After writing last weeks post I immediately fucked it all up by working on a Saturday. I fucked it up especially hard by changing the camera system. Yes, this created an avalanche of code rewrites. No, this wasn’t necessary at all. Yes, I am a fool.
I believe this type of technical tweaking is the worst kind of “zoomed in” work. Sure, over time it accumulates and makes a game feel complete and whole, but it is so complicated and annoying that it completely obscures sight of the bigger picture.
Immediately after finishing that rewrite on monday I switched over to tweaking and editing and polishing the first act. This continuation of “zoomed in” work was a horrible mistake.
Agonising over single sentences, adding small flavour interactions and tweaking animations doesn’t feel like progress. Eventually this accumulates into a game that feels deep and concrete, but if it goes on for too long, all sense of perspective is lost.
Doubts started to creep up on me. What am I doing here? This is all useless! I am wasting my time and money on this garbage!!
It took me 3 full days to pull my head out of my ass and work on “macro” stuff instead, jumping around between the 4 acts again.
Immediately, things started to look better. Sure, none of this makes any sense, but hey, these two large sequences you’ve been working on for the last weeks are now both wrapping up. Yes, it is a shallow game full of bad jokes, but hey, at least it’s all coming together now.
I guess that, just like I try to work on multiple acts every week, I’ll also have to try to work on different levels of zoom every week. Some days of desperate polish and tweaking and some days of grand sweeps and glorious declarations, hoping that, somewhere inbetween, a finished game will emerge.