End of line

Developing MetaBall, aside that we learned many things along the way, was quite fun. We consider this project as our child. We remember in a nostalgic way to the stages of the development: the birth of the idea, the first steps...ekhm..rollings, when we was pushing a big ice ball around on a white landscape by shooting it with assault rifles. Or when we first heard the background music in game, and how it added suprisingly much to the whole feeling. Now we just wag our heads with an indulgent smile when we recall how twits we were sometimes... (WHYYY DOESN'T CHANGE THE FRICTION OF THE BALL?! See, I'm modifying it right in the .ini file, it has the value of 5000 but still has no effect... damn unreal... oh...khmm..it seems that I'm editing the .ini in the backup directory... hmmm...) We have a lot to thank to the fans, who helped our work with their constructive critics, bug reports and encouraging e-mails. So if you have a game or a mod in mind then just start doing it, it worth the effort.

A few advices:

  • Always backup, to more then one place if possible. I burned the stuff on a daily basis, and copied it to three different PCs (my home PC, my work PC and Indy's home computer) scattered around the city, so only an extensive meteor shower could have destroyed it. Therefore it was not a big deal when my HDD died: I had to remake only a few hours of work.
  • Experiment. Think out of the box and try to create something original. Experiment with visuals, sounds, music, gameplay and so on. We saw a hundred games where you played a soldier and you had to shoot terrorist in a warehouse with your MP5. It's a kinda boring. The commercial game industry is conservative enough, you dont have to be. Use your freedom and independence to find new ways.
  • Pet your project regularly. Many project died in an early stage when the starting enthusiasm was gone (for a while), the routine began and the team faced with boring tasks. You'll need strong determination, and daily, regular work to get through these periods. If each member of the team works only half an hour on the project every day, then you're probably going to finish what you've started.
  • When working in a team, the mutual agreement and understanding is very important. Of course you have to make compromises, but if you discuss the problems in and open minded fashion, you'll find the golden middle path. It also help to keep the morale high on the long run, since no one will feel his or herself supressed.

And finally, Indy's advices:

  • Always discuss every new feature you want to implement in code with your designer. This is one way to create reusable code and also makes sure that you don't waste time on coding funtionality that is not even needed.
  • Try to come up with a style guide for your code; this is even more important if there are more people working on the code at the same time.
  • Plan out your code before you start hacking at it. I know this is something that is said all the time, but it is completely true. It is very important to think about the base classes that everything else will be built on.

In conclusion, we'd like to express our hope, that even without any contest, there will be even more original, fun mods and free games available in the future.