Monday, August 11, 2014

End of July Progress Report: I have taken a break

My goal for July was to take a break from programming my game and not do any programming outside of work! I was tired every day from my day job and forcing myself to work on the game was getting more and more difficult, so I wanted a break.

Did I meet my goal?

Yes! I did almost zero programming in July outside of work!

What did I learn?

I learned quite a few things, actually. First, I was reminded of the importance of pacing myself and being flexible with my schedule. I've actually delayed making this post for so long because I was going to Otakon this year and it just seemed like I didn't have the time for writing this up until today. Going forward, I intend to set myself a flexible schedule that still has some hard requirements that'll force me to keep making progress.

Also, by taking a break I allowed myself a lot of time to reflect on my project and consider it from different angles for a long period of time without having to fret about whatever I was changing that week. It has made me reconsider the worth of the voice mimicking in my game and later this month I'm planning on reviewing the code for it entirely and either removing the feature or streamlining it further.

Finally, I was reminded of the importance of doing things other than playing and making games. I haven't watched a lot of TV or read books lately. Being at Otakon and sitting down to watch some shows I hadn't seen before reminded me of how much you can learn just by doing things that aren't "working on your project." I need to block out time specifically for this each week as well as blocking out time for working on my game. It feels awkward, or even wrong to be spending time on "frivolous" things that don't contribute to my project goals, but it's super helpful overall.

Goals for August

This month, all I want to do is focus on level design. When I think about how to make a level for my game right now, I'm frankly just not sure where to start. How do I keep levels from feeling boring? How do I make levels interesting? How should I make levels at all? By the end of August I want to have some sort of answer for those questions, however incomplete, and also have at least started working on 5 different levels for my game.