Experiments > Gamedev > Dog Spa Game with Unreal Engine > Journal

Devlog 02: Lack of Progress and Feature Creep

It’s been almost a month since the first devlog of this gamedev experiment and since then I haven’t developed the game anymore, because of a huge task I had to finish at work.

Now that I’m available again, I tried to resume making this game, but for now, it’s not clicking with me anymore. This whole game idea started inspired by two other games: Capybara Spa, but using Farming mechanics similar to Farm Together.

I liked how Farm Together has laid down the farming system (moving a 3rd person character to a tile instead of using the mouse) and I liked the “hyper casual”, relaxed nature of Capybara Spa, but mostly important, I liked that the whole purpose of that game is to feed Capybaras while listening to them munching food – it’s relaxing.

Game Design in the Mind of an Software Architect Autistic Savant

Due to me bringing my experience as a Software Architect and Data Scientist into Game Development, I turn most of my hobby gamedev projects, including this one, into a Feature Creep mess, I focus too much on making systems instead of making a game, afterall I consider Game Design to be much harder than anything else.

I have a lot to learn and practice in terms of Game Design, hats off for whoever creates a fun and engaging game (and that’s why I have NEVER rated an indie game negatively. In terms of indie games, I always drop a positive review, even if I don’t like the game).

So for now I’m not considering this as a fun game anymore or something that I really want to finish – because my whole idea to begin with was to create a small game to release on Steam.

I have more than enough programming experience and enough 3D art making skills to make ANY kind of game I want, but on the other side, the way I approach Game Design tends to come with scopes that are too big, too mechanical, too messy, too bloated.

I already read a dozen books on the subject, but since I overthink everything and since I structure everything I study and do in systems and connections in my mind, I end up creating hundreds of new connections in my game ideas all the time, always leading to Feature Creep even before starting – I add mechanics for the sake of mechanics, in order to try to fulfill every possible aspect of a game world or genre.

Also, abstraction is something that I still struggle with and that I will probably struggle with my whole life. Which leads even more to think only about systems, instead of “fun”.

Maybe I should stick to the principles of Blatant and Blind Imitation? This way, I wouldn’t have to come up with something new, and I wouldn’t even have to think about Game Design, I could just copy it and I could focus on what I do better: architect and implement systems. This is also the perfect way to create educational content and even ready-to-use packages and assets to sell on the Asset Stores, similarly to Ryan Laley‘s channel or even my own Zelda Breath of the Wild Inventory Course with Godot.

It also seems to me that creating realistic simulators should be the way to go – afterall I also greatly enjoy playing Simulators. And these Simulators are just systems on top of systems and more systems.

What am I waiting for? Seems to be the perfect scenario (system development + something that I enjoy). So this is probably going to be my next gamedev experiment iteration.

Experiments and Code Leftovers

I’m glad I put this under “Experiments”, since I can easily drop it without feeling guilty and I’ll start another game idea that I had this week – also as an experiment. I still want to release a game on Steam.

At the same time, that’s the good part of doing this as a hobby, there’s no external pressure and no time pressures, the freedom allows to jump around (this is also bad at the same time) – the only pressure is the one I bring onto myself, as it’s clear from this article.

I wrote a lot of C++ code for this experiment (I’m using Unreal Engine), and I created 3 different game systems. I may re-use the code and/or systems in other projects. I may even release some code as open-source or even as Unreal Engine Marketplace assets. But no promises. I just want to make a game and release it.

Tools Used in this Log

  • C++
  • Unreal Engine

Styles Related to this Log

  • Gamedev

Current Project Status

  • Inactive
  • Personal / Hobby

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