Deadlines // Visual Style

Geometric Platformer 02

Well over a month ago, I posted about wanting to make a game in under 5 weeks. I've come back to tell you... I have failed. This is the end of my game development journey, and I'm sorry for wasting your time.

Now, of course, I am joking (about quitting, anyway). Can I realistically make a small game in 5 weeks? Yes. Can I realistically do that while balancing work and family and friends and other hobbies? Possibly, but it has proven to be incredibly challenging. I haven't found the right balance of time I need to dedicate to development yet, but once I do, I think I'll be able to revisit this question.

With that said, I do have an update to share. Though this isn't final, I do have an idea of the visual style I'm aiming for with the game. The game itself still has a ways to go, but this is a good start.

Styleframe 01.png

A New Game Approaches

Geometric Platformer 01

Following my last post about working more & caring less, today I will be starting a new project. It's going to be a very simple 2D geometric platformer with a heavy focus on gameplay. Keeping it simple means that I can spend very little time on the visuals while having them still feel polished. It also means that I can keep the development cycle short which is very important for this project specifically. Ideally, I plan to take no more than 5 weeks, so hopefully by the end of April I'll be able to start thinking about the next mini project and continue to grow as a developer.

What I plan to accomplish:

- Become comfortable with Corgi Engine and Ferr2D, tools I use within Unity.
- Have a fully playable game including a title screen / menu.
- Post the game online and get feedback.

Of course, I'll be posting updates here to keep you guys in the loop while also holding myself accountable. I hope you all enjoy taking this journey with me!

Work More, Care Less

Game development is hard, and I'm somewhat of a perfectionist. These two things together can make making a game truly impossible.

Since releasing my first solo game Hecticube in late 2015, I have been struggling to actually fully commit and complete another game. This is due to a combination of things going on in my life, but I'd argue that the biggest reason is simply that I'm afraid. I'm afraid that I'm not good enough and that I'm just wasting my time. This isn't the early days of indie dev where only a handful of titles (good or otherwise) came out. This is 2017, where there are as many games coming out as there are gamers to play them. This only amplifies my desire for perfection - with hundreds of games coming out, how can I spend days, weeks, months, potentially even years on something that's only going to get buried under a mix of trash and treasure? I care too much about the work I put out for that to happen. So how do I solve this problem? How do I actually go about making and completing a game? The short answer is - I take some time to work more and care less.

I'm going to go on a making spree. I need to rapidly enhance my skills and fully familiarize myself with the game creation process before I can realistically be on the level I would like to be. Sadly I can't do a "game a day" type of thing, but I want to shift my focus to making as many bite-sized experiences as I can this year. My focus this year will not be about a making the best thing I can possibly make, nor will it be about marketing and selling a product. It will be about allowing myself to become comfortable with the creation process and getting better at various aspects of it. If this exercise proves to be successful, only then will I begin to care more again. 

How Zelda: Breath of the Wild Completely Nails Exploration

How Zelda: Breath of the Wild Completely Nails Exploration

One of my favorite games of the past 5 years is undoubtedly The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. There are so many things that are done well in that game that I really should take the time to write a separate analysis on it. However, what I really want to focus on in this post is exploration.  

The world of Witcher 3 is absolutely massive, and to some, understandably daunting. It's filled to the brim with quests to do, monsters to hunt, bandits to banish, treasures to find, sights to see, and stories to unfold. It's what keeps me wanting to delve deeper into the world (I even recently started reading the books!). I always know that once I mount my trusty steed, Roach, and head in any direction, I am bound to stumble upon something magical. What actually tends to happen through is that I'd just open the map and head to one of the dozens (hundreds?) of "?"s on the map. This is probably my biggest gripe with Witcher - there's just too much to do in the game all at once, and while I was patient enough to do most of them, it did mentally take a toll on me seeing what felt like an infinite amount of objectives to tackle. 

Enter The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I have only been playing this game for three days now and I'm already in love with how Nintendo decided to tackle exploration...

Hello World, It's Me Again

Hello World, It's Me Again

Hello there friends. It's been quite some time since we last spoke. I'm not quite sure where the hell 2016 went, but somehow it's been a whopping 14 months since I released Hecticube on Android on iOS, and about 7 months since its final hurrah when I showed it at PAX East 2016. Since then, most of my days when I leave Snap have been filled with simpler things. As fun as game development is, it's equally a very involved, sometimes draining experience. Mid way through Hecticube's development too, things at work really started to pick up and it gradually became harder for me to actually come home only to sit back down at a computer screen. So, right after a successful PAX East showing, I decided...

Hecticube Postmortem

Hecticube Postmortem

Hecticube is a multiplayer pong-like mobile game where you shoot bullets at a ball in order to make it hit your opponent's goal. Instead of scoring points, each time a goal is hit it shrinks until it's completely destroyed. It's the first game I've ever made mostly by myself, and was a very fun and challenging experience. A lot of the project went swimmingly, but like most other projects, some things were just a nightmare...

INDIECADE EAST 2015

INDIECADE EAST 2015

Though landing directly on Valentines Day Weekend, I somehow managed to make some time for IndieCade East this year. I hadn't planned to go originally because I didn't think I'd have the time, but at the last minute, plans were made (literally, I woke up on Saturday and decided I was gonna go) . I think a major influencer for me going was the fact that I had dinner with some cool devs and non-devs the night before. I only knew one of them beforehand (Rami Ismail) but I ended up meeting/re-meeting a handful of other really cool people. One of them worked on a game about an Octopus, another wears many, many hats. I even met (officially) a girl who likes to jam on trains. After hanging out with them and remembering just how fun and friendly the industry can be, I decided that it would be totally worth it to go, even just for a few hours...

TOUCH CONTROLS

It is currently 6:58am. I can hear my roommate moving about and starting her day. The sun is still rising, casting beautiful light on the city that never sleeps. It’s the perfect place for me, clearly, because I never slept either. I was up working on HectiCube making the necessary changes to it to make it work on phones & tablets - it’s surprising just how much you may have to change depending on the game. I thought it would be really simple, but of course, what works in my mind will probably never work exactly the same in reality.

INTRODUCING, HECTICUBE

Hello friend / fan / fellow developer. You have arrived at the lovely home for my new game, HectiCube. Over the course of the next year (ideally I’d like it to be “finished” within a year) I will be posting my progress, discoveries, troubles, GIFs, videos, builds, and everything else relating to the game.

I’ll try to update it as much as I can once there’s something good to post. Hopefully, you’ll be entertained and hey, maybe you’ll even learn something.