Entry #1

How the 'One Game A Month' approach helped us to finish games

2014-06-30 15:29:06 by duckbridge
Updated

Hey dudes and dudettes,

I'd like to talk about the 'One Game A Month' approach to developing games, which we've used quite some and has helped us alot with developing games.


Before making our last game (15Min Max) we've been using this approach to game development called 'One Game A Month' which basically means that we've been making one game each month. This seemed to work really well at first, because our problem was that we always wanted to make BIG games (that we would never finish). And with this new approach we would force ourselves to make smaller games (which could be finished in one month ofcourse).

At first, this approach seemed to work really well, we managed to finish a game each month and we were doing pretty good (some games we're pretty okay, some we're pretty bad). Another really good aspect of this approach was the fact that we could 'try out' ideas for games (prototype) in one month, so even if the idea was really bad, it wouldn't be a problem because we'd only work on it for one month.

However, as we made more games, we realized that our games were not as 'good as they could be', the games could be WAY better than we made them, if we only had more time...

But we didn't have more time, because we sort of religiously followed this 'one game a month' approach. Untill one day we were discussing the fact that we should be focusing on making 'good' games instead of many games (quality > quantity), that lead us to creating '15Min Max', which we consider our 'best' game so far.

We've just finished 15 MIn Max a few days ago but we've spent almost 3 months working on it (trice as long as usual) and during development we found that polishing takes A LOT OF TIME. The initial game was done quite fast, but polishing and balancing and stuff took so long. We do believe that the polishing time paid of in the end.. Because we're more proud of this game than the others before.

So far we've gotten a lot of positive response to the game but we're still wondering if there aren't parts that should/could improve. So we're asking if you'd like to play it and provide us with some feedback (if you have any)

You can check out the game in the following url and judge for yourself:

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/641800

So from now on, we'll take the time needed to make games we're proud of!

PS: If you are also thinking about adopting the one-game-one-month approach, feel free to! it worked well for us!


Comments

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SpikeVallentineSpikeVallentine

2014-06-30 16:15:29

Yeah....polishing can be endless. Like a painting.

"So from now on, we'll take the time needed to make games we're proud of!"
Nice!

yeah i have an immedaite feedback. when you die adn fail.....get rid of that transitiona nimation. people will be dying a lot. and 3 or even 2 seconds adds up....Make that transition happen in half a second. Get rid of that pink hand grabbing the guy if you have to. It's rediculous.

People have to watch the pink hand come from the sky to pick up the dead body, then another screen comes with the hand from the sky dropping off the pink guy. Get that out of there. Just let that transition happen in 0.5 seconds. let the screen flash or fade in or fade out or something. I don't know. MAKE 0.5 work.

It's annoying. You don't want to annoy your players.

you did a good job. i played for 5 minutes. my max is like 33. and that should mean a lot because im very busy now.. but i still played your games. AND i don't usually like games iwht pixel graphics, so you guys did some things right.

Jump, Hit, and Drop made me nervous the most.

(Updated ) duckbridge responds:

Thanks for your feedback, this is the kind of feedback we're looking for!
We appreciate it and you certainly make some valid points, especially with the death time and animation times. We will take note of your feedback and we'll try to make the transition time faster!


TomFulpTomFulp

2014-06-30 17:00:56

I have some feedback that is unrelated to the game but helps the visual presentation - you can edit your HTML to remove the Unity boilerplate above and below your game, then set the dimensions on NG to be exactly the dimensions of your game window. Also be sure to set topmargin=0 and leftmargin=0 in the body tag of your HTML. Let me know if you need any help!

duckbridge responds:

Wow thanks, I didn't know that. Haha that's why the dimensions always messed up^^'! I already got confused about that. I'll try it out tonight, but if I need help I'll hit you up.


MSGheroMSGhero

2014-06-30 17:06:48

1gam is my goal in the future, but I have too much to work on now to attempt that. More jams too. Anything but year-long rpgs, really.


TheEnkianTheEnkian

2014-06-30 18:50:23

Like MSG said, I'd love to be able to do something like One Game a Month, but man, the fact that I've got RPGs and other bigger projects to plan drives me nuts sometimes despite the fact that I love them. Once my list of active project clears up a bit, I'd love to be able to take the time to make shorter games that are still filled with passion, but don't take more than a few months to make. For a while at least.

duckbridge responds:

Haha yeah, well making RPG's is also something great. We also kind of came up with the idea to use OneGameAMonth to make small games about certain systems/parts of games. So for example, make a very small game within a month which is based around a certain battle system, just to see if it works.
This didn't end up working though^^, because it sounds easier than it is.

But yeah, I don't think that you could only focus on making on game a month though, but it's a pretty good thing to try atleast (especially when you usually make big(ger) games)


BcadrenBcadren

2014-07-01 01:32:57

I feel like I've had the opposite problem. Putting things out as soon as they work leading to like (it took me 20-60 hour little prototypes that 'work' but aren't polished at all and people...well...don't like).

(Updated ) duckbridge responds:

Your problem is kind of the same problem we ran into. We just 'rushed' games within a month, but never really had any time to polish them. But very often these little prototypes can be used to see if the 'idea' of the game (or core mechanic) is fun/works. And then if it seems to be fun, you can polish it and stuff to make it more appealing/better. I guess it gives some more security about how 'fun' your game is/wil be.
(however this does not apply to all kind of games, some need to be polished a bit)


CoftCoft

2014-07-01 01:46:01

I also like the idea of trying out systems as little games rather than spending years making the big thing not knowing whether it'll work.
It would be awesome if "game design" didn't necessarily mean "programming and art".