Sunday, January 3, 2010

Outlook of 2010 for Botworks

One of the main reasons I started this blog was as a way for me to keep track of my ideas and projects. So, in that context, this is more of a post for me, as it is a rough plan of what I plan to do this year.

Frozen Kangaroo, the real time strategy game I am making has been put on hold. This is for a number of reasons. The most important is simply that I have learnt so much since I have started that I have emerged on to the second stage of ignorance: aware of my failures (the step before being incompetent AND unaware). As a result, I can look at Frozen Kangaroo and say it is a lot more complicated than I thought and needs full planning.

I need to find you what works for me. My Computing coursework has helped me in this respect, but there is still much I need to learn. However, Frozen Kangaroo is too big for me to experiment with

Instead, I am planning a couple of much smaller projects. The first one I am allowing only a month to complete. I will have more details out soon, but I will briefly explain what I am trying with the planning. I am using a free piece of software called Freemind which allows me to create mind maps. Now, none of this is new, but I have never really done it properly. What I am going to do is break down each part of the game in to tiny little components that may be one algorithm or object.

The aim is, if I can make sure I know how to do each component, then theoretically I can make the whole game. The problem I had with Frozen Kangaroo, the nail in the coffin if you will, was that I needed to enhance an existing feature to include extra functionality. However, the feature was woven in to the very fabric of the game and when I changed it, everything broke. My hope is, with these tiny parts, each part will equate to one function that will have a fixed output and once they are done, they are done.

The second stage will be drawing up a schedule. I said that I would limit myself to one month. That means, that at the end of one month, I will publish everything I have made if it works, and if it doesn't, I move on with only a post mortem to remember it by (where I will try to decide what I did wrong)

I hope to start this one month project in February but I want to draw up a plan before I start and I have exams in January, so it may be more like half way through February. If all this goes to plan, I will begin planning a 6 month project. Hopefully, this will lay quite a lot of ground work for Frozen Kangaroo as it will have similar planning challenges as FK.

I also want to learn how to use Unity. I don't plan to make anything particularly noteworthy, my rough aim is to make a game set on an island where you must collect 8 items to help your escape. Hopefully, there should be just enough there for me to learn the basics of Unity.

The big thing for me this year is going to university. Don't ask me where I am going, I don't actually know (:S). Also, as it will be the last year at school I plan to go on holiday with my friends during the summer. None the less, I would still like to get the proper Bot website up and running, whilst maintaining Veteran Gamer, this blog, my school work, playing games and all of the above.

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Hopefully this time next year I will have 2 games to my name, an understanding of planning (and Unity 3D!) a place at a university and ready to restart Frozen Kangaroo. Bon Voyage!

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