Proposal documentation for our game

January 9, 2014 DevBlog  No comments

Software Engeniering Swing Columpio

Before we begin to plan and draw the game, even before we begin to model our game, we need to clarify ideas and develop them.
It is not enough to have regular meetings with our team, but we must develop the ideas on paper. Thus, not only will be collected, but throughout the team, we can develop the ideas in detail.

For the project “Hispania: Saints & Warriors,” we are carrying out three types of documents:
- Management documents
- Specification documents
- Technical Documents

This is just a way to organize. There are many other agile software methodologies, more detailed than the one presented here (this one for example), but we must remember that we are making an indie project with a small team, so we don’t  want to spend more time and effort than absolutely necessary.

Management documents

This is the documentation that we will be generating to manage our project. Basically we will need to collect the following:
- The list of tasks to carry out the project from start to finish.
- The estimation of time and effort for each task.
- The planning of these tasks.

Thus, we can divide the game into smaller modules with a beginning and an end. In “Hispania: Saints & Warriors” that is managed by groups of messages (via Mails) and then is stored in documents. Examples of these modules are: Creating mountains, map creation, integration of map elements, game model, generation of tables, game menus, etc.. Likewise, there are other simple ways to organize. We recommend the use of free management programs like dotProject.

Dot Project Management

Specification documents

These are all documents whose purpose is to collect initial ideas from game to finally collect the details of interaction between different elements of the game.
These documents indicate how the game evolves, what elements are involved, what actions may perform the player and non-player entities, which variables are most important and how they relate to each other, etc..

In general, the goal is to write down all the ideas that will shape the game, detailing them and improving them gradually. A good example of this would be the post held by Victor: First main concepts: Entity, Domain, Site, Soul and Grave. Here, the general idea of souls and graves is explained, which is reflected in the document regarding ideas. Later, the idea will be developed in more detail in its own chapter of the document.
Specification documents also explain the following: type of music, the atmosphere, the angle of incidence of light (if we are in a 2D game), type of graphics, etc.

Technical Documents

Technical documents can be written in many cases, in parallel with the specification and in other cases should be made based on specification documents. There will be basically two types:
- Process: Where the technical procedure is explained: placing graphics, file types, placement of menus, etc.
- Model: Where useful information of the specification documents is translated into an objective language.

UML example ejemplo

An upcoming post will explain how to transform the specification into a model and the model into a program.

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