Going onto my 4th prototype this coming week. One thing I’ve quickly realized is if I want to make a decent game that has enough depth to warrant as a full game then trying to crank out a prototype in a single week is unrealistic. With my current work schedule plus life’s many other challenges, the average 10-15 hours a week I invest wouldn’t be enough. I’m ‘redefining’ my time schedule to mean ‘total time spent on a prototype shouldn’t be more than week’s worth’. This’ll come out to 40-50 hours per prototype.
In other news, if you love rhythm games they you must check out Audio Surf! I installed this game and started playing…then 3 hours later I realized I had spent too much time playing rather than working on my own game. It truly is an amazing game. What makes it amazing is how it’s able to take your song library and construct interesting game levels out of them. It’s like the perfect game development situation: almost infinite number of levels and replay value because their engine adapts to the audio input given to it by the user. I wonder if anything like this will ever be applied to more traditional games like platformers or 3D shooters.
Garage Games launched their Instant Action Beta some time ago. It looks to be a very promising platform for indies who make games geared to an audience that is a little more ‘serious’ than your typical casual game player. I imagine many casual games will be on there also.
As for my current gaming, I just recently finished Assassin’s Creed (superb gaming experience), still play Call of Duty 4 multiplayer on occasion, and just picked Mario Galaxy back up after finishing Assassin’s Creed. I sometimes wonder if playing these triple AAA retail games hurts my creativity when it comes to thinking up my own game concepts. I’ve recently tended to conjure up concepts that were simply too big in scope and/or too cinematic/dramatic for a casual audience. One thing I have learned though is my strength is in action games. They interest me enough that I can see myself following through with them 6+ months down the road (Gunstyle being a perfect example, which lasted 2+ years just for one of the versions). Whereas some of the more laid back casual games can barely keep my interest through the trial period, so I imagine things would be much worse if I were developing them.
I’m finding it difficult to strike a balance between too ‘hardcore’ and casual-action, but it’s something that’ll get better with time. Adios.