4 Hugues Ross - Blog: Halberd - Violently and Thoroughly Changing Directions
Hugues Ross


Halberd - Violently and Thoroughly Changing Directions

Hello all,

Today, I wanted to talk about a change of approach. Changing approaches is something I do a lot, probably because I'm not very good at project management. I've been taking a break from Halberd for a few weeks, and I'm starting to have some reservations about my current plans. The crux of my worries is the following question:

Why am I doing this?

In the original announcement, I gave two goals for Halberd:
  • An open-ended and vague "make a cool and polished engine"
  • Making some games
Goal #1 feels like a bit of a cop-out. Saying "I'm going to make an engine because I want to make an engine" doesn't really mean anything. Instead, let's focus on goal #2.

It's been nearly 14 months since I started Halberd. My longest-running finished game project, AMAZE, took roughly 9 months to build from scratch. It's safe to say that had I been focused on the goal of making games that I'd have finished, or gotten very far along with, one or two of them by now. Instead, I've been busy with Halberd. Why?

I think this is a problem that I've had before. It's really easy to get distracted by dreams of being a cool dude with a big flashy product, and wind up on a wild goose chase. DFEngine suffered from a similar issue as well, and I think both have something in common: Rather than treating the game engine as a means to an end (the game), they exist as standalone projects.

There's also a question of audience, the way I'm designing Halberd's workflow isn't optimized for my needs. Despite that, I'm the only customer of the project that I know of. I really should be building tools for myself first and foremost, since I know myself best and don't have a focus-testing budget.

Thankfully, the solution is very easy! Like any good parent, I will cut down the disappointing child immediately, and without mercy. That's good parenting, right?

Wait, you're just--

Yup. Halberd's dead forever.

As for those games I wanted to make? I'll make them. I don't need a complete GUI-driven game engine to make games, and the remains of Halberd may provide a helpful initial boost. If I succeed in my projects, I'll obviously also have a viable RPG engine at the end.

Win-win, right?

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