The Next Step

The Wall Level’s gone now. I couldn’t think of anything that could make that level interesting, and instead of having an extra level that didn’t add anything to the sweet gameplay stew that I’ve cooked up, I’d rather just have one less. It’s oddly freeing to hack things not due to time constraints, but due to content quality. It’s a nice option to be able to exercise occasionally.
That means that, for all intents and purposes, the level crafting for The Thief’s Tale is finished. I need to put together the final boss area, but other than that, it’s good and done.
Which brings me to the next thing. Since I’m waiting for content to arrive (which is does, in tasty little morsels) before doing more coding, I found myself thinking about different stuff and thinking about the framework for the stuff I want to do later. Recording functions, tile collision engines and fluid dynamics algorithms have been coming together slowly in my head meat and sometimes finding their way down to the hands where prototypes have been coded. But that’s not the next step I should be taking. It’s not correct. The Programmer and Designer part of me craves the new, while the Producer side of me demands completion. It’s the side that must always win, for good or ill.
So, the true next step, is XNA. I’ve a wrapper put together that will launch my software into an XNA environment, but I’ve not done so yet. I don’t know how well it’ll function through the wrapper on a non-PC platform. I don’t know if the controls will work, or the display will function or any of it. It’s stuff I can figure out, but the answers may be in a language that I don’t know. From a programming perspective, it’s being born again into a strange new land that has only traces of familiarity surrounded by new dangers and mistakes to make. I wonder if the programming that I’ve done up to now is without real value, like code training wheels. That frightens me ever so much.
But that’s just me. Producer side of me has an altogether external fear, that for the Team. Made up entirely of volunteers all wanting to have resume experience (like myself) and the start of a (hopefully) great, big MobyGames entry, I hope that the idea of monies won’t spoil it. It probably won’t since I want to, and plan to, split anything we make fairly. But fears of negotiations dissolving and work being left for dead is enough to keep me awake at night, staring at the ceiling and making a frowny face.
The least of my current worries, is IGF. We have time to spare and in what will probably never happen again in game development, an entire game framework upon which to hang gorgeous arts and sounds. I know we can do that, I hope that we can survive everything else.

I want to Believe.

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