The other day I came across this really cool posting talking about school projects for computer science students.
Basically it talks about the different “levels” of effort required to make a certain type of video game for a CS class. Having just finished a CS class that involved a group project (but not a game) I was intrigued by the author’s take on the topic. (I usually try to dissuade people from doing games as a CS project, they just eat up too much time usually unless everyone in the group is on the same page.)
Overall I found myself agreeing with the various comments and evaluations of each game type (pacman, tetris, etc.). But when I got to the end of the “Advanced” topics section, I laughed out loud:
RPG – if you hate your life (and some apparently do), this obviously final year attempt at video game programming glory is likely to end badly.
That pretty much sums up my experience so far with my attempts to make a “simple” RPG. There’s a lot going on in a typical RPG, and it takes a lot of effort and attention to detail to pull it off and make it look good and play well. And even then, if you manage to get the mechanics of the game engine working semi-decently, then you have a tall order to fill by creating the contents (scripts, maps, graphics). Needless to say it can quickly become a huge time sink. Which isn’t to say it isn’t fun, because it is. But when you get overwhelmed on a project like this where you are working for yourself (i.e. not getting paid to work on it) it becomes very difficult to get your motivation back.
Personally, I’m hoping to get my motivation back to work on my little project some more. I think what I’ll probably wind up doing is working on it in-between other projects.