Jumping into a project head first can feel overwhelming at times. Today we are going to discuss three tips that can help aid your next game and help you set a scope. Scope is how big or small your game is relative to a few factors such as abilities, team members, time, and resources. Scope can have you working on a project for 12 years instead of the 3 months you planned
Check your resources
Playing video games, especially RPGs, has taught me two things in life that I find essential for game development. The first is to save often and the second is to always check your resources before you do anything. Knowing the tools you have acquired or can acquire will help you gauge and guide your path down development. Being knowledgeable of your own abilities as well as the skills your team members can help devise a plan to use all the acquired skills in a way that flows together.
Find out essential features
Trimming the fat is a term which means, “cutting everything but what is necessary.” So when developing for scope you must ask yourself what is necessary for the core experience and what mechanics or art style this game can’t thrive without. A good way to determine this is by seeing the first sign of fun in your game. For example if your game is a first person shooter, the essential features of your game game are moving and shooting. You don’t necessarily need aiming reticules, reloading, or even something to shoot at yet.
Time is something that never stops; especially with big projects. Often it is easy for teams to lose track of time. I find it best to set milestones. Milestones are progress trackers, they help keep things organized but they also can show how much work needs to be done. I like to use 4 milestones some use more and some use less.
- Prototype-Capture correct mechanics through small playable iterations
- Beta-Having all mechanics and themes finalized and playable
- Pre-Gold-Final art, mechanics and systems polish
- Gold-The release of the polished game
Scope is something a developer should always keep in mind at the beginning of the development process. Scope ranges how big your game is or will be. Knowing your resources, essential features and milestones will allow you to plan your game thorough allowing you to release on time. I hope this has helped if any further questions please leave a comment below. As always have a great week.
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