I started working on Pie Panic a couple of weeks ago but today was the first day I actually did any coding. Until today I've been doing various bits of research and planning spanning from checking out the average download size of the top 30 free apps on the android market to listing every sound effect I anticipate I will need.
I want to have a simple idea of everything I will need to be doing before I begin any of it. I want to know how all of the various areas of the game will link together, I want to know how I anticipate they will look. I've written down all of the mini games I want to include as well as a brief description of each. I know that no matter how much planning I do, there will be things I haven't thought of, but I really do not want to come up against any "gotcha" moments that could change or affect a lot of the work I've already done.
The coding I've done so far does not relate specifically to Pie Panic (e.g. the screen manager, the graphics system, the sound system and the pause menu system) and I am hoping it becomes a handy framework for any future games I hope to release. Even at this early stage the code seems much more structured and logical than anything I've done before so I am very happy already.
Regarding deadlines, I don't have any specific targets yet, but I am hoping (maybe quite naively) to do everything properly, once. *nervous laugh* Having finished my first proper project in Ninjah, I feel I have a much better idea of the overall process than I did before. I am hoping that I will not find problems similar to the various garbage issues I had with XNA/Xbox. (I am hoping this one isn't a naive notion!).
Ninjah is on the Xbox Indie Games market place and is doing really well. I am really happy with how many people downloaded the trial, let alone actually bought it! Various youtube videos have sprung up and it's heart warming to see people have taken the time and effort to bother posting such things. There is more I'd like to write about Ninjah but I think I will do so once I've had the chance to fix everything that's currently outstanding (this has been difficult because I am getting little in the way of feedback about certain Monkey issues).
So what next?
My initial plan when Monkey was released was to release a simple mobile game based on a game originally made by Dustin Friend but I went in head first and got too far ahead of myself before backing out and working on a game I knew about, Ninjah. I am now confident I can make a good go of Pie Panic and this will now be my focus.
It will be a mobile game available on Android, iPhone and maybe Windows mobile 7 and that's pretty much all I have at this stage
I am very concious about trying to plan as much as possible before actually doing any coding this time, so I am hoping this won't be a case of "make gameplay, then worry about making a game of it!". Time will tell
I've put Ninjah on hold until I hear some feedback regarding every draw command causing a memory leak in XNA. I'm reluctant to go too far now because I am not certain it will be fixed any time soon. There hasn't even been an acknowledgement of the problem yet, so I've no idea when things will be fixed.
Until then, I am going back to Pie Panic, or more specifically at this time, handling different size/resolution phone displays. I think it's probably easier than I first thought but could result in stretching; I'll need to see how bad it is on a different aspect screen before going further with it.