Life is a bit busy at the moment, so I’ve taken the last couple of days to check in and focus on setting some immediate targets or at the very least laying out what to focus on over the next fortnight.
I have a simple but working map, a single user with no real features that can move around the map and along specific paths. The user is prevented from exiting the map or entering certain locations at this point. Sounds great? Well, not really – but it sounds like a start.
The topic that has been ever present in my head over the last couple of days is exactly what you might expect. What to do now? To figure out where to take my next steps I’ve returned to my original brainstorming about the game. In the very beginning I knew a few things about it; party-based, text-based, role-playing game. From the outset I knew these things like they were seared into my brain or tattooed on my skin. As I followed my game down the first path into the lines of code my view of it became narrower and narrower. I was starting to lose my view of that first inspiration apart from its obvious and undying devotion to hyphens. Each individual part was growing to the point that it obscured my general sense of the game, similar to the map for a map issue I posted about last.
Thankfully this was an early warning about how easy it is to be drawn off-course. I was glad that I hadn’t blindly trekked down too many paths before realising I was listless and lost. Avoiding listlessness seemed like a good place to start, so I’ve returned to list making. I’ve made a list of the basic requirements of roaming the worldscape and cityscape, a list for NPC interactions, a list for battles and a list for character and inventory management.
Having made all of these lists anew I realised a few things: I knew a lot more about what I was trying to do than I did a week ago and I knew more about what I was missing. I also knew what elements of my game actually relied upon another elements partial or one hundred percent completion to begin or to function in the end. Armed with this information I’ve drawn out an action plan.
Yes, I can hear some of you clicking back through my posts feeling like you’ve heard something similar before. Some of you have groaned loudly and thought “If you spent less time planning and more time doing you’d be done by now!”. Yes, I’ve planned before – I like to be organised – but I didn’t plan with any experience. I didn’t take into account how one small adjustment to the overall plan can create some immense changes down the flowchart. I didn’t take into account how easy it is to be sidetracked by the seemingly endless number of steps that remain and I didn’t realise just how overwhelmed I might feel when faced with all these daunting questions, including the never ending “What next?”.
TL;DR – What next? The question that caused a minor breakdown and a new plan. It’s on. Check back soon for the beginning of the new game plan.