Failing to pull a game out of an idea
This is not a post about how the last 10% of a project is the other 90% of development time. This is not a post about how difficult it can be to polish a game up to the point where it can be looked as a professional project. This is not a post about how hard it can be difficult to focus on a project while it’s sunny outside.
Sometimes it’s easier to define something by telling what it isn’t. Or maybe that if you have to say it that way it’s that you’re not quite sure what is really bothering you …
So here I am with a project that took me an enormous amount of time to define. It started as a mechanic and making it into an actual hint of a game was quite a puzzle. It was actually clear in my mind but it never translated to something quite convincing. Not that I couldn’t have settle before but I had trouble really feeling inspired by the numerous tests I made. Now I have something close to a game and well … I don’t feel as emotionally involved as I thought I would be. I thought blaming this on the fact that I’ve been working on that for so long but nope. That’s not it. And it’s not really that long compared to what I’ve done before.
Trying to explain it all
The disappearance of the planned budget is the first cause of my mixed feelings. It forced me to make some decisions that I’m not sure I really like. Not that it doesn’t work but it’s just not what I had in mind when I first started this. I feel like I’ve been put in a corner and then just to make things worse I started digging a hole because I’m having difficulties to adapt to the situation.
The second cause of my state of mind is my inability to create fun levels with what I currently have. I feel like something is missing but I’m having trouble defining what is missing exactly. One thing for sure I’m not great at it but it’s more than that. It feels like there’s always some fog around me and it’s preventing me from seeing clearly what I’m supposed to do with what I’ve done.
The third cause (and this one is linked to the 2nd) is this big lock I’ve put on my imagination when it comes to the narrative. It’s not as great as I thought it was and it’s not helping me to design levels as I thought it would. Yet only today it came to my mind that “maybe I should throw away this narrative before I completely throw away this project”.
Change of plan … well probably
So yeah I already “announced” a game named Ereptoria but don’t be surprised if I announce it changed name/setting/theme soon. I already have an idea I want to check and this one won’t require much of a story (I was having difficulties translating the story I had in mind to a game). It will also be much more lighthearted which fits better a bit I think the mood I’m in currently. In fact I already have other plans for the “Ereptoria” project and it will probably be much closer to the original Ereptoria project I made a while ago (but offline this time).
What about releasing what I have and ask for feedback? Well I’m not even sure I’m motivated enough to show what I have at the moment. Yes it do needs a bit more work but it’s not that. I’m not afraid to show something that might be buggy, I just don’t feel any excitement to do that right now so I can’t honestly expect any excitement from other people. I did start to polish the thing though. Not specific stuff related to gameplay but everything around like menus, sound management and well anything that I’d have to do anyway at some point if I can finally unlock that excitement I’m looking for.
It would be so much simple if all you had to do was to think about a game and it magically appeared in front of you just like you imagined it. Until such thing happens I think I have some more actual work to do in the real world though … So yep, back to work again. Let’s hope this time I find the inspiration I’m looking for …
Where I’m at anyway I prefer to stop and change my plan instead of trying hopelessly to release something that felt wrong for so long now.