This week has mainly been about the game’s theme and artwork style. The blocks you saw in last weeks post were only intended to be placeholders and it had gotten to the point in the project where they were becoming difficult to overlook. I struggled with the theme for some time, even contemplating not really having one – creating something terribly abstract. Eventually I drew inspiration from the key gameplay element, exploration. With this also came the working title for the game: “Explorer”.

With a theme selected, the artwork was, and still is, a challenge. I want the game to have a strong visual identity so i’m aiming for anything but realism. What I currently have will alter considerably before the game launches – this is just a first pass.

I also introduced a new element to enhance the exploration theme, fog. I hope this will serve its purpose to enhance the feeling of exploration and indeed to drive it. It’s still very much in a prototype form (hence the visual artefacts).

Next steps are work on the customisation and level editor. I’ll then build off all of these elements as I flesh out the game.

In other news, i’m finally fed up with the current project management tools on offer. Its not that they’re not very good – they are. They just don’t seem to fit with my style of working. I find myself forcing my workflow into the tools and inevitably they end up just getting in the way.

To that end i’ve decided to take a weekend out of game programming to write my own project management tool for game design and development. I intend for it to very simple and driven by the way I work. Perhaps calling it a project management tool is a bit of a stretch – its more of an idea management tool… but thats how I design and develop my iPhone games. I’ll write a blog post detailing the tool once its complete at the end of this weekend.

Until next time…


  1. I’d be interested to know what your own project management tool will consist of. For personal projects I usually end up with nothing more than some structured to-do lists and notes. This leads me to my second problem: I haven’t found any decent & truly cross platform todo/notes applications to support this. There are plenty of strong contenders but they always have weak platform support. My current favourite is Things for Mac but unfortunately it is heavily tied to the platform and lacks decent web sync functionality.

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