If it’s not required, it’s forbidden

I’m currently working on this idea for a game, and have been struggling with getting it to the point where it is playable. I have a bunch of the pieces, and a bunch of ideas, but I keep getting stuck on parts of it. After recently watching this presentation by Jonathan Blow, the creator of Braid, I’ve been inspired to push myself to work on the game in a different way than I’m used to.

For example: in this game, the player has an inventory. Ideally, the player could control the sorting of the inventory – move things around, and put items onto different pages of the inventory display. Implementing this feature probably wouldn’t be that tough, but every minute working on item sorting is a minute I could be spending working on how the items are being used. There’s a saying that I learned from a friend of mine: “If it’s not required, it’s forbidden”. It applies really well to software – especially when deciding what features to have in a product. In my case, the inventory sorting feature might be required in a later version. Right now however, there aren’t any items in the game yet, so it doesn’t matter if the player can sort them or not. Item sorting is a feature that is currently forbidden. I’m not allowed to work on it. Now, to get back to some important features…

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