What is Your Working Process?

almyki

  • Posts: 156
We all work differently.  Some of us plan everything out beforehand, others just figure things out as they go along.  When making games, how do you find you prefer to work?  I'll reply myself in a new post.

<3 ali
dA |

Skills:  Drawn art, writing/story concepts, drawn backgrounds.
Preferred Games:  Visual Novels, RPGs, Simulations, Sandboxes, Dress-Ups
Current Projects:  Pokepet Eevee!

almyki

  • Posts: 156
NoIdon'texpectotherpeopletopostthismuch.  XD

When starting, I either have an idea in mind or I'm trying to come up with one.  To think of a game or idea that I think I would to make, I usually start noting done other games I've liked and features I'd want to emulate.  I start by hand, writing notes and drafts in my note/sketchbook, of anything I come up with.  My sketchbook now, for my Pokepet game, has bunches of scene mockups, numbers and lists of items or game settings I'd want, everywhere =P .  Once I have a solid concept and lots of details worked out, I type it up all-organized-like in a word document, and keep refining as I go along.

I like to figure out AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE of what I'll do with a game before starting, down to details like chance percentiles, item lists, graphics style, lists of required resources, etc., etc..  Usually, I've tried to make aaall the graphics and content first before putting them together in Stencyl, but with my latest project, I realized despite my organizing-planning-out-neuroticism, I work better with a 'do whatever I feel like' anarchy style.  If I feel like building Behaviors, cool, or switching gears to graphics, cool, or taking a break for another project, okay.  As I work, I keep refining the super-detailed notes I have, I leave comment blocks/annotations everywhere, and I try to label, describe, and categorize everything neatly.  I also worry about Behavior/block efficiency and coherency, so I waste a lot of time just reorganizing stuff.

If I can't figure something out, like some parts of a Behavior, I prefer to drop it for awhile and work on stuff I do know how to do, then come back later to see if I hit an epiphany.  That tends to leave me with lots of mostly-finished pieces until I come back and start polishing/clean-up.  I try to look at help/pedia/etc. articles a lot if I'm lost, and if I can't, I ask people on chat, then forums.  I have a bad habit of stopping when things are 90% finished (my mom bugs me about that), it's something I'll have to work on!

<3 ali
dA |

Skills:  Drawn art, writing/story concepts, drawn backgrounds.
Preferred Games:  Visual Novels, RPGs, Simulations, Sandboxes, Dress-Ups
Current Projects:  Pokepet Eevee!

Ceric

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  • Posts: 610
If possible, I prefer to put as much as I can on paper up front, but I never end up with anything that way. Instead, I generally have an idea that I write down. Then I make graphics, and then I start putting the game together. I wing it more than anything else. Not the best approach, but that's what I tend to do. Someday, when I actually have some time, I intend to put together a brief design doc and go from there.

irock

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  • Posts: 2899
I like to go in with an extremely rough idea and add things as I go along. I basically just get the core down, play it and ask myself, "What would be fun to have here?" The game may or may not end up being anything like the rough idea or anything I had imagined at the time I started it. If I wrote a bunch of stuff down and stuck to the plan, I don't think the game would turn out very good.

Strasteo

  • Posts: 323
If you're an older member you might remember how I usually format my game ideas. (I still do it that way, actually) This helps get the basics down of what I want to do, and I just develop it from there.

The original idea or developing the idea further takes place on trips in the car, walking in the hallways at school, lying in bed, moments to myself in study hall... a lot of thinking about games goes on there.

...Okay, maybe not in the car. I usually snooze there. :P

Anyway, five or six years ago, little Strasteo was writing down ideas cuz that was all he could do! I had next to no experience in spriting and so I'd just come up with ideas and develop it to the point of absurd complexity. However, these days I find myself just getting the basics down and going straight to drawing up graphics, then developing it a little more when the need arises or I feel like it needs something. (Mostly on the aforementioned places I mentioned in the paragraph prior)

Adding on to this, I think creating mock-ups are sometimes the best because it gives you both a sense of progress/a goal and may spark ideas for game mechanics or just eye-candy to populate the "world" you're building.

« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 09:32:10 pm by Strasteo »

Hectate

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  • Posts: 4645
I always have so many ideas that I want to try that I usually write out a single paragraph pitch and then pick one that sounds best (most fun, unique, and do-able). Writing it down helps to cement the core concept, otherwise it'd be too undetermined. That's after I have brainstormed on it for a while.

Once I pick one to do, I write out a bunch of requirements and design notes and then start a rough prototype. They're usually so rough that I have to half imagine the gameplay. If it still seems like a good, fun idea I'll start work on the requirements by breaking them into smaller and smaller ToDo items (sometimes I'll even write out logic to ensure I'm thinking it through before starting on a behavior). As each ToDo gets completed I erase it and eventually mark the requirement as done. These notes are in notepad, BTW.

Wash, Rinse, and Repeat until Complete. I do this (lists of things to do) for everything; art needed, sounds needed, behaviors needed, etc. Bugs get added in as a ToDo as I find them.

