First, just a little update about my first game A Long Road Home. I have released my RPG Maker adventure game on December 2016 (January 2017 on Steam) and I think I got the maximum out of it. I've got a few good reviews and looking at all the platforms I sold it on, I managed to sell more than 500 copies. It might not seem much, but since it was a very low-budget game, it easily turned a profit. I also featured it in several bundles (which I'm not too happy about in hindsight), which also earned me a decent amount of money. I have released a few small updates for it, but right now I don't think I will do anything else with it, since I want to use my spare time to work on my next project. A Long Road Home was a good learning process, but new adventures are waiting.
I have to say it was hard to decide what my next project should be. Not because I didn't have any ideas, on the contrary, I had tons of ideas. After finishing A Long Road Home, I took up the habit of writing down every new game idea in a notebook. Now, after a few weeks, I had dozens of ideas, and it was really hard to nail down that one which I want to work on next. Others might try to prototype a few different games at the same time, but I feel more comfortable with focusing on only one idea. Since for this game I wanted to use a new engine, I knew I had to find something which won't be too difficult to program. Baby steps, always progress with baby steps, I'm still quite a noob developer after all. I have seen a lot of upstarting indie developers on social media who want their first game to be a 3D first person survival MMO made in the Unreal engine, when they don't have any experience with making and releasing a game. It is not a surprise that I have never seen any progress on their part. Long story short, I didn't want to bite more than I can chew.
So I definitely wanted to start small, and after some thinking I decided to make a side scrolling shoot %u2018em up. Have you played Jets 'n Guns? What a cool little shmup! Now I want to go after something like that, but putting some twist into that formula. I'm not saying it will have transforming mechs, but it might have transforming mechs, just sayin'. After nailing down the basic idea, the next thing I have done is I created a design document. I think this is pretty much a must for every game, you will progress much faster and will have a smoother workflow if you write down some of the details of your game. I didn't do this with my first game and it shows unfortunately. The design document doesn't have to be a long one, I created a two page document for this project, detailing the basic game mechanics, the basic story, controls etc. After having this, I can expand it later when I'm doing the actual design. I have also worked out my basic workflow, which means I have my tasks laid out step by step. Things like: 1. implementing controls, 2. implementing collision system, 3. figuring out the weapon systems, 4. finalizing art, things like that. This helps me stay focused since I know what I have to do next. Without that I might want to implement a bunch of new ideas into the game each day, and I don't want to end up with a mess.
Now, where I am actually in the development process? I have the control
system figured out and implemented, so I can move the ship, fire primary
and secondary weapons, finished the basic GUI, I can transform the ship
and use its weapons. I even hame some basic ground units and
structures. I can show some basic stuff, but it is really not much, and
of course everything here is placeholder. The important thing is that I am progressing, and I'm having fun with
the new engine (it is Gamemaker Studio 2 by the way and it is fantastic
for beginner and intermediate developers). I hope next time I can show
you much more. See you then!