4 Hugues Ross - Blog: The Definition of Insanity
Hugues Ross


The Definition of Insanity

According to most people, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. As you may may know from visiting this blog, that is also my general strategy in many cases. Rather than linger on what that means for my mental health, let's talk about the 1 game a month challenge.

I first tried it out last August, but ran out of ideas and stopped. Singularity probably also had something to do with that. Since then, I had forgotten all about it entirely. I think it's high time to revisit it, but this time with a plan.

The Plan

As I continue with my DFEngine rewrite, I'm going to need to make some games to go with it. The useful thing about 1GAM is that it forces me to think small. At this stage of development, I can't afford to start any big projects, and having some kind of time limit helps significantly. Unlike with most game jams, however, 1GAM gives me enough time to do some serious engine development as well. I've come up with a working schedule to try out:

Week 1 is all about the engine. During this week, I only worry about making whatever improvements to DFEngine that I can think of.

Week 2 is much like week 1, but at this point I start working on the art/design a bit. The engine development is steered towards whatever features I foresee my game needing.

The goal for week 3 is to have the design, the engine, and most assets finalized. If things went well, the engine work should've been finished during Week 2, but if not there's a bit of time for that as well.

In week 4, all that's left to do is make the game. By this point, I should have a good idea of what I'm making, and most of the assets should be done. Making use of whatever improvements I made in the first 3 weeks, I should be able to put the final game together and finish it off.

As you can see, this schedule reserves a lot of time for engine work. My hope is that I can cut back on this as DFEngine gets more fleshed out, and eventually just have around 1 week of engine work at most. Another upside to the current schedule's layout is that it's going to put a lot of pressure on me to get work done ASAP. Things have been going slowly of late, and while the results have been mostly good, I'd still like things to go faster.

So when is this starting?

Either March or April. DFEngine isn't really in a workable state right now, but I'm going to try to make something in March regardless. If I don't get enough done, then I'll reserve the rest of the time for the engine and try again in April. If this plan succeeds, then I'll be starting on some fun projects over the summer. For the most part, these projects will be remakes and continuations of old work. I hope you didn't think I'd forgotten AMAZE, Akradion, Space Douchebag, or Chainsaw Deathrace! The ultimate goal is to build a really nice portfolio that I can show off as graduation approaches next year. Above all else, I believe that I've done a poor job of showing off and selling my talents to others, and I need to turn that around soon.

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