And… The Not Fun Part

I blogged the other day about the fun part of making a game. Well… we’ve officially gotten into the not fun part.

Above is a screenshot of the emails sent to me by our bug tracking system. Mind you, this isn’t necessarily a complete list. Some of them contain subtasks that require much more work. Take bugs 14, 15, and 16, Walker AI, Walker Shoot, Walker Stab.

Walker AI is kind of a broad category. It encompasses some basic reactions to walking, bumping into objects, and generally when to react to the player. Such as how far away is the player within the walker’s “line of vision”?) But then, our walkers can have a variety of attachments which then modify how the walker attacks. Walker Stab refers to a walker that… well… stabs. Same with Walker Shoot.

But these have subtasks as well. Have I integrated the necessary animations? Programmed the logic for which attachments to set to the character’s body? Programmed a physical body that game world will react to? All of this needs to be done before the AI is modified to take into account the differences.

The truth is, this isn’t that much different from when we began. We had things we needed to do and just had to knock down each thing to get where we are now. But it was a wide open field. Need to play around with the game’s gravity to make moving and jumping seem fluid? Go for it! Has to get done sometime. Want to integrate the Hero and all his animations? Yes!

The difference now, of course, is that we have a defined and narrowing list which means that if all that’s left is working on the what the character swings on a chain… well… guess what you’re working on that day?

Up until now, I feel like I’ve been working on a game. Every day was fun in seeing what could get added that day. Now I feel like I’m working a job, spending most of my time in the debugger and tracing through logic paths.

I suppose this is the difference between a professional and a hobbyist in any field. The hobbyist can quit until they feel like working on their project again. The professional just has to power through.

I’ve been here on dozens of projects before. It’s not a bad place to be. It’s just not as fun as when you’re starting out and have the entire project ahead from which to choose what to work on. I just have to keep my eye on the end result, which will be one hell of a game.