Tuesday, March 10, 2015

On Development: Thoughts From the Week

The Vision

Having not accomplished much in the past week I started to think about why. Why had I not added to the design doc even though I knew I needed to? Why had I not worked on any of the technical pieces of the game even though I knew there was stuff to work on?

The question is easy to answer with excuses like "I didn't have time" or "I was tired" or "I just forgot" but those don't actually help the game. That time that was not spent working on the game is time lost unless something can be gained. So I thought about what I could gain by considering the reasons I didn't do much work.

The answer that I came up with was this: I wasn't sure of anything that I could work on. This seemed strange at first because of course there are things that need to be done. The game is nowhere near finished, so why was I struggling to find something to do?

I wasn't confident enough in my own ideas to put them down on paper. I wasn't sure if they would be good enough, and I wanted to avoid giving my teammates the wrong idea by putting them in the design document. Fundamentally, I was suffering from a lack of vision. I wasn't sure of what I wanted the game to be. The vision of the game wasn't clear enough for me to say "this is what we want" and then work out a solution to get there. I was trying to solve a problem without a clear understanding of what that problem actually was.

This is something that the entirety of the team is struggling with and it's slowing down development of Data Helix more than anything else. None of us seem to have a clear vision of exactly what we want.

Not that knowing exactly what you want is easy. Its probably one of the hardest things to figure out and at the same time, one of the most important things to know.

The development of a game is a constant work towards a goal. Without that goal, without that vision of the final product, nothing can be done.

Hopefully in the coming weeks the team can come together and reestablish the vision for Data Helix, freeing us up to begin working towards something instead of sitting still or wandering in random directions.

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