This is Diane talking now. Since we meet every week on Google Hangouts and aren’t together in person, our game development takes a bit of time and we have to be patient. That’s one thing I am not! (Just ask the rest of the team). The good thing is that all the dogs bring a different talent to the group and a different temperament to the pack. Some of the technical team have additional hangouts during the week. We also do a lot of back and forth over email. Especially when we are going through sound selection, and artwork critique, we bat our opinions around and around and around until we get to something that we all like and believe fits the feel and intent of the game. Most of the time, the idea that we end up with, is very different from the one we started with. The team is great about taking one of the dog’s ideas and playing with it in a way that we don’t offend the owner of the original idea. It quickly becomes a team effort and a team game. We certainly don’t always agree with each other and that is most likely why we end up with a great result.
For game play-it becomes a bit more difficult to just use email. Many times we can use physical cards to simulate the gameplay and work through what works and doesn’t, what is fun to play, strategic enough, challenging enough, takes the right amount of time, and so forth. For instance, we are working on a new version of fourtex now that feels a bit like chess. Lorin and I have our dining room table full of playing pieces now, vetting that through. He has huge art pads of paper full of writing and numbers as he spends hours working through the development of the algorithm that he and Robert will later code and then we will test. Sometimes we work on the art early in the game to make ideas come to life, but in another game also in development, the art is coming near the end of the process. It takes quite a few months for all of us to be satisfied with the results and decide the game is ready for some of you to test.