I'm working on a puzzle game. I thought of a core mechanic, implemented it, tuned it and now I have something I'm happy with.
I'd really like to build a few levels before I work on stuff like UI and sound, however, I'm not sure if I should sort out some other things first:
The game has a story (as opposed to many other puzzle games). The thing is, I just have a basic idea of what it should be, nothing detailed and nothing's written down.
Should I work out the story in some detail first? Figure out what arc I want to tell in the first 5 levels before I build them? Or is the story somewhat orthogonal in puzzle games and I can just go ahead and build some levels?
I've thought of a rather minimal set of gameplay elements, i.e. objects you can interact with, to evaluate the core mechanic.
I'd really like to keep things minimal and see how far I get with just those, but is that sane? Should I think long and hard about what elements I need upfront or should I add them when I feel that something's missing in a level I'm building?
Bottom line: What should I do before designing the first few levels?