dcsimg
A Flash Developer Resource Site

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27

Thread: [DISC] Planning Games

  1. #1
    Trainee coder Viza's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, Down under
    Posts
    513

    [DISC] Planning Games

    Just curious to know, how do you guys go about planning your flash games.

    Personally, I've found chucking down any ideas that might spring into my head on a peice of paper to be the most beneficial, but it's also inconsistent and a tad untidy at times.. So the idea of this thread is to share what you find do be the most efficient planning method(s), and hopefully others (such as myself) can hopefully pick up a few good habits.

    Obviously, any tips, tricks, good habits and examples are welcome.

    Viza

  2. #2
    Say hello to Bob Kakihara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    kent, England
    Posts
    1,067
    Well usually ill jot down the basic concept in notepad. Then ill roughly work out what needs doing as far as character needs to move, enemies need to fire etc...

    Then ill open up another notepad doc and start planning properly. Basically ill work out what functions i will need to use and then break those functions down into what happens in them.

    I also have a needed notepad doc which has the things im yet to do in it. Then i just add and delete lines as i do new things and complete parts.

    Its not a great way of planning a game but it works for me.
    If our body is a clock ticking away and if while we experience all that this world has to offer time has still continued to pass, are we living or just experiencing a slow death?

  3. #3
    ....he's amazing!!! lesli_felix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    London UK
    Posts
    1,507
    Planning??!?

    I've not tried it, perhaps this is where I'm going wrong.

    I'll have to try this 'planning' and see if it yields results....

  4. #4
    Script kiddie VENGEANCE MX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    England
    Posts
    2,590
    I just wing it from the moment I have an idea in my head. Nowadays when I get ideas along the way, I write them down somewhere (due to the sheer scale of Commando 3, I ended up making a to-do list on my phone, and I'd tick off tens and tens of items on that list as I added them to the game).

    It's nothing short of a miracle that Commando 3 worked out, when it was such a big game and I didn't plan it out at all. I actually released it 10 minutes before the deadline, following an all-night, no-sleep, last-minute coding session. That's what I call well-timed.
    http://www.birchlabs.co.uk/
    You know you want to.

  5. #5
    Pumpkin Carving 2008 ImprisonedPride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI
    Posts
    2,379
    I use paper and pencil. I just keep a stack of notebooks sitting on my desk. A lot of them are just filled with random drawings, but it can really help to get an idea through your head when you see a sketch of it written on paper from a different perspective. As far as gaming goes though, I like to make a skeletal hierarchy of functions, starting with the basic inititation function. It helps me to understand where the control is being passed and it helps a lot to debug.

    It also helps (at least it helps me) to jam-pack your fla with comments until you're finished. I usually create a small comment area above each function to describe whats happening on each line in the function:

    Code:
    //***********************************************************
    // The follow are the 9 firing functions held within the game
    // and they are only used once boughten from the upgrades
    // and cannot be used for the rest of the level once out of
    // ammunition. There is also the function with preps all the
    // weapon types for use
    //
    // The system works such that two weapons are selected if
    // available and their functions are loaded into fire1 and
    // fire2. fire1 = spacebar; fire2 = ctrl. If one gun is out
    // of ammunition, the system swaps the remaining gun to fire1
    // and if that runs out, is defaulted back to basic bullets,
    // considering whether or not multifire is unlocked and/or
    // enabled.
    //***********************************************************
    //
    //****************************
    // accessories/items function
    //****************************
    function accessories() {
    	// assign weapon #'s for array reference
    	babu = 0;
    	gari = 1;
    	beca = 2;
    	mufi = 3;
    	homi = 4;
    ...
    The 'Boose':
    ASUS Sabertooth P67 TUF
    Intel Core i7-2600K Quad-Core Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz Overclocked to 4.2GHz
    8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 DDR3
    ASUS ENGTX550 TI DC/DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 1GDDR5 (Overclocked to 1.1GHz)
    New addition: OCZ Vertex 240GB SATA III SSD
    WEI Score: 7.6

  6. #6
    Hype over content... Squize's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Lost forever in a happy crowd...
    Posts
    5,928
    I don't really plan, unless I'm pitching for something and then I do fairly comprehensive Game Design Docs ( Although those are more client targeted rather than being something you can really sit down and work from ).

    I find when I know what game I'm writing I know which components make it up, and any which are tricky I just ignore. It usually works out by the time I start on them my brain has worked it out for me.

    One thing I always do ( Which V reminded me of ), is a to do list. I only do this near the end ( When it's worth while ) and just put all the bugs and nice to haves in there. It normally ends up being about 2 sides of A4 ( You remove one bug, but find another 3 things wrong with it ), but I find it really helpful so nothing slips off the radar ( In theory ).

    Oh, and smoking lots helps. Takes your mind off what you're doing and gives you a little break, and then things just kinda click into place.

    Squize.

  7. #7
    Pumpkin Carving 2008 ImprisonedPride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI
    Posts
    2,379
    Quote Originally Posted by Squize
    I don't really plan, unless I'm pitching for something and then I do fairly comprehensive Game Design Docs ( Although those are more client targeted rather than being something you can really sit down and work from ).

