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260 - Scheduling

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:31 am
by matt
Scheduling game development is very challenging. In this developer diary I talk about why that is and some of the tricks I use.

*Edit* After posting this, it turns out that my fears were realized! I've duplicated a subject of the dev diary. D'oh! Here's the original for reference: (I think the new one is better, but there are some repeated thoughts... hahah)

With 260 dev diaries and counting (I have a bunch more sitting on my hard disk), I guess this was bound to happen...

Re: 260 - Scheduling

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:12 pm
by evilkinggumby
lol actually i love the confidence and determination you show in this new one. it seems less like you are winging it and more like you have a subject you really want to explain and feel is important. Here you look like an educator, or a peer leader coaching everyone. That's really awesome.

Also nice to see the office slowly coming together. :)

I like the idea of sort of getting the core game down and then filling itout for better depth and girth as time permits. that way you always have a fairly complete game (as in it has all the elements for a beginning, middle, and end) and remaining time allows you to fill in a lot of gaps, finesse where necessary, and add additional characterization, content, lore, quests, scenes, etc etc as necessary. I kind of wonder if Bethesda does that with their sandboxy games - knock out the main questline storyline and then spend however long they can filling out side missions, lore and procedural quests to do.

this concept wouldn't work on all games, but I can see it being handy for some.

Do you have a set schedule already for NeN 2? or will that be determined by how well the kickstarter does?

Re: 260 - Scheduling

Posted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:37 pm
by matt
I'm glad you liked the video. Some things are easier to talk about than others. Apparently I already had practice talking about this subject. I had a nice schedule, but we are already behind on that. My plan was to launch the kickstarter in May, but that's not going to happen since we won't have enough prep time.

The schedule is hopefully locked down, but I'm going to try and include a little wiggle room for stretch goals or slippage for our promised delivery date. However, I probably would have said it was locked a few months ago before we slipped by quite a bit. Creating a vertical slice is taking longer than I expected, but it is going to be more fully featured I think than our Neverending Nightmares one. I'd say our new game is more ambitious, but I am also trying to keep the scope in check - which is always a challenge.

Re: 260 - Scheduling

Posted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:34 pm
by RightClickSaveAs
I really liked the way NN was done with the alpha releases, are you planning on using that approach for the next game?

Re: 260 - Scheduling

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:21 pm
by matt
We are definitely thinking of doing something similar. In order to accommodate scope creep, I was thinking we might do maybe 6 levels to the end and then insert levels during the playthrough. In addition, this has the added benefit of giving us more time to tune and tweak the ending to everyone's liking. Doing the ending last often leads to unsatisfying or rushed endings. The final boss is pretty half assed on most of the games I've worked on. haha (Not having a final boss in Neverending Nightmares was a big win as far as I'm concerned!)