Sunday, August 07, 2005

Brainstorm Death Toll Increases

I was reviewing the notes I mentioned in the previous Brainstorm post, and I think I got carried away. Now, granted, it was a brainstorming session. Ideas are supposed to come out and not be eliminated for any reason until the pruning stage. But I hate the pruning stage. When you're looking at a wishlist that includes every feature under the sun, you can become discouraged very easily. You know you can't implement all of them immediately, but the idea of ever finishing the entire set seems out of reach.

Now is the time for me to decide which features will be included in the first effort. I have to put together something that runs, if for no other reason than to stay motivated. But it's tough to choose. In the entire wishlist, there's not a single feature that I only kinda want; I want them all, and for what I think are good reasons. But I don't want to choose some first and then find I didn't leave room (programmatically) for the rest. I hate backtracking, so I try to solve everything at the outset. That attitude has proven detrimental in the past.

This is gonna be a huge game that's never finished. And I'm the only person who will work on it. I'm generally in favor of and enjoy the results of organic growth in a program, but I am terrified that I'll have to tear down the entire engine to support a feature that I deemed too difficult to implement early on. I know that if the design is perfect, then this is a moot point. But in my career I've not come up with a perfect design yet, and somehow I doubt that a hobby project will serve as the first one.

I have to think some more on how to approach this. I suppose I could dedicate a post to each feature or idea, and see if thinking it out helps me come up with a compelling reason to keep it or leave it. That effort alone will take a few months if I really throw my mind into it.


In other news, I bought a new sketchbook and mechanical pencil the other day (the weird kind with the free-sliding lead). If nothing else I can come up with some more concept art.

Gotta stay motivated...


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