« BASS Sound Library (Crashing is Bad) | Main

July 04, 2005

Sometimes It Helps to Go Backwards

I recall some meaningful discussion back when I was growing up about top-down versus bottom-up approaches to computer programming. I think the consensus answer was "you have to do both".

Perhaps that gives me license to do this:

What you see here is a stack of DVD cases for a game that I've written just about zero code for. Actually, six games. One game, six episodes.

I've recently been making a concerted effort to collect the entire Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classics line, and I realized that I could appropriate their gimmick for my own RPG game. Which, really, is appropriating the 1st Edition D&D look and feel. Goodman Games is doing it within the pencil-and-paper roleplaying milieu, whereas I'm taking it over into computer roleplaying.

I want to say that looking at the end helps me focus on where I'm going - playing around with making DVD covers gives me a destination to shoot for. But that's probably a little too generous - I'd be more comfortable with that kind of rationalization if I had finished more games on my own.

That said, there have been a few inspirations that have come from looking at the packaging of the different episodes. I decided to go with a spectrum, as you see in the picture, and certain characters and encounters have been floating around in my head without really knowing where they belong. I now have a better grasp of where I want various things to happen - based entirely on the color of the packaging. Cart before the horse, to be sure, but I think that anything that helps give you ideas is worth exploring.

Another gimmick that just occured to me today as I was thinking backwards was that I'd like to have a "premium" package - something that people would willingly spend a few extra dollars for, above and beyond a physical CD in a pretentious DVD case. One of the things that I always loved as a gamer when I'd open up a computer RPG box would be a map inside the box. And so, as a developer, maybe I can make that happen again. And, since I'm doing a multi-episode story, maybe I'll do a map per episode. Suitable for framing.

Now all I have to do is to burn the CDs to put in the cases. And write the software.

Posted by tsmaster at July 4, 2005 07:00 PM


Post a comment

Remember Me?