As IainPeregrine recommends:
"Make a schedule based on the functional spec detailing what you'll do when, and how long it will take. Be honest. Leave yourself at least a week for bug fixing."
To these ends, I think my schedule for my GSDC entry goes something like this:
  • Now until 5/1/10 - Entertain preliminary thoughts towards design. I'm not touching Dream Maker during this time, but if thinking about our games was problematic, we'd all be disqualified.
  • Week 1 - Revamp existing Project Shock code. Basically, remove everything that's not going to apply towards the new project. I won't truly be free to pursue the game 100% until my Span 102 test is good and done on 5/4/10.
  • Week 2 & 3 - Code gap between remaining code and the desired project. Basically, add as much code as I can imagine I'll need towards the my new Lode Warsy goal as possible.
  • Week 4 & 5 - Test, debug, and tweak. I'm going to try to resist doing this during Weeks 2 & 3 because one can get good and mired down in this stage.
Design Thoughts

The main similarities to Lode Wars will be:
  • The server will run through timed scenarios between 30-60 minutes, generating a new map between each scenario.
  • Players will have a save game file so they can take their progress between servers. (Being a great believer in "the client is in the hands of the enemy" approach, I'll probably run it through Garthor's SafeSave.)
  • The main focus of the gameplay will be digging, recovering ore, and returning it to your faction. It will be a somewhat "action" game as other players may attempt to hinder you.
However, I'm not looking to flat out copy Leftley, and to these ends there will be differences between my design and his. Some of the things I think I'm going to do:
  • Instead of choosing from different alien races with different stats, players will choose between different mecha chassis which have different customization capabilities.
  • Instead of purchasing equipment on-map from an equipment vending machine, players will spend their earned credits in an off-map mecha customization screen.
  • Instead of having one-use items that cost cash, the different parts you outfit your mecha in will have varying energy costs to use, and your mecha will perpetually regenerate energy.
  • Moves are queued in advance. You can see your queued moves.
  • A greater emphasis on passive defenses and other player-placed devices.
  • I will not have that really cool custom HUD Leftrey had, but the 4.0x skins should make up for that.
  • There will be an AI opponent available to entertain the player(s) for when there's not many opposing players online.
It should be fairly awesome. Good thing, too: producing awesome is my primarily motivation to work.

Real Life Stuff

My new video card is working fine. Vexingly, my old video card started to work, too. Do I send back the new card and keep the old hoping it won't break down again? Fortunately, my younger brother was kind enough to buy the old card off me, offsetting the cost of replacement.

Real life is at a major crossroads right now. In five days, I'll take a Spanish 102 exam. I should study, but it's hard to get myself to do that anymore. Pass the class, and I have my degree. Fail the class, and my senioritus has truly got the better of me.

Either way, I'm done with school for quite while. That means it's almost time to start job hunting... a dreadful, self-deprecatory chore if ever there was one. I'm not looking forward to that, and feel fortunate the fruits of my labors towards the GSDC should provide a bit of validation.
In time for the GSD!
whats gsd
GSD: Get Something Done.

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