Levels of Madness
Did I mention we had given ourselves a deadline? We knew that we could only devote so much time to the game before our wives left us, so we gave ourselves five months from the time we decided on the game premise. The timeline ended up being great, as it forced us to complete tasks and get stuff into the engine. We knew we needed x by a specific date, or it would have to be dropped from the game. This is a very Agile way to work, and not my favorite approach, but it kept the game lean and simple.
The whole first three months of the project were a walk in the park; we hit every task deadline, no problem. However, as things typically go in the real world, I went into "crunch" mode at my day job during the final two months of our game project; meanwhile, my friend took on some freelance work, which meant that every day of the last two months we felt slammed. We needed those last two months to get the game to the point where we could meet the iTunes submission standards. Of course, we also wanted our game to be really fun to play, so we needed multiple levels and plenty of amusing graphics (see Figure 10, Figure 11, and Figure 12). We felt a bit like our character, only being chased by deadlines instead of bombs (see Figure 13).
Figure 10 Gopher electric.
Figure 11 Gopher ice.
Figure 12 Gopher burn.
Figure 13 The finished Gopher Go Boom title screen.