The truth behind game development

2007, December 20th 11:32 AM

I've had a few people ask me why this journal spends so much time talking about minutae of business (like server setup and mailing lists) and so little about, you know, actually writing games.

This journal is fundamentally about starting a game studio. Sometimes that's game design. Sometimes that's coding. Lately, it's been about setting up a server and getting some people reading this journal (yes, this one that you're reading right here) so that people actually play the game when it comes out.

So that's what I've been doing lately. The server's working and (finally) is requiring no tweaking. The mailing list is up and works as well. And now, I even have a company logo. It's a lot of small things, but it's small things that have to get done, and nobody is going to do them besides me. The next step, from a non-coding perspective, is PR – and I'm going to have a lot to say about that as well, because PR is a horrible pit of morality issues.

The reason I haven't been posting about what I've been coding is rather complicated and entirely uninteresting. I've been on a vacation for the last week, and now we're moving into the holidays, and so I haven't been getting as much work done as usual. On top of that, I've been coding things which are about as dull as it gets – interfaces. And not even interesting interfaces. For example, now you can hit Escape and get a popup menu allowing you to quit the game, return to the main menu, or change the resolution. Necessary? Absolutely. Interesting? Not in the least.

Unfortunately I've got a lot more uninteresting before I can get back to the interesting. What I'm trying to do is release a stripped-down demo version of the game for all to enjoy (and, for those of you who don't run Windows, I'm hoping to do a Windows/OSX/Linux cross-release. We'll see how well this works.) The game right now suffers from a few major flaws, however, such as essentially requiring someone who's played before to navigate the menus. This is pretty bad. It works great when your goal is "make sure the gameplay is fun and balance things", but it needs to be fixed, and it needs to be fixed now.

I'd love for game development to consist entirely of designing giant guns and aliens and making explosions look awesome. Unfortunately, that's just not the case, and I've got a long, long slog before I can get back to that.