So I’ve picked the game concept that I’m going to fully develop. It’s a very close approximation of one of the game concepts I posted publicly last week, though I’m sure it’ll evolve somewhat as it develops.
Having firmly made this decision, and also decided on an art theme for the game, I’m now twiddling my thumbs a bit waiting for my artist to finish the first robust set of art. There are, I suppose, things I could be doing, game-wise, at the moment. But really, once you’ve found a game mechanic for a casual game, it’s mostly about art implementation (with corresponding special effects), UI implementation, and gameplay tweaking. The latter is kind of hard to do until you get the main game working with reasonably polished art.
So I’m probably sidelined for a week or so. Which I suppose is ok – I’m taking a 4-day weekend this weekend, and I’ll fill in some of the rest of the time by doing my taxes and other odds and ends. Still, I always feel a bit odd when I’ve got nothing productive to work on, biz-wise.
I think this game will go very fast – I’m hoping to be out the door in 3 months or less from now (after spending the last 1.5-2 months concepting and goofing off a bit). Bonnie’s Bookstore took 6.5-7 months to go out the door, with a shorter concepting stage – about 2 weeks. But I was also doing my first casual game, working with and enhancing a very rough framework.
Bonnie’s Bookstore Codebase (.c files only, excluding utilities)
I’m reusing all the framework, and will probably only add another ~50KB of new code to it. The game itself will obviously have a lot of new code, but also some re-used code, and I’ve already got the prototype working (though a lot of that code is slapdash and needs a re-write). But anyways, I’m already at 167KB for the game prototype, and will probably only hit about 400KB again, meaning I have perhaps 250-300KB of code left to write.
When I was in full-on crunch mode at PopTop, I could produce 100-120KB of code per week, but 60KB was a more normal output (and that’s counting spending some time tending to managerial/design tasks). I doubt I’ll be even that productive on my next game, as I work fewer hours and perhaps spend a greater portion of my time doing design and graphics tinkering. Maybe I’ll do 45KB of code/week, which means that this new game could be done (at least to late-beta stage), in about 6 weeks of work, from the point that the art is ready to work with.
We shall see…