Writing a more complex Use-Case document for not one, but two games were more problematic than I first thought. Even though the two had a well-defined/known game-play, I did find myself lost within the various Use-Cases. Instead of being more organized and calculated, there were too many loose ends and ambiguous inconsistent references to game-play elements.
The Importance Of Glossary
Try to refer to the Solitaire’s deck of cards that appears in the top left corner. Now try to distinguish the cards that were not drawn, the cards that were drawn, the cards that were drawn but now are not visible due to the newly drawn cards. Now do it repeatedly over and over again for each of the Use-Cases that handle these elements. And that’s just one gameplay element.
I decided to create a new Glossary section where i’d first define each of the game elements, starting with their name and location. Since the game-element mechanics is known, it will be enough to distinguish one from another them. However, for future projects in which I would go for not so defined gameplay, the behavior and purpose of theses objects must also be written down.
I like to backup my work every hour or so. I also work on more than one folder and on several computers. This document took more than 2-3 sessions of writing since I can only dedicate 30 minutes or so everyday. Each session generated more text, but left some loose ends which I had to take care for the next sessions: more Use-Cases, undefined elements.
Instead of leaving a seperate Todo list and taking the time to remember what i’ve already done, I started a Revision section at the start of the document. For each session I wrote the changes I’ve done and the work needed to be done for the next session. For the next session, it took me less time to “recalibrate” myself on the work that’s needed.
Separating The Two Games
The first draft contained the definition of both game’s mechanics. It was horrible since it kept jumping between the two game’s Use-Cases describing a Hybrid game. Also, the fine details that defined each of the games were left behind since most of my concentration went on focusing on two separate games – what belongs where. The common parts were the worst – each had tons of exceptions referring to each of the games.
I decided to separate the design process of the two, observing which of the parts are similar or even the same for later pre-coding design where I would be able to use the same code for both games.