Failing to Prepare is… Well, Yeah….

I like to code. Seriously, programming is my academic passion. And sometimes I just want to get into it and build the game! What I’m not so good at perhaps is the planning part…

Now, you can be extreme on either side. You can plan so much and focus so much on perfection and brainstorming that you run out of interest or energy before you even get to building the game. On the other hand, diving into the deep end without so much as a basic outline can, in some instances, get you into trouble.

I see myself more as the latter. I figure the details can figure themselves out as we go along. That works… sometimes. I mean, I have a general sense when I’m building behaviors in Stencyl of whether or not I’m building it with good, neat practices or bad, messy ones. But the bigger and more complicated your game gets, the harder it is to keep it all focused. Not to mention: a big game can often be smaller than you think!

Now that I’ve actually published my first game, it might be time to work more on my process and get a little more serious about planning ahead. Do a little more sketching, understand the obstacles in front of me, get a basic outline of what I want to accomplish… stuff like that. It certainly can help a lot more in the long run, and is beneficial as opposed to just picking up my metaphorical power tools and attempting to slap together my mansion-sized video game.

Slow down a little, take a deep breath, and just get yourself organized, right?

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2 comments on “Failing to Prepare is… Well, Yeah….
  1. Unept says:

    Great thought. I’m a designer by trade, learning the ropes of programming, and organization/planning have proven very problematic for me. Not just “I need to be more organized,” but more “How am I supposed to organize my game so that it helps me code more efficiently and also scale well with increased size and complexity?”

    My Stencyl Jam entry is a great example. Since submitting the game, I’ve received great feedback for improving the game, but my code is so convoluted (game jam deadline code), that small changes can create disastrous bugs.

  2. Rob1221 says:

    Yes, organization is very important. When people send me games to troubleshoot and I see no comments and 50 hammer icons, my head wants to explode.

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