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Monday
Sep122011

Developer Diary 02: We Worked All Week

One week down! Many, many more to go. Still nothing I can show you from the actual project, so here's a pic of a baby and an octopus.

And it was a good and productive week, or at least it seemed that way to me. Among the various things we’re doing that people have warned us against, we’re going with a distributed team. That is, everyone works at home. As someone who has worked from home much more than he’s worked in an office, I know it can be done. Granted, I’ve never done it on a prolonged, co-operative project like this, but there are a number of successful companies who have. Since we plan to keep the team relatively small for this project (and hopefully forever), I’m confident we can pull it off.

This past week was easy, since everyone was for the most part doing their own things. Jonathan was readying software libraries and laying groundwork. Austin was doing concept art. I was writing promotional and web site material. We did all come together mid-week to work up guidelines for our sprite animation system. Jonathan laid down the system and then I made up the flowcharts. Austin made a little stick-figure soldier that can run and fight and die in an endless loop. That all came together really nicely. The flowchart software we used, the yEd Graph Editor from yWorks is a breeze to use and I had a lot of fun learning to use it. I think (and hope) we’re going to use it for AI Scripting too. That would make my life easier, anyway.

http://www.yworks.com/en/products_yed_about.html

One of the nice things about working with others, especially those with different skill sets than you, is that they see things in different ways. I’ve found this to be true with artists especially. When I wrote comic book scripts, nine times out of ten the artist’s version of my art directions ended up much cooler than what I’d envisioned in my head. Austin did that this week with some concept art for a building that features prominently in one of our game concepts. I’d pictured the sort of classic, cliched version of this iconic kind of structure, but Austin came up with something wilder and more interesting looking that also fits what we’re doing with the game much better than the classic cliche would. Soon I’ll be able to share this stuff with you, I promise!

This week, more of the same. I’m finalizing pitches for the three games and working out many, many business details. Austin’s arting it up. Jonathan is ensconced in Seattle and coding away. We’re all shooting videos. OK, the video thing is new. But that’s a surprise for another day....

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