With the way that Stencyl works, I can usually work on whatever I feel like at the time just by looking at the ToDo items and saying "Ah, art needed and I feel like doing artwork today". Very flexible and nothing is forgotten unless I fail to make note of it.
:
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Patience is a Virtue,
But Haste is my Life.
Proud member of the League of Idiotic Stencylers; doing things in Stencyl that probably shouldn't be done.

Luyren

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  • Posts: 2423
1- Create basic concept during 2 days ~1 week;
2- Prototype with place holder graphics;
3- Make a TODO list (notepad as well!)
4- Add ideas based on the prototype;
5- Add graphics;
6- Make a sandbox level with everything working;
7- Level design;
8- Playtest to death

I'm constantly adding stuff to the TODO list, normally. I'm trying to stick with the plan this time though.
My Stencyl resources are available here: https://luyren.itch.io/
Cutscenes, RPG Elements, Particles, Map System and many more.
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RandomJibberish

  • Posts: 82
I start with a very rough idea, to the level of "mmm, I fancy making a side scrolling shooter with aliens". Then I do some doodles, think of major game mechanics until I get a solid idea of what I plan to do. I dabble with one frame sprites and little tech demos, and tweak until it plays nicely.
Next I spend ages making graphics and messing with things and make a few solid complete looking levels. Finally comes the process of building it to a complete game, where there is much procrastination but stuff hopefully gets done eventually.
Of course all through there's lots of playtesting and messing around with little things to make it feel as polished as possible.

HNF

  • Posts: 232
I usually come up with an idea and start programming in my head. Then once I sit down at the computer I get some mock-up graphics and begin to program. I usually hardcode everything the first time around. Once that works as expected, I start to rebuild everything the right way.

As I rebuild each part, I do a lot of checks to make sure nothing broke ie. the output is the same.

Winzenheimer

  • Posts: 97
As my maturity towards game development grew my method for working on a project has gone through multiple changes. However the core essence has stayed mostly the same.

Before ever touching StencylWorks or thinking about code(at least not on a broad scale), I always create, at bare minimum, line art for the main character. Not sure what it is, but I always feel more confident in a project when I have something to look at that can represent the 'destination'.

In the future I'd like to implement a first-week-art-next-week-code style process.

Epic428

  • Posts: 1118
I kinda go with the flow. Most times I want to learn how to make a specific game mechanic. So I do that. Eventually though I attempt to combine these mechanics and hope it turns into a game.

I can't make any art, so I always use absurd filler graphics. Anyway, I never really have a set routine. I think I initially focus on the very core concept and game play. Then I flair out from there.

I'd like to get myself one day to the point where I would write up design docs, and set a plan and goal for the general flow of how my game would be created. Unfortunately though, I tend to find it a waste of time considering the ideas are so well burned in my head, that it is almost unnecessary. But I think these docs would help me convey the idea of how my game would work and be designed, so that if I partner up with some one or whatever, we are both on the same page, and the game can be completed faster.

That is one thing I like about working with Ethan. He and I understand each other very well, plus we operate very similarly, this allows us to work together very well. I believe. Though we haven't been working much lately, especially with I looking for a job and writing stencylpedia articles. However, I think we have a really good grounds for our game, and we post launch we will be finishing it. :)
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TheRoboticRobot

  • Posts: 14
I'm more of an artist than a game designer, and more of a designer than an engineer, so...

I do all the art first. I make blind concept art until I get inspired, and start thinking about how to apply that art.

Then I try to make the game.

Then I realize I have to simplify the idea, because I'm incompetent.

Then I make the rest of the art.

Then I spend weeks on end listening to podcasts and house music building scenes and playtesting.

Then I usually give up.   :(

That's just if I'm working by myself. In teams, I'm a lot more organized, and generally whatever I work on finds its way to completion in one way or another.

Silux

  • Posts: 438
1- Create basic concept during 2 days ~1 week;
2- Prototype with place holder graphics;
3- Make a TODO list (notepad as well!)
4- Add ideas based on the prototype;
5- Add graphics;
6- Make a sandbox level with everything working;
7- Level design;
8- Playtest to death

I'm constantly adding stuff to the TODO list, normally. I'm trying to stick with the plan this time though.
Same way I'm working:D
Only except I often need to add to the TO DO list "snap the block together"
Currently working at:
Starwarrior 2097(my main project)
How to make successful games in Kongregate and the world(article)

AvistTorch

  • Posts: 36
When I'm bored on the bus or during class, I put together gameplay mechanics, items, etc.  Then, when I'm home, I try to create the base engine.  Sprites and music happen on a whim; if they're not ready when the engine is, I use placeholders.  It's not a system that has worked well for me so far. 

Also, sometimes I map out design-mode blocks in my head. 

« Last Edit: June 08, 2011, 02:22:32 pm by AvistTorch »
Current Projects:
Battle Lines Zero: The Sargonian Wars (Status: Engine-building)(Genre: Tactical RPG or Turn Based Tactics)
Project "PARTS" (Status: Early spriting/engine-building)(Genre: Real-time strategy)

Bohemond

  • Posts: 10
I come up with the idea, and work out the story and characters.

Then I do some concept art.

Then I stop.

:-[
Not that I'll ever get around to making these...