Monday, June 14, 2004

Writing games at home

The reason why I was installing Linux was because I recently felt inspired to have another go at writing a game at home. Like anyone interested in games, I have two or three ideas for computer games which I at least would love to play, and have never managed to find. One of them I had nearly 15 years ago. The idea now, as always, is to take one of these ideas and actually turn it into a playable game.

The problem is, writing a whole computer game (at least a strategy game like the games I like) is a big task. I know, I used to do it for a living. It took a team of a dozen or more of us working full time for over a year. Now in practice a lot of that effort went into flashy 3d graphics, FMV, and other things which don't make the game any better to play. But still, I don't know how long it would take me just to do a simple version of one of my games.

I don't get much time to write games. The odd hour or two each day can be squeezed in between work and home life, and usually I can't be bothered to do anything harder than just playing.

As if that's not enough of a problem, I'm not the kind of person who can stick at a project over a course of months. I've started working on each of these ideas many times, got some little bit working (or not), then gone away. When I come back I invariably want to start from somewhere else.

I guess maybe I just don't have the "drive" to complete a large project like this in my own time. Although I could say I have too much imagination to work on a single idea for too long. (Anyone reading this and thinking about offering me a job, bear in mind it's a lot easier working full time on a project for months on end at work where it's your job, as I've done in the past - home development is I think a uniquely difficult environment). I wonder if there are any software development methodologies designed for people in my situation, where work time is bitty and continual motivation is critical?


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