It’s quite clear that making a game, small or large, over a short period of time is a challenge in and of itself. Add part-time jobs, researching and developing marketing plans, understanding how publishing works and well… all of those other things that sometimes go unnoticed when thinking about game development, and you’ve got yourself a busy schedule. With such a schedule comes a huge set of design and development challenges, and we’ve tried to outline a few of them here.
Time Management: Make a plan and stick to it.
Oh, how important planning is, and oh, how many times you can tell yourself that and not follow up on it. Sticking to a plan and really working towards reaching the goals you’ve set up for yourself and others is important if you hope to have any kind of steady progress. The busier a person you are, the more sense it makes to plan things. It’s pretty obvious, but falling out of the plan is dangerously easy when no one is following up and making sure that progress is being made.
After playing SpinSling too much already, I’m confident the game will be fun… or can I be that confident? We have planned for a short development cycle, but it is still important to get actual player feedback on the project. Extensive testing on big groups will be important through development and before release. Still, the game is already a good bit of fun, but ensuring that it will be as much fun as possible is the challenge!
Design for the circumstances
We can admit that Secrets of the Labyrinth was and is a pretty big undertaking for our first project, that’s why we’re doing SpinSling. SpinSling is designed to be a simple, yet extremely fun experience, and it has to be if we’re going to make it in the time frame that we’re planning. With part-time jobs as well, it’s easy to see how big or medium sized projects can end up taking a lot more time than intended because a lot more things can go wrong. The challenge here lies in following the golden rule of KISS: Keep it simple, stupid! Some of the fun in our game comes from the fact that it is just so easy to get into it and the challenge of mastering it, keeping that in mind while designing the game, we think, is key.
These are just three things that we have to be aware of. There are obviously many other things to think of. Like, how do we monetize the game? How do we market it? How do we make sure that you, the player, can come back to our game, again and again, and still have just as much fun as you had the first time, or better yet, even more fun! For now, this will do, and we hope you will enjoy the further development of the game!