Creation of a Video Game with No Knowledge: Problems with Planning (Includes Screenshots)
Hello everybody, it’s been too long since I’ve posted about the progress of this project, so here I am, ready to share some information with you. First, I’d like to give you a quick update regarding the status of this four level demo/prototype, and then I’d like to talk about the importance of planning.
So, what have I been doing since March 31st? Honestly, I haven’t been working on the game as much as I should have been, but I am getting stuff done. I have two levels completely finished, a third level with its physical structure completed – meaning no coins or 1-Ups – and finally, a fourth that I just started today.
I’ve been slowly building levels because, well, it’s definitely not as easy as I thought it would be. Stringing together platforms is proving to be quite tough, especially when I’m thinking about level length and flow. The main issue is that after I use up my ideas, I still have half a level left to create, and they’re actually coming out quite short, about a minute a piece. This is mainly due to a lack of planning on my behalf, but I’ll touch on that in a bit.
I do have a working 1-UP system in place, as well as a simple scoring system, plus I’ve been able to create a new obstacle that will likely frustrate some people – I’m talking about saw blades similar to those you encounter in Super Mario World and Super Meat Boy. Oh, I’ve also been able to put together some sound effects, and I’ve received permission to use some 8-bit chiptunes; however, due to the limitations of Construct 2 Free Edition, I won’t be able to use them all. Regardless, these additions add a nice touch to the game and make it a little bit more enjoyable.
As I mentioned above, I’ve been struggling quite a bit to put together this game. My biggest issue is my lack of knowledge of video game development, which is made worse by my lack of planning. I’m putting stuff together whenever something comes to mind, or on a whim if you will. This is not only slowing me down, but it’s putting a huge dent in my confidence. Plus, whenever I add something new, strange bugs seem to appear and mess with things – something that I’m sure happens to all game developers – so I stop to try to figure them out. Smaller bugs are usually created by simple mistakes, such as accidentally forgetting that I’ve renamed something, and then continuing to use the previous name in the event sheet programming. Other bugs, I can’t quite figure out, likely due to my lack of knowledge, but sometimes it appears that I’ve done everything right on my end – it can be quite frustrating. Debugging is something that I will have to learn and ultimately, I believe I need to do more tutorials, read more about using Construct 2, and become an active member of the C2 forums.
Unfortunately, another big issue surrounds the mechanic that I’m building the character “Stompy” around, and that would be the ground pound. I’m struggling to come up with great ideas for the move, resulting in placing a few more destructible boxes in the level, instead of designing levels around the move.
If I tried to make another game with Construct 2, I would definitely take more time to plan. When I say plan, I mean that I would spend more time on ideas for the game including enemies, obstacles, items, power-ups, level designs, etc. I believe this would speed things up and make the process a little more enjoyable.
I’m planning to release the demo on April 30, and I’ll be looking for constructive feedback on things like level design – I’m anticipating a lot of feedback there -, character movement, and any bugs, or ideas and suggestions you may have. At that point, I’ll decide if it’s worth my time to continue refining and creating the game, and if it comes to that, I’ll have to come up with a way to buy the full version of Construct 2.