Should You make Practice Games?


#1

Not sure what category to put this under. But as I developed Choice of Raptors for the Contest I kinda realized its becoming a big project.

So is it smart to make practice stories and if so how? (I tend to be oversuspicious)


#2

Really, a “practice” story can be the same story, but just a rough/first draft. You can power through that version, not really worrying too much about things, then when it’s done, go back over it and polish the entire thing. Just a thought.

Edit: To add to this thought, the above method is how I worked on my last finished writing project (MANY years ago now, much to my dismay). I completed the first draft in a blitz of writing that took only a week. The second draft took me over a year to finish, and even then, I changed methods part way through and still don’t consider it “finished”, since the first part suffers from a lack of equal effort that was put into the latter half.


#3

If I were you I would just treat your game as your “practice game”. Break it down into little chunks and test it out. Think of your work every day as little contributions to your game. And then string it all together, and one day, you’ll have your full game.

If you start doing practice games, it can really get out of control, you’ll get distracted, and those practice games will grow and grow until you feel overwhelmed by those too. Just my two cents.


#4

That…does tend to happen to me a lot


#5

In a way, all my writing feels like ‘practice games’ to me…maybe that’s partly my pianist’s background speaking, but since I learn (and, I hope, improve) with every scene, I always feel my works are sort of practising-in-progress, at least up until something is published. And even then, so long as it’s digital, improvements are possible. The basic thing is to keep playing the piece until it’s through, so to speak.

I have been given two pieces of advice that I’ve found tremendously useful with ChoiceScript writing so far, in regards to finishing solid IF games. The first was to curb my impulse to edit, at least until the full first draft is done, as much as I possibly can. I’ve wasted a great deal of time not taking that advice until quite recently.

The second was to always think concise–get down the basic plot with the basic stats, and then add the extra major branches, or character time, or stat flavour. This has helped me make progress towards finishing the plot, and helped me not to get discouraged that my game is growing in the third and not the fourth dimension (widening instead of moving towards the finish line, I mean).

So there’s my experience, anyhow! I hope it’ll be helpful.


#6

This is actually what I’m doing with my “practice” homework too. I found it way simpler to keep track of what I have left to do, and what I should write after the choice.

As for the first advice, well… this app has been really useful for me, as I couldn’t stop to edit what I wanted.


#7

It’s probably a good idea to start with something simple as a first game. (I learned that the hard way.) But to echo the others, every game is a learning experience, and a “practice” game has a way of asserting itself as a “real” game very quickly.


#8

So…does that mean i shouldn’t made a new random short story for practice?


#9

Do whatever feels right. Just don’t be surprised if your little portfolio piece takes on a life of its own.