Puzzle RPG – What’s going on?

Its been a while since I posted a devlog and it was going so well – what happened?

As a hobbyist, it’s difficult working on long term projects. I find it difficult to keep a consistent rhythm of development whilst maintaining the same feelings towards the game I’m working on. I made a decision some time ago not to get sucked into a spiral of intense development since it was killing all aspects of my social life.

Thinking back to what worked on the projects I’ve released. They were short development cycles of a few months (maybe 6 maximum).

I’m still in a phase where I’ve sunk perhaps a year or more of development into this game and still have a long way to go. I can’t throw away all of that work but the prospect of putting in the same amount of work again, only to end up with an unsuccessful product, fills me with dread.

I’m not shy of work when I know the end product will be worth it. I think that’s the issue here. I just don’t know how its going to be received. There’s no real remedy for that. Its game development and that’s the nature of the beast.

So what can I do?

I think I need to break the product down into something smaller. There are simply too many ideas floating around. Nebulous concepts that are being stuffed into the game. I’m going to sit down and write each item that is remaining (down to unit level e.g. x widget). Then I’m going to remove stuff. I’m going to whittle the game down into a 6 month project with a lesser scope. This means dropping plans for many tile sets, hundreds of levels, quests, shops, etc. I can always add stuff in future releases if things are going well.

I nearly deleted this post because its basically a brain dump of how I’m feeling at the moment. It’s unedited and just represents the reality of this game’s production. I think its good for me to write this.

Time to come up with a plan to finish this thing! More soon.

2 Comments

  1. Lazrhog says:

    Yeah, it’s very difficult when you juggle a day job, family and social life. Add in the fact we all like to play games too and you are left with development in bursts rather than a sustained period. Very hard to motivate yourself when you resign yourself to the few people that will play your game unless you get very lucky ..

    Keep going though. It doesn’t matter how long it takes :). I’ve got one game in development for nearly 2 years. Decided to do a smaller one for a few weeks to achieve something, and that’s been going for 3 months now lol !

  2. Christopher Waite says:

    @Lazrhog

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    I think taking breaks is the key actually. I’m currently weighing up the pro’s and cons of another “short term” project. I just have to admit to myself that this puzzle RPG is a long burn project.

    Keep at your projects too! GeoSpin and Ski Patrol were both excellent.

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