Game Design Game Development Geek / Technical

Freshly Squeezed Progress Report – Progress Too Slow

What I reported in last week’s report was that I had made little progress towards implementing anything resembling game play, and I planned to do so in the next week.

Sprint 6: main game loop

  • Create shipping container
  • Create broken/bad toy
  • Create hire button
  • Create worker

In the spirit of moving faster, I added a shipping container by merely reusing the toy dispenser art.

I added a toy doll, and then I made the dispenser create broken, “bad” toys in which the head of one is on the body of the other.

And I added a hire button, which opens up a new menu that doesn’t currently let you do anything but go back to the main in-game menu.

Toy Factory Fixer - Shipping Container and Broken Toys

Then, in forgetting about the need for expediency, I spent quite a bit of time creating a worker. Or rather, the concept art for a worker.

I started by researching cartoony elves, as I want the factory workers to be somewhat magical, then I created bunch of sketches. Finally, I created a base sketch of one digitally, then experimented with its looks.

ToyFactoryFixer - Worker Concept Art

It’s amazing how different the same drawing can look when you apply different hues and patterns.

While it was enjoyable to spend time on it, and I think the art will look a bit better for it, the worker still isn’t implemented in the game, which means I still haven’t created anything to play test yet. I can’t experiment with whether or not the game play I designed will actually work well or fall on its face.

For various reasons, I’ve spent less than 5 hours a week on this project, and it’s not getting done any faster. I spent time thinking about what I need to do to get things finished faster, and the most impactful change I can make to my development process is to make things quick and ugly.

I mean, I’m not an artist by trade, and I’m sure the art you see is already ugly, but my point is that I am spending a lot of time to make art slightly less ugly rather than focusing on getting to game play and making it less broken or uninteresting.

It’s not that I think art doesn’t matter, but right now, I have a lot of unanswered questions about how the game should even work. What does it cost to hire a worker? How much currency should the player start with? How does worker placement work in terms of player user experience? Is the play area too large or too small? Should a worker automatically do work when an opportunity presents itself, or should the player control when they start working? How do I indicate that a worker is working versus waiting to work? There are many more, and more will come up as the work continues.

And I need to focus on answering those questions, because the question of “Is this game ugly?” is already answered, and my goal isn’t to make a pretty game but an entertaining one.

Thanks for reading!

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