Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Viral - Post Development Analysis

Its 4.44pm on Monday the 24th of January, and Noisy Badger is bang on target for submitting its first game at 6pm. Excitement doesn’t cover it.

With Alex finalising some last minute tweaks I’m going to take a chance to go over some of the more obvious development peaks and troughs I encountered on the design side of things, in a similar way to Alex’s last post.

POLY COUNT. I have no idea what I was thinking on my first build of the earth in this game, but I ended up spending possibly two weeks building a detailed, 3d map of the earth, following the outline of the countries as accurately as possible. I then bevelled the edges of each of the countries to provide a nice little “groove” where all the borders met, further upping the poly count. It ended up containing about 80,000 polygons, the on-screen limit for an iPhone being 10,000.

So to break it down financially, as a self-employed/freelancer type, a general rule of thumb when you’re starting out is to charge around £25 an hour for your services. If I apply that figure to the ten working days I spent on this world map, working eight hours a day, I basically cost Noisy Badger £2000 through my own idiocy. And that figure doesn’t take into account the other work that I could have been getting done in that time, or a multitude of other factors that I really don’t want to think of. That’s the first time I’ve worked out that figure, and I just told Alex. He shot me a look that said “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.”

It’s not realistically that much of a financial disaster obviously, but it goes to show how easy it is to mess up. We knew this being our first release that there would be plenty of errors as we tried as fast as we could to establish good communication between ourselves, learning new tools, and getting our development pipelines in order. I’d still say that we’re not bang on in any of these areas, and I don’t think that anyone ever could be. It’s a constantly changing industry and as such our flexibility to adapt to anything new that comes our way is the greatest asset we have, not necessarily an intricate knowledge of every new piece of software that comes our way.

Edit – The game has now been uploaded to the app store and is awaiting apple’s quality assurance stuff. I’m currently wearing out my blackberry from constantly checking to see if it’s been ok’d J

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