Hello, I’ve had another reminder this week that I really don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to game projects. Rather than upload an informative post about task analysis like I planned to, I’ll tell you how I had an “oh shit” moment.
I got around to actually looking at my notes on task analysis & I realized it was done with user tasks in mind, not development tasks. You basically form the tasks by asking, “what does the user do to carry out this functional requirement?” Thing is, only one of my requirements is functional & it’s already implemented as part of RPG Maker. I have no requirements that require the user to perform a task for it to be done. The closest things I can think of is:
- The player levelling up their characters to unlock abilities (another existing mechanic of RPG Maker)
- The player exploring the game world to encounter all other features (I was wanting to use task analysis to help decide where to place these rather than the other way around)
I guess this kind of thing is to be expected when trying to use aspects of a software development framework for game development. So what do I do instead?
I first went over the task analysis template I have to see what I can use in a different way. I can still use virtually all of it but not in the context of ‘user tasks’. Maybe do it as ‘feature analysis’ instead. But I feel there’s a gap here.
I went back to my game design book to the “turn ideas into games” section. It recommends to first focus on the mechanics & gameplay before going for the dramatic elements (which I have been, mostly). Since I’m using the default RPG Maker system, there’s little I can do for mechanics other than utilizing skills, items & existing parameters. The book does list a series of questions to ask yourself to flesh out the mechanics, but again it’s RPG Maker; the program pretty much answers all the questions for me.
Next I decided to find an Extra Credits video on getting an MVP of your first game, since it actually mentions what an MVP for a JRPG would probably be. I also rewatched the previous videos on making your first game which made me remember what I should be doing.
Okay so this reconfirmed that I need to focus on getting combat sorted before anything else, but it also made me remember I should aim for simplicity. Though parts of me are wanting to go further, I need to remember I’m aiming for a small short simple hack’n slash game.
Maybe I should focus on a simple prototype now before continuing with the framework. Perhaps even the framework itself is making things more complicated than it should be. Hmm…
I’m basically on two lines of thought now:
- Focus on getting an initial design & prototype of combat before continuing with my flawed framework & see how that goes.
- Think even smaller with my other ideas; something about a month’s worth of work (I already have an idea I could try out).
I do have some more stuff I want to share, but I’ll save it for the next part.
Final side note: I’m currently in Te Anau looking after my parents three dogs while they’re in Auckland. I have the house to myself but it also means I have to do everything; walk them, feed them, have them sleep on my bed then lick & paw my face at 9am so I can’t sleep in, etc. Can’t really complain though. Sorry I don’t have any photos this time.