Create a clear development pipeline so there is a sequence of specific phases to deliver against.
While you can just build as you go, in most cases a good project requires clear planning.
Not only does this planning give you the opportunity to think outside the box, stress-test your thinking, and explore exciting ideas! This gets those ideas out of your head and into a format that allows you to share your vision.
Even if you aren't working with a team, the ability to share your vision and externalise your plan reduces your mental load and means you will have valuable documentation at the ready should you need it.
These resources can be equally as useful when pitching your project to players, investors, partners, even friends and family. Every time you do so, you will gain clarity and perspective which will be invaluable for refining your project.
As long as you have a plan in place you will be able to keep on track and deliver against your target, and however you do that is up to you, but if you want some suggestions then here are some steps you can follow.
- Brainstorm: Don't get stuck on the one idea, give yourself the freedom to test ideas.
- Design Document: Capture your intentions in one document that defines the overall vision.
- Concept Map: Visually establish what the 'physical' end result will look like.
- Storyboard: Visually represent the user journey.
- Asset Production: Create or buy all the ASSETS to be used in the experience.
- Terraforming: Use BLOCKS to build out the dimensions of the experience in the Game Maker.
- Scene: Set the scene by adding the ASSETS that will be used in the experience.
- Logic: Implement the mechanics that dictate how the player and the ASSETS interact.
- Market: Share posts, images, and videos of your progress to help build awareness.
- Launch: Set a date, invite your community, get ready to celebrate, and Publish.
These steps can be a useful framework but it is also important to note that they are just that, a guide, not a rule. Be open to iterative design - if you find that your vision didn't work out in practice, review your documentation, make the required adjustments, take on the lessons, and adapt.
If you have a production process that already works for you, then by all means use that - and if you do please feel free to share your suggestions for best practices with the community.
However, if you are new to this idea, or are on the fence about planning, we encourage you to make your way through the following topics and consider giving it a shot!