The start of the stairs game


In the past, I’ve challenged myself by making game withing a specific time frame. This is good to test yourself, and to get something done quickly. However, it’s terrible if you consider the end state of the game, because there is almost no time for bug fixing and polish, given that your time frame is short, like mines (48h to 20 days).

I’ve learnt a lot by doing this kind of challenge, but I realized that I’ve never built an experience by myself, from A to Z. I’d like to have a complete, well-designed experience, derived from a concept.

So many short-term and team projects!


So, what is the goal of this project?
My goal is to release a playable experience that is polished, true to my vision, in other word, a finished product while not being bound to a specific deadline.

Let’s translate it with the Smart Goal tool:
Specific: Releasing a complete game experience exempt of bugs.

Measurable: It’s easy to get lost on small details, and writing this blog is my way of measuring and keeping track of progress and keep my motivation.

Achievable: My previous project and work experience allows me to skip this one even though it is the most important point. Can I achieve this? Yes.

Relevant: I didn’t have as much opportunity as I wanted to exploit my creativity and technical knowledge. Therefore, this project is very relevant to update and improve my design and technical skills.

Time Bound: There is no strict deadline as opposed to my previous projects, I’m ball-parking 1.5 year.

We defined the extents of the project, and we know what the limits are.
Let’s think inside that wireframe box.

The Stairs

I’m not going to speak about the concept, or idea, that will be for the next blog post, when it is refined, and I know what direction I’m taking. But I believe you can deduct what the game is roughly about!

I will however share some research topics and link them to previous experiences, as well as showing progress and prototypes.

I like stairs, ok!?

Where do we start?

We start with paper design! I’ve written a concept and drew some sketches a while ago.
I still need to define the length of the experience and some difficulty aspects. With those, I want to understand what type of experience I want to build to create something very much needed:

Game Pillars and a vision statement

I absolutely enjoyed the post-mortem video from Faster Than Light’s developers explaining how they designed their game while having just a statement as a bearing.

Pillars and/ or a statement are necessary to decide if a feature belongs to the game. I think for my first long-term solo project, I will need it/them and will be thankful later.

I will explore and define them in my next post, in the meantime, I am prototyping!


I like prototyping. I can’t tell you how many arguments were solved by rapid prototyping.
Prototyping helps me in 2 ways by verifying if I can explore an approach and if a design is working in the game. Here, I wanted to get a simple feeling. Walking up/down stairs. I created procedural stairs (entirely tweakable) and I tried walking on them with the character.

I’ll leave you with some screenshots of the things I’m prototyping for now, stay tuned for the next post!

Ouhhhhh, so mysterious!

Progress tracking

– Created the Unreal Project.
– Started a prototype with some stairs and a character.
– Wrote the first post of the game development blog!

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