Though the development time of Flip Hair Sally was very short, it was packed with priceless experiences.
I would like to note 3 points to explain why:
Agile team of three
Yes, we are a team of 4 people. Even though everybody’s role was obvious (Sean = SE, goldsheep = Environment & Character, Tomo= UI/UX & Presentation, danheff = Music), we were not limited to each discipline. We had to be flexible and able to tackle things without boundaries. Flexibility is difficult to replicate in larger dev teams and I think we were successful at that. Trying different ideas and having a rapid turnaround time really helped us to maintain our focus, as well as having no ego problems! We were all really open to each others’ ideas, but also not afraid to respectfully suggest improvements or changes. This atmosphere is really conducive to creativity — I’m sure we’ve all been in situations where you don’t want to make a suggestion for fear of offending someone. It’s been amazing being on a team where everyone’s purpose is simply to make the game the best that it can possibly be.
Our goal: To make something simple quickly
The entire dev process took only a little over one calendar month. Two of us were working on it as a side project in the evenings and weekends — since the amount of time we had was limited, we had to be extremely focused on our goal.
From our experience in games dev, making a simple game is very hard. You really need to try hard to make it simple. Otherwise, being full of fun ideas (hehe), you will end up with a design so humongous that you will require much longer dev time and it’ll be too easy to lose focus. We actually experienced that in our previous game idea and ended up shelving it once we realized it had become too large to tackle at that moment.
It sounds simple, but it’s sometimes hard to be inspired and be creative. I’ve experienced that in the past. I felt stuck and I felt like the creative side of my brain had turned into a piece of stone. It felt like only time was progressing. Well, this project was the complete opposite of that. From the initial stage of bouncing ideas back and forth, it was tonnes of fun. And because it was fun, new ideas kept coming from everybody, and I enjoyed every bit of it. Also, creativity wasn’t limited to gameplay and art. Even though the gameplay is simple, we came up with the storyline around Sally; who she is, why she is running, what is the goal for her, etc.
All in all, it was a fun ride involving lots of learning. I’m honoured to be part of this small but talented group of people and am looking forward to continuing on our many projects to come!