Some suggestions to my future self…

Posted by (twitter: @fullmontis)
April 25th, 2013 7:28 pm

Since I know myself enough, I also know that I will start panicking about three to four hours in and willing to throw everything in the bin and go play some Deus Ex. So, I though that a list of some anti panic suggestions maybe will help me (and hopefully inspire others) to get my game done before the 48h limit.

  1. Start with a small idea, something I’m pretty confident I can do in two days, then halve that. This way I’ll get a tiny idea: my objective is doing something even tinier. As everything in life, starting is easy, but ending is EVERYTHING. A simple finished game is always better of a half finished prototype of an amazing idea.  Why? Because the first one is a game, the second one is not. The first one can be sold and distributed, the second one can’t. And the fastest and easiest way to finish a project is: start small. 
  2. Focus on what you can do best and do it. Get the rest done as quickly as possible. There are a lot of categories your game will be competing into: it is best to focus on those you will do well in instead of trying the best game overall (unless of course you are a ninja that can make a masterpiece in a weekend, you know who you are!).
    For me, this translates as f
    ocus on MOOD.
    As i wrote in my first post, I’ll be using Ren’py for making a point and click game. My engine and genre choice won’t allow much innovation on the mechanics so the selling point of my game will be what I can focus the most on: music, graphics and writing. Setting the right mood is both what I can expect to do right and what I’m willing to do well, so it’s a good compromise.
  3. Details are EVIL. While this is my first attempt at making a game, I’ve worked on enough other projects to know that perfectionism is my number 1 reason of giving up. In the specific, focusing on non-fundamental details too soon is the worst disease to ever plague a project. As said in point 1, finishing is everything: this means that the fundamental stuff should be THE priority over any other tiny detail. No one will care if the tiles of the floor look like crap if they can’t even finish the first level because of a game breaking bug. Get your priorities in the right order first! Make a list of the game you will need, and cross out everything you know won’t be fundamental to the game. This is the list of stuff you’ll need to implement in the next two days. Now sit down and get your work done!

Ok, hopefully these reminders will prevent myself from bonking my head on the wall in regret too much. Rev up those fingers cause the time is near!

EDIT: thanks to Osgeld for pointing out some confusion about this post.

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2 Responses to “Some suggestions to my future self…”

  1. Osgeld says:


    “music, graphics and writing.” these are detials to the game, not the game

    “Details are EVIL” see above

    its a game in 48 hours, it can have 1 sentence, blocks for graphics and no music and be fun and addictive, make a game worth playing first

    • fullmontis says:

      Thanks for the post, you actually made me notice I forgot t mention a couple of things which may lead to confusion. You are absolutely right and that is what I was trying to express but I made an horrible job explaining myself (no surprise)…

      Point 2: In another post of mine I talked about making a point and click adventure for my first LD game, using Ren’py. This means that at least for me the focus will be more on aesthetics rather than mechanics, which of course mean I’ll have to focus mainly on the graphical and musical aspects, which is something that I’m best at (this of course does not mean I’m good, just that it is something I can do well). In terms of the competition this means I will focus mainly on the Graphics, Music and Mood categories.
      OF COURSE, this is how I planned to do it. Other people have other strenghts that can exploit, and to me it is fundamental to focus on those since time is an important factor. I remember playing games with no graphics, no music and little to no gameplay that actually made me laugh out loud or made me think because of the writing alone. There are many categories in which you can compete, and to me, focusing on a few (or even only one) instead of all of them gives you better chances of making something that will stand out.

      Point 3: again, my explaination probably sucked. Details is a generic term and can be applied to both aesthetics and mechanics; to some games aesthetics may be a detail, to other some mechanics may be. It really depends on the game the author wants to make. The important thing is making a distinction between what is fundamental in the current game and what is not. What is fundamental should be the focus of these two days, and what is not should be done in what time remains (or ignored completely).

      Hopefully this clarifies my points…

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