In terms of skill and such, I'm no good at anything besides coding, so that is likely where I will stay. I can code both platforming engines and online things, as well as menus and such. I guess. The last engine I coded looked like this:
arrows to move, shift to jump, r to restart
That particular engine wouldn't be used for the project, as I'd prefer a) to code from scratch specifically for the project, and b) to not have that engine as open-source.
Discussing specifics is good in a chat, but there's no guarantee everyone will be present since the team setup isn't even rough yet. We're still in the generals. Also, though I don't want to spam the forums, keeping this in a place where people will see it regularly and it won't get shunted aside is a good thing.
Take charge if you want, Lembi! But there will still probably be a vote.
Let's select a leader, so he can communicate with everyone interested. That will be easier than having everyone post their interested field in the thread.
Candidates so far (If I miss someone, speak up!):
Think you can do a better job? Put your name in the ring.
EDIT: Once we do get going, we do need a centralized place for condensed summaries of current tasks and the outline of the game. Aphant wanted to be head of bug and feature reporting/control. If he's willing, I bet that would be a fantastic post for him. Whether this is through that wiki or a simple project page description doesn't matter. I think it's important because the last attempt at a community project pushed me away from joining with all its myriad threads full of discussion and ideas (as this is already turning into). Having a centralized place will not only be a good reference for the team, but also people wanting to jump in.
Yeah, a unique idea is good, but it isn't neccessary. It is more important for the game to be polished and long than unique.
I think that if it's a contra clone then you need a melee attack that works like the sword in Sin&Punishment. With that weapon, you can dish out major damage at close range, but more importantly, you can reflect projectiles. That also makes it a bit different than most other games I've played on the internet. Graphics-wise, I'd prefer 16-bit or 32-bit graphics to Cave Story's 8-bit. Just no 3D models or Flash type graphics as they look ugly IMHO.
However, a Contra-type game doesn't really strike me as too much of a community project. Someone could just make it easily on their own. Which is why I suggested an RPG, a classic throwback to the 16-bit RPGs of old: Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy VI and... the other ones. Also it would be cool if the contra-game had RPG elements
Also, Rikus, if there isn't a chat, what's the chat link in the TDC toolbar?
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Your first sentence might cause a bit of an argument. Whether it's a unique mechanic or a unique art style or a unique interpretation of an old genre or whatever, it probably needs to be unique in some way to be good. That may just mean a good story or a good art direction and a lot of polish! But we don't want just polish.
The goal is fun and quality. Not one without the other.
Lembi, I have to disagree with your placing of the jobs, Level Design and Story all fit under the category of Game Design. Meaning that the designers would work out the gameplay mechanics, and how those mechanics are fueled by the story. And how the story influecnes level design and the setting, and with the level design and setting fueling gameplay.
It all works hand in hand, if they're separated it would be tough making both work.
And to conclude this I put my hand into the "Game Design" pool of work.
If anything, there needs to be tiers of game designers. Lead, mechanics, levels, etc. Designers of mechanics need to be in constant contact with the leads of coding. But it doesn't really have to be that way.
I do think there needs to be leads for each aspect, though. I suppose the project lead could be any one of those things.
The way I imagine it, you would have one project lead, who leads the entire thing. His or her responsibilities would consist mainly of organizing production, keeping up-to-date with each other leader in the different categories, briefing other leaders on the progress other categories have made, and keeping all project members up-to-date and organized on/in everything. The project leader would also have to moderate member activity and make sure things aren't being done to sabotage or otherwise impede project progress, such as quelling arguments.
Other than that, you'd probably have the rest of the thing split into categories, like Graphics, Music, Sound (music and sound could be together), Design, and Coding. With these 4 or 5 categories, each one would have a leader who would be selected based on talent, that is, if they can't code they shouldn't be Coding Leader, as well as on leadership abilities. As leader of any of these categories, you would lead discussion about those aspects of the project's development. To start you would have to establish what would be done and then who would do it. From there, you would guide members on how to do what they need to do, provide help, and make decisions on what needs to be done and when.
For example, if you are the Music Leader, you would have to be good at composing music. Then you might lead a discussion on what kind of musical style the game should employ, what instruments the music should use, and how the music will play (looping forever like Mario or changing over time like Spyro 1). Once these decisions are made, you would collect instruments and set up a guide for the musical pieces (tempo, pitches, what instruments can and can't be used, style, how to use the instruments, etc.) and then for each level and for menus and other necessary music, people could compose based on the guide and others as well as yourself would critique. Once a piece is deemed appropriate (that is, it is something you think will be locked in) it can move into deeper development, where others could work on it as well in improving it.
The Graphics leader is in charge of in-game, movie (if pre-rendered cutscenes or video are used,) and menu/UI graphics, deciding what styles to use for each, palette, size, things like that. Music is in charge of all music, and Sound is in charge of sound effects. Coding would be in charge of programming, including the game engine, menus, online, and the like (this person would have to be multi-talented). Design is in charge of making sure graphics, music, and sound work together, so he or she will have to be working a bit in all three of those fields. Essentially the hierarchy works like this:
From what I remember with the klik teams of old, you had one person working on the main game, who would show it to the team members, then the team members would offer help and suggestions aka graphics, music, sound effects or coding. The other team members would work on their main project and show it to everyone else, so you would end up helping others inside the team with their projects while you got help on your project from other members.
Thats how I remember it anyway, correct me if I am wrong. were are all the acoder folk i am sure they can drop a hint or 2
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This one's to be done a bit differently, methinks. We're trying a new way.
Though I would normally say this is overthinking the organization of the project, I think if it's done right a semi-rigid structure could be a good experiment, if nothing else.
Of course, it all goes down the pot if not everyone is dedicated. Which shouldn't be as hard since tasks will be smaller. E.g., all one person has to focus on is a particular sprite sheet. All another person has to focus on is sound effects. All this person has to do is design levels.
Originally Posted by OldManClayton Nobody's voted or nominated on the project lead!
This is the TDC Community Project. That means we can do more with it on the main site and front page than we could with other projects. That is to say, since it encompasses the entire site (or so we'd hope) you could make a general poll for it.
The only problem with me is I'm going to be visiting my Grandparents starting next week for 2 weeks, and so I'll only be able to get internet a few times, I just hope I wouldn't miss out on helping with the design aspect of the project.
Originally Posted by Rikus You guys really need to start talking about this in a chat room or someplace, or setup a skype thing, talking specifics is really limited in a forum.
Actually, a forum is useful for a lot of things. Anything that doesn't require urgent attention, like a bug report or feature request, can be posted to a forum without a problem; A forum is pretty good for these things because then feedback can be left on those, like if something isn't a bug, a bug can't be reproduced, not enough information was given, or if the bug was fixed. A forum is also useful for things that need to last, like a design document (which is referenced to by testers and QA to determine if something is a bug or not), or notes from the days meeting for those who couldn't attend (hurray for multiple timezones).
You make a good point there Jon Lambert. Setting out our stall like that will provide some structure and stability for the project. Matthew, i never thought of it like that and think it is a very good idea. So we now have the following areas of expertise:
Game Design (Story and Level Design)
Engine Coding (or is this included in game design now??)
I'm interested in chipping in with this project, but I'm afraid I won't be able do do any actual coding as I don't have MMF (I had TGF years ago, but misplaced the CD). Would it be okay if I provided concept arts, sprites (in an importable format) and cutscenes?