March 10, 2009
Lab Game #1 - Project Protos
Ugh. Didn’t get much sleep at all last night. It’s a spate of insomnia this week. I probably need to cut back on the coffee. Well, can’t do much about that now. Despite not being in a more suitably chipper mood to start a creative project, it’s time to get cracking on my first game project of the year.
Lab Project #1: Protos
- Codename: Project Protos
- Goal: Game Development Warm-up
- Technology:Flash CS3 for Flash 9
- Concept:Turret based arcade game along the lines of Missile Command or Paratrooper
- Duration: One Week
I’m starting my year of game development with a series of little microgames. This week I’ll work on my first of these. I always start my game projects by thinking of a unique code name, so I’ll come up with one right now: Project Protos. That’s “protos” as in Greek for “first”, not “protos” as in “those high-tech dudes from Starcraft“. It’s not the most original project name, but it’ll do for this one until I need a real title. I’ll save the creative stuff for when my morning coffee kicks in.
The sole goal of this first project is to dip my toes back into game development again. No fancy extra objectives required. Get a game idea roughly sketched on paper, get it roughly implemented, clean it up as much as possible given the time, then call it done. Pretty straight-forward. This is just about getting me to work on a game than it is about any other objective.
Since the sole goal is to make a game, I’m picking Flash as my development platform. Out of the options available to me, it’s by far the quickest to get up to speed. I never got too deep into Flash last year, but given the scope of the project and the nature of ActionScript this should not be an issue. At least I think so; I’ll have to see if I’m right about this by making the game.
Game concept wise, I’m not going with anything too complicated. A classic arcade style game should be sufficient. I’ve got a hankering to make one of those games where you control a gun turret and blast things, kind of like Missile Command or Paratrooper. This should be pretty suitable for a mouse controlled Flash game.
For time, I’ll give myself a week. I don’t want to get bogged down on the warm-up game, and a week should be plenty for this type of game. With Flash making things easy, I should be able to get the basic gameplay running in a day or two. The rest of the week can be spent polishing it up and adding in new gameplay features.
That should be a good way to start. A nice and simple warm-up arcade game in theory, but I’ll have to see how it goes in practice. Once Project Protos is complete, I can post-mortem it and use the experience to plan the next little microgame project.