"Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential." -- some guy
"At Failbetter, when we move from pre- to full production, the game must have a fairly tightly-defined scope, pipelines for producing different types of work must be established, and major questions about the nature of the game answered.What kind of questions? Well on Mask of the Rose, they included things like –
- What engine and middleware will we use to make the game? What does the build pipeline look like and is it automated?
- What [gameplay systems] will be in the game? Have we adequately prototyped these?
- How many characters will appear in the game? What is the art pipeline for producing a character? How can the player customise the protagonist?
"I created this proof of concept early in 2013, long before the map was greenlit to be included in the game, basically to say "yes this could be amazing" and "yes I should work on it." It did both, but it would still be over a year before the map was officially OK'd.But sure, I could make a bunch of blocks animate however I wanted. What is possible using real level geometry? That's why I made this prototype. A bit less wild? Yes. But still clearly do-able.That prototype introduced the idea of rooms that were moved around like cargo containers and slotted into place, making the map's layout totally dynamic, but without transforming rooms. I am glad we didn't go in that direction.[...]After nearly a year of working on other prototypes it was time to revisit the Clockwork Mansion and finally get it validated. I made a new version with fewer twisty rooms, and more emphasis on the "behind the scenes" areas..."