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Devlog

LET'S SEE ?

I will record , the obstacles, journey and other things I encounter

while trying to make games. Perhaps it may help you, perhaps

not.

  • Writer's pictureZine.E.Falouti

Bottlenecks & The Testing Layers



While developing the Shadows of Larth, I tried many different approaches, to adapt the overall Game Supply Chain, testing which one is effective and which process takes most of the time, and I found the following :


(The percentage calculus is approximate and in no way it is precise but close)


1 - Art (a) Character design : 4.3%

2- Art (b) Environment design : 11.3%

3- Art (c) 2D , UI , And accessories : 0.5%

4- AI , Behavior trees : 6.3%

5- Level Design / Programming / Gameplay Scripting: 35.6%

6- Lighting & Post processing : 2.5%

7- Game testing & Bottlenecks : 38.5%

8- Dialogue & writing : 1%


Yes you read it right, the most time consuming process was by far , the testing and bottlenecks I've encountered,


To overcome this process, I tried changing the order of processes, but before we dive into the trick, let us see the overall processes I've established when I first started, and the World of Larth was literally a large cube as ground and the main protagonist and a base mob to prototype the combat system with.



Custom Game Supply Chain of the Shadows of Larth

To defeat the Beast aka 'Bottlenecks & Test' , I tried at first, testing every turn, after every area is complete . Yet it became even more time consuming I literally wasted March and Half April in this process with no progress at all.


Until I found the golden key, Testing in one round can be exhausting, imagine playing the same area , over and over for more than 30 times a day, fixing anomalies and going back .


For that I have to cut the testing into layers as the following :


1- Blockout gameplay testing

2- First Layer (Only architecture) gameplay testing

3- Second Layer (Architecture + Props) gameplay testing

4- Third Layer (Architecture + Props + Vegetation) gameplay testing

5 - Forth Layer (Level + Base AI) gameplay testing

6- Forth Secondary Layer (Isolated AI) gameplay testing

7- Fifth Layer (Full level layer) gameplay testing.


This layer slicing, didn't only help me reduce the testing process from 38.5% to nearly half the of the consumed timeline, but also gave me time in between each testing round to take a breath, but also made the anomaly hunting easier yet more

effective.


You might ask, what about the bottlenecks, yes the truth is, bottlenecks will exist and continue to exist, if you didn't encounter them and you are already in full throttle production, you should be warned there is something clearly wrong in your project, but anyway, while encountering the Bottlenecks in production, I have one rule, a rule learned from my engineering studies at college, and a rule I live by until now, and it helped me a lot.


"99% of the Solution to every problem is a proper DIAGNOSIS, the remaining 1% is applying the result of the DIAGNOSIS"

While encountering bottlenecks make sure you don't enter, what I call the "LOOP", a loop is very dangerous and can destroy your whole project . But you might still want to ask, how can I know if I entered a "LOOP".


The moment you are repeating the same thing with no progress, and you find yourself at the start, over and over, Then be sure you are inside the "LOOP".


Additional Helpers I've found:

1- Never test an area the same day as the Level Design process

2- Organization is important and reduce all the processes time consumption

3- Midterm planning.


We've reached the end of Devlog #2, Until the next one.







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