Playing Your Own Games

Posted on Sat 07 January 2023 in Tech • 2 min read

I've been working on development of a few different Godot games recently:

I'm trying to keep a consistent cadence with development of these games by making small updates a couple times a day. As I've been building this consistency, the biggest lesson I've learned is to always be playing your own game. Built in to this concept is to also always have a playable game, which has it's own benefits. Playing my own games has been instrumental in a few different ways:

1. Is it fun?

Making my games "fun", while slightly nebulous, is absolutely my main goal. I'm sure not everyone would enjoy the same things I enjoy, but if I don't even enjoy my own games then I have no hope of maintaining development without hating it. Getting sucked in to playing my own game is really useful for guiding feature development.

2. Bug hunting

Playing games leads to my own QA testing, even if that isn't my intentional goal. I'm sure it's not an exhaustive way to find any bugs, but I can at least see if things play the way I intended in a cohesive way. No matter how small an issue might be, I open a Github ticket on my own project as soon as I see something so I remember to fix it later. I also forced myself to learn the shortcut for a screenshot so I can capture any visual mistakes I might not remember.

3. Motivation

Some days, I just don't feel like doing anything productive. Opening my game and playing it for a bit usually helps get me in the mood to work on it.

4. Small improvements

While playing, I often start to think of improvements I can make that I don't know if I would have noticed without multiple play sessions. For example, I found that having some keyboard shortcuts for common tasks would help make the gameplay loop smoother, so I made a ticket to add in those shortcuts.