I’d thought about writing a resolutions post for this #idevblogaday a few times, but each time hesitated as I had thought it was something of a get out. However, after having thought through what that might mean for 36peas, I realized that’d it actually be very useful – at least for us.
So, here it is – 2011 resolutions for 36peas:
We’ll be doing a lot more of this in 2011. Last year was something of an odd one, we started with a few months of dedicated development time, but without a fully developed and resilient business plan and underlying guarantee of resources for something that’s a relatively high-risk, unpredictable business. We now have a commercially viable plan and the surety we need to just get on with it.
I’m deliberately avoiding specifically stating how much we plan to create (all credit to Noel though for doing so) – I’m just stating that we’ll be doing a lot more creating. Having said that, I can’t see much stopping us from publishing the two iPad games we’re currently working on: Dead West and our as-yet-to-be-titled 360idevgj project (which we’ve only actually spent about 6 hours on since the game jam itself).
There are specific ways we plan to apply what we've leant in 2011 – both internally and externally. But most can be boiled down to sharing what we do and sharing in what others are doing. We never could have expected a growth in monthly unique visitors to this blog from <100 to over 3,000. In retrospect this is obvious – we shared what we cared about and found ways (obviously including #idevblogaday) to get that information to others who care about it too.
This is as much a personal one as it is a team one – but I’m sure the rest of team won’t complain. We need to do more playing. I’ve done more in the last couple of weeks (Rock Band 3’s pro keys & drums, Dungeon Hunter 2 on the iPad and some excellent marble kit – thx Lisa for the latter) than I have in the last 8 months. This has reminded me of exactly how directly important it is.
I’ve done more thinking about how to balance Dead West as a result of playing Dungeon Hunter 2 end-to-end than I have from any other gaming experience since playing through Dragon Age: Origins nearly 12 months ago. It’s not that I haven’t played games either… it’s that I haven’t fully immersed myself in a game since Dragon Age. In that 11-month gap I hadn’t exposed myself to the full extent of the experience laid out by a game designer: and as such hadn’t had the opportunity to reflect on that analytically and apply it myself to our own games.
This realization is actually pretty timely – Dead West’s at the point that it needs some pretty consequential decisions making about the overall game balance (I was actually planning on writing about that this week for #idevblogaday but wasn’t getting anywhere fruitful). Dungeon Hunter 2 – whilst quite a different game – shares some of the same balance issues and though I did very much enjoy playing it, it couldn’t have given me better examples of how to (mis)manage some of end-game situations and problems I was trying to evaluate for Dead West.
Play as an input to game design is something I talk about a lot – I think I’d just forgotten how useful it can be in facilitating immediate design decisions.
Of the three resolutions above, “play” was probably the most lacking last year ("create" was similarly lacking – but for good reason) – whilst it’s ostensibly an easy one to change, I suspect it’s this that I’ll have to put the most effort in to. Looking forward to reporting back the results of all three resolutions throughout the year.