There is an excellent guest post on the Corona Labs blog today by Hugo Bonacci, Creator of King-Fu Clash.
He outlines what he considers best practice for solo game designers. Working on your own can be a daunting task and many designers can can buckle under the weight of the tasks that result in trying to complete a project entirely on your own.
Bonacci gives may useful tips on how to stay on top of things which I have listed below adding in a few of my own:
plan on paper – don’t get stuck into code too early
create a list of core requirements – don’t get bogged down in details early on
create a asset list: sprites, graphcis, music, etc.
list of extra functions – user settings, etc.
solo does not mean isolated – post updates and give demos, the feedback will help keep you motivated
stayed organized – lists should be categorised an divided into ‘open’ and ‘closed’ with individual tasks prioritised within each list
stay organised – use meaningful folder structure – code folder, assets folder (sprites, backgorunds, music, …), data folder, etc.
use plugins or other software – Flash, Photoshop, etc. are not just good for creating graphic assets but also useful for creating mock-ups, previewing ideas, and auto-mating image tasks (ie creating sprite sheets, iOS icons, …)
reuse code – any game functions are used repeatedly should go in code functions
reuse code – use 3rd party external libraries – if there is already code available to do a task you require don’t be afraid to use it (if permissible). Word of warning here: an external library made come with more code that you need and present other problems when implemented. Only use it of it does exactly what you want. If you need to debug it and you don’t understand it (highly possible if written by somebody else) you are probably better off writing the script yourself.
comment your code – write as many useful comments as you can
delete redundant code – never leave code that does nothing in your files, it will only confuse
Bonacci’s post can be found here: