Open Development, Organisation, Communication and Sharing

The Hit – first trailer

Since I began talking about The Hit, I’ve had some amazing conversations with people who are as passionate about the project as I am. Unfortunately, these conversations are all happening in different places: via email, on online forums, social networks, etc. so I end up having the same conversations with different people, and it takes more time away from development.

I do find these conversations immensely valuable, not because I’m short of ideas (I already have a vision for this game and enough mechanics already designed to last me for several years), but because so many people seem to have a clear idea of what I’m trying to do with The Hit, as well as a strong desire to either make their own game, or contribute to mine. I feel there has to be a way to focus all that creativity and energy into something worthwhile.

Another problem I have is one of organisation. I have thousands of notes and designs for mechanics, generally written on whatever I had to hand at the time. I’m getting better at organising myself, but this project has been more than chaotic for a while. In some ways that’s a positive thing, in that it’s forced me to simplify everything to the point where I can understand it all, but it’s also been a major headache at times, like if I need to explain to someone how a particular mechanic will work, and I haven’t got the time to explain what’s in my head. Plus, if I can simplify things, it will only accelerate the development.

So I’ve created a public wiki on the site, where anyone can see what I’m doing, and a dedicated subreddit, where anyone can discuss it. The wiki’s a mess at the moment, and that particular design doc is about a year out of date, but I’ll get round to improving and updating it soon. I’ll spend time on the subreddit whenever I can, and try to write my responses so that I can copy and paste them into the wiki.

I want to start sharing my systems before too much longer as well, so that other people can either use them in their own games, or contribute to mine. I love videogames, and I’m looking forward to seeing what other developers could do with these tools. It’s just a matter of figuring out how and when. Some of the systems I’m writing contain scripts or assets which don’t belong to me, so until I can find replacements, sharing those isn’t an option. Once I do, I’ll most likely share them via the Unity Asset Store, and leave the documentation on the wiki.

I’m very interested to see how a more open development process could work on an ambitious indie game project like this, which is why I’m prepared to share (almost) everything with you and let others learn from my mistakes. Hopefully, this will be a useful way to empower other indies, and allow them to create more ambitious games, faster.

So that’s it. The Wiki and subreddit are already live, and I hope you’ll be a part of this.

 

A note on using Reddit

My only reservation for using Reddit is that it has a reputation for being hostile, competitive and misogynistic. The truth is that, while this is definitely the case for some subreddits, many of the smaller subreddits are some of the most respectful and welcoming places online, where valuable conversation is not just possible, but commonplace. I hope /r/TheHit can be one of them, because it will only make the success of The Hit game more likely.

Wiki

/r/TheHit

Right, now I’m going to unplug myself from the internet for a few hours and get some work done. See you in the City!

 Dan

 

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8 thoughts on “Open Development, Organisation, Communication and Sharing”

  1. Just out of curiosity how far along development wise is The Hit in percentage terms?

    Concerning Reddit how about having a forum instead? which perhaps might be easier to navigate and less distractions. I think it might be easier to navigate posts and having sub-sections on the forum that are easy to find. Reddit seems like a large train station compared to a forum where it would be easier to follow many different topics. I am new to it, just seems a jumble. Anyway just my person opinion.

    But I suppose there is the question of which forum to use and free vs paid hosted ones.

    1. actually, once you get to know reddit, it does become fairly easy to navigate and understand the structure.

      maybe, if there were to be a forum, Dan could wait until he got some real cash, aka when pre-orders start, because it’s obvious people everywhere are going to love this idea, he could get one of the paid forum thingys, like Vbulletin or something?

  2. I just got alerted to this game from the SpyParty twitter, and I must say, it’s looking awesome so far! I was just wondering how the first version you released will work. Some of the things that excite me most about the game, such as a giant, living city, also seem like they’ll conflict with The Hit being a multiplayer game. Could you give any more details on how the initial multiplayer is going to be? (That is, if v1 even has multiplayer) For instance, is it like an MMO, where everybody’s playing in the same, giant, persistent city, or are the games going to be discrete rounds with, say, 8 people in a map a couple of blocks large? Are there going to be NPC contract/assassins? Also, will any of dynamic story-telling be in the first release (and how much will it be part of the Hit in general)?

    When I read about what you’re planning, I just couldn’t help but imagine drawing closer to your target as they walk into a warehouse. Suddenly, a squad of police cars screech to a halt beside you, two rival gangs run out of different sides of the warehouse, shooting at each other and at the police, as you desperately seek cover and a way out, your target forgotten in all of the excitement. As you’re backing into a alley, you turn around, only to be shot by your hunter, who was the one who organized the meeting between the two gangs AND tipped off the police to the meeting, knowing that your target was part of one of the gangs.

    Just the possibility of things like that happening make me want to play the Hit even more! I just can’t wait to see what it ends up as!

    1. Thanks, Iceman.

      I’m planning to release version 1 of The Hit as a multiplayer game, with 8 players in a city of around 4-5 blocks (possibly more). The contract targets will be NPCs, although if you suspect that a character is another player, you’ll be able to check with the Agency and see if there’s a bounty on them, or pay for a hit out of your own pocket.

      The NPCs will be present in multiplayer, btw, although interaction may be limited (they don’t respond to the player at all right now, though I have an AI solution in place, and just need to find some time to hook things up). The game wouldn’t really work without them, so they’re an essential component.

      As for the dynamic narrative stuff, I’m building some systems into version 1 which should allow for some of that to happen. I need to finish writing a couple of systems before I can talk any further, as I’m still not 100% sure how they’ll work until I can test them.

      I follow SpyParty’s twitter, but didn’t see The Hit mentioned. Any chance you could chuck me a link? I’m a solo developer without much time for marketing, so it’s really useful to know where it’s being talked about.

      Cheers,

      Dan

    2. Thanks for the kind words. I’m just as passionate about this project as you are–if only for the same reasons as you. If you wanna turn that passion into feedback, ideas and discussion, feel free to post on our subreddit, r/TheHit, and follow the game development wiki for pretty much anything related to development progress. Right now it’s just two guys, myself and Dan kickin’ around basic gameplay ideas, so we could definitely use an additional voice in the choir, lol.

    1. Thanks, and don’t worry, it’s far from dead. I’m still working on it full-time, and I’m aiming to release the game officially on December 1st, but there’s a lot to do before then.

      I’ve started a Patreon campaign, there’ll be an article soon on electrondance.com, and I may be able to release soon on Steam early access, depending on how the next few weeks go.

      For now, I’m just working as hard as I can, but I’ll post something as soon as I have anything to say.

      Thanks again. I’m as desperate to get this game into your hands as you are to play it.

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