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Message Board > Game Designing > Did you ever plan your early games?

March 18, 2006, 00:07
Deadmaster
Where is Johnny?
458 posts
Did you ever write design docs, do art or even jot notes before programming your earlier creations?

I was thinking perhaps the reason that my games always used to suck was because I never planned them, just immidiatly started coding something. Or, I'd have an idea and just code it without attempting to visulise anything or make any notes.
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March 18, 2006, 11:11
Woody
HEAD BLACK MAN
722 posts

I never planned any of my games.
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boredome is the bitter fruit of too much routine
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March 18, 2006, 13:37
Sandman
F3n!x0r
1194 posts

When on holiday I'd have a noteblock with me to write ideas and other shit like some piece of code that popped in me head. Next time I'll have a laptop though, muahaha! Hope their is power somewhere.
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BennuWiki
Yes, my avatar has grey borders in IE (so get a decent browser)
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March 18, 2006, 14:13
DTM
Earthling!
811 posts

For the most part yes. But often i'd plan impossible stuff so the actual game would be completely different. and unplanned. :O
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:o
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March 18, 2006, 15:59
Rincewind
programmer
1493 posts

If planning in your head counts as planning, then yes. But only roughly, no details.
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Weblog: http://www.strictlyrational.com updated 24-7-2012
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March 20, 2006, 19:17
rockford
Oldskool
94 posts

I've never particularly planned my games - I make mental notes and constantly (pretty much every spare waking moment!) try to work out problems in my head before I even get to them - I have an uncanny ability to know where the problems lie and just mull over ways of getting around it.

I usually have a very clear idea of what i want before I even touch the keyboard. And I pretty much get what I envisage as an end result. Things may change - I add suff I like and take away stuff that doesn't work.

It usually takes a lot longer than I initially expect, but I get there in the end. I'm not particularly good at deadlines though...
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I came, I saw, I played some Nintendo.
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March 20, 2006, 19:51
Fiona
games are terrible
-9616558 posts

I like thinking of a basic idea then working out if I can actually do it, then go from there.
Don't plan much really.
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laffo
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March 20, 2006, 21:16
Frimkron
Frustrated Megalomaniac
703 posts

I plan and plan and plan games in this notebook I keep. They're usually just vague ideas but if I start coding something I'll go into more detail with my planning. Trouble is now I've got loads of game ideas and not enough time to make them all. I think I like designing games a lot more than programming them. Programming is just a means to an end for me I'd say.
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March 26, 2006, 04:47
Stuckie
Code Munkee
21 posts
I have a yellow folder marked "Game Design Docs" that has been growing with weird and random ideas for a number of years.

Many an insane game has been picked out of that folder, aswell as shoved in.

I also have three other massive folders, depicting the three main "game universes" I build games in - CHARGE!!! , DarkConflict and The Insane Asylum.

Usually, if I can't think of anything, I delve into the Yellow folder and see what mental ideas I had back then... or pull out one of the other folders to see what else I can do with the universe.

Otherwise, I just think on my feet and code whatever.. PowerOUT for example, was done in two days, without planning (and the code shows, heheh)
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March 26, 2006, 13:50
Mezzmer
Square-theorist
779 posts

i had a load of notes for my first game, Alien Attack, which you guys never saw. I couldn't remember all the waves of aliens i wanted so i guess getting it down on paper was a good idea in this case.

also some levels from Hero i was starting to visualise, and HAD to get them down. sometimes it's best to just jot down stuff i think.
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March 27, 2006, 01:11
Fiona
games are terrible
-9616558 posts

I tend to plan websites to some degree.
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laffo
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March 27, 2006, 18:15
Deadmaster
Where is Johnny?
458 posts
Yeah, now you see, that could be why mine suck.

Either that or my tendancy to pluck colour schemes out of thin air... :P

[Edited on March 27, 2006 by Deadmaster]
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My site still needs updating and redesigning. My last.fm page.

GO TO TEXTUAL ANARCHY II YOU FISHDOG YOU
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March 30, 2006, 16:54
Rhovanion
Exterminated
666 posts
Quoting Sandman:
When on holiday I'd have a noteblock with me to write ideas and other shit like some piece of code that popped in me head. Next time I'll have a laptop though, muahaha! Hope their is power somewhere.
Centrino processors use a limited use of power with still a great Clockrate of nowadays 2.0Ghz (newest). Your battery lasts for 5 hours at minimal power management.
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March 30, 2006, 17:04
Sandman
F3n!x0r
1194 posts

Well that's still not very long on a vacation, as that is usually longer than a day.
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BennuWiki
Yes, my avatar has grey borders in IE (so get a decent browser)
ROOFLEZ ROOFLEZ
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March 31, 2006, 00:44
Rhovanion
Exterminated
666 posts
Depends where you do your holiday. In hotels there ought to be sockets. On a camping you'll need to breath nature and don't think of computers and programming. :)
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April 1, 2006, 01:20
Deadmaster
Where is Johnny?
458 posts
n... na... nature? :what:
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My site still needs updating and redesigning. My last.fm page.

GO TO TEXTUAL ANARCHY II YOU FISHDOG YOU
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April 1, 2006, 01:22
DTM
Earthling!
811 posts

[wiki]nature[/wiki]
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:o
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April 1, 2006, 15:43
Rhovanion
Exterminated
666 posts
Well you're one step closer if you already have seen nature on a screen.
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May 8, 2006, 20:41
(. )( .)
Whiskered
30 posts
I copy other peoples ideas.
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May 22, 2006, 00:46
Rhovanion
Exterminated
666 posts
Quoting (. )( .):
I copy other peoples ideas.
In other words: you make remakes?
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July 11, 2006, 09:26
Quiest
now with more happynes
142 posts

dito :D Well, remakes most of the time :)

Which doesn`t mean they need planning.
And I never planned any of my games except for the vague idea, remake or not.
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Roundhousekick to the face, baby!
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July 11, 2006, 19:31
PEader
お前はもう死んでいる
1486 posts

I heard Quiest plans his excrements.
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I see 57,005 people.
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July 13, 2006, 03:50
Rhovanion
Exterminated
666 posts
Quoting Quiest:
dito :D Well, remakes most of the time :)

Which doesn`t mean they need planning.
And I never planned any of my games except for the vague idea, remake or not.
do you document it? for example a game that laid aside for 4 months and then you want to continue without spending 3 weeks examinating what that function was for again?
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December 10, 2006, 22:13
Atari
old guy
18 posts

I usually start off with some sort of graphic trick or code experimentation, and go from there. The current game I'm working on started off by taking someone else's code and experimenting with song loading and playing. I started adding sound to the game itself, started playing around with its mode7 code, and it just blew up from there. I'm basically taking all of the classic gameplay elements I really liked back in the late 70s-early 80s and adding them in as I go, with no real "design doc" planning. But it all fits together rather than just tossing in a hodge-podge of ideas. I'll think of something I like to add, jot down some pseudocode or other outline of how to accomplish the task, and set to it. I'll usually write down the order in which I want to accomplish each milestone, and check them off as I go. That's about the extent of my planning.

I've already got the basic idea for my next game designed in my head. As I'm doing with the current game I'm working on, I'll basically fly by the seat of my pants, just like the old design masters did back in the 70s and 80s. I find it much more fun and challenging that way...
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December 11, 2006, 21:04
PEader
お前はもう死んでいる
1486 posts

I only plan my conquests *looks at Sandman*
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I see 57,005 people.
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Message Board > Game Designing > Did you ever plan your early games?

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