levels to be created. Any players should be able to load an arbitrary level from a menu.
  • Graphics. Why is the Ball always rotating in the same direction? Why is the Player’s sprite just a static stick-figure? Why not spice it up and create some animated movement?
  • Better quality code. My code doesn’t delete memory properly. When I create a Room, it is made up of a series of sprites that get owned by the engine, and the engine deletes the sprites just fine when the engine is deleted, but the Room itself isn’t deleted. I couldn’t delete the Room without causing a seg fault since I shouldn’t delete the Tiles in the Room. I’m sure there are other places that could be improved.

With all of these improvements, why leave Oracle’s Eye alone? I admit that I want to start working on something I can knock out relatively quickly, such as a Space Invaders clone. I’ve learned a bit while working on this game, and so I should be able to improve on what I’ve learned by working on something new. On the other hand, I feel like I would be quitting while there is still some good educational value left in developing this current project.

It’s obvious that I can’t really call Oracle’s Eye “complete” when there is so much left to do. I have decided that I will continue to work on it for the rest of the year. With holidays coming up, and the fact that I don’t work for more than a few hours a week in the first place, I don’t exactly have a lot of time to work on it, but I’ve surprised myself with how much I could accomplish so far.

At the very least, I should replace the stick figure with a living, breathing character of some kind. B-)

3 replies on “Oracle’s Eye Development: What’s Left?”

GB: I think your new decision on Oracle’s Eye is the right one. I was working up a post for your “feature complete” entry that was going to try and encourage you to continue and eventually complete your first game.

It’s very easy to come up with game ideas. It’s easy to start a game project. Really all you need is to open your editor and start typing code. It’s not so easy to actually complete a game.

I don’t think I realized how much there is to learn from actually completing a project. As I near completion of my first game, I’ve started looking back on everything I’ve learned — not including game specific things. I’ve learned alot about myself, about working with an artist, about aqcuiring sound effects and music. I’ve learned how much time it actually does take to make a game. I’ve also learned a ton about marketing a game. It’s amazing the things that you pickup without realizing it while you’re trying to complete something for eventual release and sale. I’m now starting to learn about what needs to go into an install package. I even had to write up a rudimentry EULA/ license to go along with my game.

There’s an amazing amount of experience to gain from following through to the end. Game development is more than just writing code.

Thanks for your comments!

The install package would be another thing I need to work on. Until someone can grab an installer, get it on his/her system, and start playing, I shouldn’t consider this project completed.

So, here is where I take a deep breath and dive in again. Wish me luck!

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