So you probably are thinking to yourselves, “This Bootsnake Games sure does have its act together in such a fashionable way!” And you would be correct, sir or madam! Mostly at least.
You see, though handsome as we may be, we are not completely flawless. “Lies!” our mothers cry out in the night. But sadly truthful.
We have taken a few bumps, bruises, and wooden nickels along the path of making our own brand of game. From small things, like not having an ink cartridge when one of us wanted to print out a coupon, to more major things, like not having tested our FTP servers until someone needed a file instantly. We have had some mismanaged awesome.
The following is a sample of where we would improve the Bootsnake Experience Project had we all started over. It’s a personal journey for each of us like a quest by a hapless hero, so it’s presented by each person.
1. Feedback. We’ve had probably 20 or more people play the game at this point, and have gotten amazing feedback from them all. I would have gotten more people in house sooner playing the game. Even at it’s early stages, this is huge and will make the game better in the long run.
2. Production. Even with three guys in a basement, keeping some form of production in place to help everything stay on track is good. Production done right will give you more time to do what you want to do, as well as more time for polish and shine near the end. We’ve had this to an extent, but I think we could have done a bit more of it.
Now that we’ve been at this game thing for a couple months, there are some things I would go back and tell myself if I had a time Machine.
1. You look handsome, damn.
2. Do more pre-production! I came onto the project later than Dru and Jeremy and just hit the ground running producing art to go into the game. We needed to see the game working so I had to just go with it. I wish I spent more time defining a cohesive look for the game from the beginning. It would have made it easier on us and people outside Bootsnake that have helped us. It has all worked out in the end but we could have saved some headaches along the way. Plus, in hindsight, we had enough time for it early on.
3. Don’t try to do everything. There isn’t enough time for it. Jeremy really helped taking over the environment levels. I’m still helping with props here and there but being able to concentrate on a smaller set of tasks is making those better than doing everything rushed.
4. Try the Yakiudon at Sam’s Sushi earlier. I can’t believe I just now tried it. I’ve been missing out for 3 months.
Editor. We have a good level editor in place that lets us do almost everything we need to for level design. I really wish we had built it sooner and with more breadth to what we can edit. We could have been able to iterate much faster in many areas with a more robust editor on day one.
More tools and art support. I’ve been building tools to support art along the process to speed up tedious and difficult processes. It’s been a huge boon for our ability to work on new stuff very quickly. The one downfall is that I feel if someone says, “That seems nice to have.” That really should be translated by engineering into “We really need this to make the game better.” The more tools we have, the better the game will be.
So there is the opinion from three fine young men about how to improve the Bootsnake experience . . . in the past.
Were we all to do it again, we’d probably just start a pawn shop or something because this shit is hard. Looking back lets you look forward so you can look to the next project where you will look back and see where you looked the wrong way. This is an important philosophy we have. We are making a game right now that is so freaking cool you wish you could ask it to dance.
Every day we get better at our silly little jobs is a day our games get better.