Deciding What Is Needed For A Demo

We made the decision last week to move ahead with our demo of Project One while still in the fundraising stage because… well… a demo, even at an early stage, will allow potential investors to see and experience some degree of what we’ve been trying to explain. And, as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

The trick, when coming up with the demo, is deciding to what degree it should represent the final game. Do we want a dummy level that someone can just run through to see a sample of the art and animations that will populate the end product or should it be fully playable and attempt to feel as complete as possible?

These are especially important questions right now since our budget and time is tight and finding the right balance between something that represents the final product and something that gets the gist across is exactly the balancing act we’re attempting. But, as of right now, we’re going ahead with the plan to put together a “fully” functional one level game.

One level, how hard can it be, right?

Heh heh… well… take a look at even a simple video game and it becomes clear that it’s a fair amount of effort. Just to list a few things off the top of my head, the game will need:

  • A finalized hero design
  • Animations for walking, jumping, ducking, climbing, punching, shooting, and being idle.
  • At least four bad guys to populate the level.
  • Animations for bad guys patrolling, attacking, collisions, dying, each!
  • Finalized level boss.
  • Animations for the boss level running, attacking, collisions, “freak outs”, death, taunts, and a victory dance.
  • Level objects like coins, fire, lasers, chains, saws, pits, platforms, walls, weapons, power ups, and bullets.

And that’s just what I’m thinking of now. This list also doesn’t include a more or less functional game engine to drive it all as well as a functional and intuitive control scheme.

Not that any of this effort will be a waste in the final game. In fact, Project One will build upon all of this effort and include more bad guys, levels, and level bosses all made possible because of this early work. And that’s one reason we’ve decided to move forward with the gameplay demo. Our fundraising has already been a great success but if we don’t meet our final goal, we’ll still have the basis of a game to develop on top of, just at a slower pace than we might have originally hoped for.

I’m really excited about this leap forward we’re making and can’t wait to share the progress we’ll make in the coming weeks, hopefully with more concept art and actual character design and animations to show. I really think Project One is going to knock the socks off of people when they see the final product and, believing this, it’s great to begin making real progress toward that goal.