    I find when I know what game I'm writing I know which components make it up, and any which are tricky I just ignore. It usually works out by the time I start on them my brain has worked it out for me.

    One thing I always do ( Which V reminded me of ), is a to do list. I only do this near the end ( When it's worth while ) and just put all the bugs and nice to haves in there. It normally ends up being about 2 sides of A4 ( You remove one bug, but find another 3 things wrong with it ), but I find it really helpful so nothing slips off the radar ( In theory ).

    Oh, and smoking lots helps. Takes your mind off what you're doing and gives you a little break, and then things just kinda click into place.

    Squize.
    WTF how did I forget to mention smoking as a part of planning? Seriously if you don't smoke at least a pack a day, you aren't going anywhere with Flash Dev.
    The 'Boose':
    ASUS Sabertooth P67 TUF
    Intel Core i7-2600K Quad-Core Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz Overclocked to 4.2GHz
    8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 DDR3
    ASUS ENGTX550 TI DC/DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 1GDDR5 (Overclocked to 1.1GHz)
    New addition: OCZ Vertex 240GB SATA III SSD
    WEI Score: 7.6

  8. #8
    Pencil Farmer cadin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Vancouver BC
    Posts
    323
    I develop my games on paper quite a bit before I ever start programming. I keep notes of gameplay ideas, character sketches, etc in my notebook. When I feel like I have something that might work, I build a VERY simple mockup of the game mechanics in Flash. I just use circles and squares for the art. This allows me to see very quickly if the core mechanic is fun to play with. If it's not then I know not to bother making fancy graphics and programming the rest of the game. You can't polish a turd.

    As others have noted, it's very helpful to keep a list of things that need to be fixed or added.

    I don't smoke, but I do notice that I usually find the answer to my programming problems when I take time to step away from the computer.

  9. #9
    Patron Saint of Beatings WilloughbyJackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Ro-cha-cha-cha, New York
    Posts
    1,992
    Quote Originally Posted by squize
    Oh, and smoking lots helps. Takes your mind off what you're doing and gives you a little break, and then things just kinda click into place.
    And I thought you were quitting, blue...

    Anyhow,

    I have found more and more that I enjoy doing a simple write up and sketches for what I want to try and accomplish with the game I am making. If I don't figure out the basic rules for the game, I'm just wandering around aimlessly or trying to make it perfect until the cows come home. I also do a rough list/diagram of the classes/methods I would need.

    Usually, once I get a basic game engine going (with winning and losing conditions programmed), I make a list of bug fixes, graphics needed, game 'need-to-haves', and game 'want-to-haves'.

    Since I don't smoke, I find a large variety of music (ranging from cheesy Eurobeat to straight-up Death Metal and everything in between) and some insprational game-playing breaks always seem to help me.

    -pXw

    Play - Live - Work - Enjoy

  10. #10
    Student
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    -
    Posts
    4,756
    pencil & paper?

  11. #11
    Senior Member fil_razorback's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    607
    Mh I have two different ways of planning :


    When I'm working alone on a project, I think of it for a few days (before I fall asleep, I always think about 30mins-2hours about gamee making ^^) and then it's all clear in my head : I know everything about what functions will be needed, how they interact and how I will code the trickiest parts.
    Now that only works for small projects.


    Now for bigger projects involving more than one person, I do think it is ESSENTIAL to plan things entirely before coding a line. If you start coding before the discussions are over, you might end up with more half your code in the recycle bin (trust me, this is not fun ).
    I don't think such detailed docs are required, just some notes here and there about what you might forget (detailed storyline, names, system...).

    At least, this works for me.

  12. #12
    Style Through Simplicity alillm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Wales
    Posts
    1,988
    Quote Originally Posted by ImprisonedPride
    Seriously if you don't smoke at least a pack a day, you aren't going anywhere with Flash Dev.
    Really? Thats a shame, I was just starting to like my lungs

    Ali

  13. #13
    Now tell me whos watchin...... samvillian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Where do you live?
    Posts
    539
    i have this big calendar on my desktop, or rather on top of my desk. i write down the descriptions and transfer em over month by month... lol.....
    im nervous i get to take a license test driving thing tomorrow...

  14. #14
    Knows where you live
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    944
    A few sketches, then I move it to UML.
    The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
    - Walter Bagehot
    The height of cleverness is to be able to conceal it.
    - Francois de La Rochefoucauld

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    212
    I draw pictures on blank stacks of paper... generally scrapping about 80% of them immediately. The pictures demonstrate the gameplay with little scribbles you could call notes, and with arrows showing movement of certain objects. I worry about the graphics afterward... at least, on most of my games. Sometimes my ideas shift to other ones as I find how unplayable my original idea was.

    Other than that, I'd say original concept, gameplay with simple graphics, scoring (if you have any), instructions, graphics, menu, then hiscores (if you have any)... in that order. Then change anything you want to later, typically at the suggestion of a fellow developer or gamer.

