Alright, in the last post I was talking about how we set up a nice planning for our project Vivi Nook, now is the time to evaluate the tools used and the plan
The evaluation method that will be used is the very common method called The good, the bad, the ugly.
The best part of making the plan was that we got a very sophisticated todo-list. When all the tasks were written down we saw the scope of the game and also a lot of design decisions were brought to our attention and either we decided how something was supposed to work or at least we knew that a decision was heading our way.
I highly recommend everyone to buy colorful pens and thick, nice quality, blank paper. Grab a pile of papers and write things with colorful letters or draw pretty pictures!
A big miss was that the alpha was supposed to be ready when Simon came back from India and that I thought it would be a ~three month period but it turned out to be more of a three day period. The next time I set a deadline I’ll probably use a more consistent way of measuring time, I’ve considered to base the system around the time it takes for a potato to grow mold.
Apart from being not having a rock solid deadline another thing we missed was to plan the time when we were supposed to work on the project. In the beginning we were very good at taking one or two nights every week and sit and work in the project and during those weeks we made a whole lot of progress. But as other stuff was piling up we had to prioritize them and we came out of the routine of working on the project more and more.
When we had the plan and saw the scope of the project we got a bit scared about the size of our first project, was this really the first thing we wanted to focus on? Coming from a background were the longest project we’ve been involved in was about 4 months this project felt huge! And we wanted to get on track and actually release a game.
So the ugly truth is that the planning didn’t help even though we had the very nice software from Fogcreek. I think we can learn a bit about why it didn’t help, let’s take a look at our team right now:
Olle: Working full time at Gameport trying to tell other creative people to have good planning and to get their games to the market.
Roger: Working full time at Blekinge Institute of Technology planning classes to teach the developers of tomorrow. (Yes, he actually has a dinosaur that big tattooed. Design by Olle)
Simon: Part time employed as our designer/art director, part time hippie trying to become one with the nature and walk around in his brace trousers.
Salkin: Sound designer that isn’t that involved in this project yet.
What we did instead.
Instead of continue working on project Viva Nook we did make our first award winning game, Simon Gustafsson’s Two and a fjers men [Haha], it’s made in flash but we’ve just started to port i to iPad. This will be done using HaXe and the NME framework, huge thanks to Martin Jonasson for helping me get started with the new language!
We (and by we, I mean Simon) have also helped making graphics for Lau Korsgaards game Who took the apple, a mindfucking card game that is played backwards in time (And it probably got us thrown out from a bar during GDC since you appear much drunker when you walk around with a bucket containing some printed cards and an apple).
Our focus switch from Project Viva Nook to the project Bloodformer, a game that from the beginning was supposed to be a platform game but that now has an uncertain future. We might turn it into some kind of randomly generated collection game, but nothing is decided yet and we continue to work on the prototype.
But that’s not all! We also took some time to teach the game developers of the future and there were some really neat projects!
The very bright future.
From here on we (Simon) will probably work together with KnapNok Games on one of their upcoming titles, and then we will focus on bringing SGTAAFM[Haha] to the iPad and hopefully we find the right gameplay for Bloodformer.
If you want an update on how things are going, do as Julie Heyde did and complain of facebook!