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Creating a Metaroom - Part 2: Organisation - Posted Monday, 21st August 2006 by Liam

Part 2 of 7 from the Creation of a Metaroom: From Inception to Release series of articles.

Organisation is one of the slightly less fun parts of metaroom creation, albeit a necessary one. I am by nature very unorganised, and I find it hard to meet deadlines - I find it easier if I organise myself very strictly and stay by the guidelines I set.

Introduction

Organisation is one of the slightly less fun parts of metaroom creation, albeit a necessary one. I am by nature very unorganised, and I find it hard to meet deadlines - I find it easier if I organise myself very strictly and stay by the guidelines I set.


To Do Lists

To begin with, it’s helpful to write down what needs to be done, using it as a guide to find out what needs to be done next. I usually set out my To-Do list as follows, from top priority to lowest priority- and for me, this is a general guide for how I do my rooms.

• Design and concept the room
• Do the background
• Get the room in-game
• Do the agents
• Beta test
• Release

Simple! When you’ve written down the basics, you can begin to flesh the list out... for example, here was a small section of the to-do list I wrote for Terra Pluvialis:

THINGS TO BE DONE

- Done - Fix sand.
- Done - Extend water area.
- Done - Double size of metaroom.
- Done - Move tree into background more.
- Done - Remove ledge thing just before pond
- Done - Make border thing smaller
- Done - Add a life limit to watergrass seeds - 200 ticks?

- Semi-done - Redo rocks, make/find new textures for them
- Semi-done - Fix sand on land part
- Semi-done - Add second level treehouse thing

- Change the length of life for the Sunflower plant - make more random.
- Add plants to ledges
- Create some sort of light source - Plant?
- Fix stretchy dirt


Everybody does things differently, however - this is just one way to organise a project overall. The bigger and more complicated the room, however, the bigger and more complicated your list is going to become, especially if you are developing the room with a team.

Having a To Do list helps with advance organisation, and gives you a feeling of satisfaction with each milestone reached. Do not be afraid to amend your to do list if you discover that more needs to be done - just don't let it get Out Of Control!!!!111!!!



Organising A Development Team

For those big projects such as Aquatilis Caverna and the Canopy, it is often a good idea to get more than one person behind the wheel helping to bring your baby into the world. I have written an article on this subject before, so I won’t go into lots of detail, but I’ll give you a brief synopsis. If you would like to know more about the subject, you can have a look at the in-depth article I wrote about Organising A Development Team.

First, you need to consider exactly what you need help with, be it art, music, coding, conception, beta testing, or even all of the above. Keep in mind that if you cannot contribute to the project significantly in either art or coding, generally you will have a hard time attracting a group of volunteers to help you.

Once you know exactly what you need, it is time to put a call for help out. When posting, be polite, considerate and helpful, and if you have something to show for the project so far that is even better. Make the post as clear as possible, with proper grammar and spelling, and try to get across exactly what your project is about. Being vague and mysterious is nice and all, but it is definitely not the best way to attract up and coming developers.

Once you have someone interested in the project, ask them to send you some of their previous work. Take a look at it, and see if they’ve done the sort of thing that you will need - if they have, that’s even better. It is up to you to decide whether they would be a beneficial addition to your team or not - if they are learning and seem promising by all means ask them to help, but not in place of someone who has the experience.

The worst thing you can possibly do when asking people to help is to publicly and rudely reject them - diplomacy is a wonderful tool in this case, one you will need if you intend the project to be quite public.

Once you have a team, try to promote a positive working environment and attitude, and find somewhere you can communicate. Then go from there - I’d then suggest assigning tasks, and writing up a sort of ‘communal’ to do list.

Often setting up a forum helps, but it is not necessary if you have a small, compact team.



Organising Your Folders

An often overlooked part of organisation, this can be *so* helpful for those larger projects!

It is very, very simple. Keep everything in easy to use, manageable folders. These are the folders I used for developing Terra Pluvialis, for example. Keep It Simple, Sweetheart!



Intro - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7

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