    If you are having trouble coming up with something good, you could try modifying (adding new gameplay... not just recreating) an already existing game... just make sure it doesn't look like the original; unless, of course, you want it to. Also just playing other games helps, because you no longer think about what you want to make (releases stress, kind of like studying for an exam , punching walls, throwing yourself from high ledges, or whatever floats your boat... I personally like playing video games best; though work is good too... if you have a good job) and perhaps an idea will pop up subconsciously... then when you have the idea, write it all down, and run with it, changing anything as needed.

    Then again, this is all my opinion of course.

  16. #16
    Truimagz.com everfornever's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    St. Louis
    Posts
    1,306
    WTF how did I forget to mention smoking as a part of planning? Seriously if you don't smoke at least a pack a day, you aren't going anywhere with Flash Dev.
    I think we talked about this once before........

    As to planning, yea I dont do that. I'm lucky if what I spent 6 hours on today will not be in the recycle bin when I wake up tommorrow.

    I think planning takes the frustration out of it.... and thats no fun, without the frustrations I might stop smoking and drinking, and we can't have that.
    Last edited by everfornever; 04-16-2007 at 07:48 PM.

  17. #17
    M.D. mr_malee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Shelter
    Posts
    4,140
    i never plan, i usually listen to some music or watch a movie to spring ideas up. However thats for my personal games, working with soap we have meetings and brainstorming sessions, those are usually good, allot of ideas being thrown around, good and bad

    I like to think about the visuals in a game, every night i'll think about some different scenario that may arise when playing and i'll try to keep it in mind, the initial stages of building the game engine are very boring and plain, once you see stuff moving then the interesting part happens and you can make up those scenarios you've been dreaming about.

    Some ideas will get lost though, but i really couldn't be arsed writing down a brief for myself.
    lather yourself up with soap - soap arcade

  18. #18
    Senior Member TheLostGuru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    I live on this webpage...
    Posts
    784
    I also don't plan ahead. I usually have thought through most of the game before I begin, but I don't write any of it down. All of the games I have created so far have been on a smaller scale, so I'm sure that planning for larger games is critical. Like others have stated, I also find that solutions to problems occur while I am away from the computer, usually as I am going to bed.
    "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  19. #19
    Trainee coder Viza's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, Down under
    Posts
    513
    It's great to see the amount of reply's and helpful feedback so far (I'm sure my parents will be stocked about me taking up smoking, IP and Squize ).

    I'm really relieved and also a bit shocked to see that most of you guys (especially the 'pros') don’t normally plan your games. From the responses so far, it seems the general perception is that it's really a personal preference (which I kinda’ predicted).

    It's also a bit uncanny reading some of the replies, because they're so similar to how I go about planning (eg. I come up with most of my ideas in bed or otherwise from movies/games/music, I practically always plan things in my head only (which has proved very difficult when receiving an absolute ****-load of homework))

    Though I'm very inexperienced and still very much a beginner at AS, I think that I'll stick to my current method for planning my (yet to be finished) games:
    1.Plan in my head (usually just game concepts, gameplay, various ideas, etc). This is by far the most time consuming step.
    2. Document things that are important or will most likely be forgotten (pretty much a to-do-list)-this is usually a fairly small amount of documentation, but it has helped so far nonetheless.
    If it's a particularly challenging project, 3. Brainstorm, Research and document game functions + mechanics
    4. Get started- up to this point, no drawing has occurred (though occasionally, I'll draw a very simple level overview)-whatever illustrations you see from me, will have been inspired without previous planning.

    ..Personally, at this stage I see planning as more handy then necessary, and though at times I may dread doing it, those few minutes that I have spent on planning have helped quite a bit in the long term.

    [OFFTOPIC]
    Quote Originally Posted by VENGEANCEMX
    I actually released it 10 minutes before the deadline
    You had a deadline for that?

    Viza
    Last edited by Viza; 04-17-2007 at 04:01 AM.

  20. #20
    Pumpkin Carving 2008 ImprisonedPride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI
    Posts
    2,379
    Quote Originally Posted by Viza
    It's great to see the amount of reply's and helpful feedback so far (I'm sure my parents will be stocked about me taking up smoking, IP and Squize ).
    ...
    Viza
    Maybe, but you'll look so damn cool. *points to avatar* Just do it. </peer pressure>


    Erm on topic edit...

    I agree with your style Viza, but I should say that until I consider myself one who can honestly just wing code (gotta love that right click -> view help feature), I find over-documenting and over-commenting a fair trade for a well organized, efficient game.
    Last edited by ImprisonedPride; 04-17-2007 at 04:15 AM.
    The 'Boose':
    ASUS Sabertooth P67 TUF
    Intel Core i7-2600K Quad-Core Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz Overclocked to 4.2GHz
    8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 DDR3
    ASUS ENGTX550 TI DC/DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 1GDDR5 (Overclocked to 1.1GHz)
    New addition: OCZ Vertex 240GB SATA III SSD
    WEI Score: 7.6

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  




Click Here to Expand Forum to Full Width

HTML5 Development Center