Work In Progress: Street Life Sim

A blog post by IPGBrandy

You’ve just been turned out on the streets with no money, no job, and nowhere to go. How long can you survive?

This is the premise behind a game I’ve been working on for the last couple of weeks. The goal of the game is to give people a small taste of the reality behind being homeless and what goes into some of the decisions that are made by those who live on the streets.

The experience of creating the game has been frustrating, partly because it was the first game project I began and I didn’t understand the coding process. I wanted it to be a straightforward march from beginning to finished product without recognizing that refactoring the game as you go is a normal part of the coding process.

Ideas Moving Forward

However, working on it has given me many ideas to use in moving forward toward my dream of creating WordQuest Online. One thing I recognize is the need to think through the systems that will support your big idea game and to create those systems and make them work so that you can reuse that functionality in creating other games.

A system, for example, like Time. Time is something that impacts nearly every game to one degree or another. Creating a single script to manage time advancement makes sense, since it is going to be reused in nearly every game to one degree or another.

Another system that will impact some games and which is an offshoot of Time is weather. Weather is a more complex system than time, but it is directly tied into the seasons. Creating a weather system then allows for more realistic gameplay.

Going out to beg for money when it’s 70 degrees and clear skies is a lot different than doing the same thing when it’s 103 degrees or when it’s sleeting. But just because the weather isn’t cooperating with you doesn’t mean you don’t still need to find a way to get the money to eat.

Balancing Work and Game Development

It is these little things that cause the game to take more time to develop than the Elite Hacker game, but the payoff for doing the work the way I’m thinking of doing it is that I come out with scripts that can be quickly attached to other games.

And, of course, I can’t just focus on creating games. There’s real work that I’m being paid to do that must be done. The streaming that I’m doing to build up the audience for the games I create is also something that must be done. Life isn’t all fun and games. Yet.

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