New Year – 2016

I’m not overly sentimental when it comes to New Years and whatnot. Most of the time it’s just another day, plus it’s in the middle of winter and I really, really hate winter. So, resolutions are not really my thing, but I feel I should at least post some updates.

2015 was certainly a year! All snark aside, it wasn’t the greatest, but not the worst either. I spent most of it in a shitty job that I hated, and just trying to make it from one day to the next. I started up and dropped a project or two, and unfortunately haven’t made all that much progress on any games that I am trying to work on. Though, it’s not all bad.

In October I started working at a much better job, making more money and hopefully going forward I will have a lot more energy to work on personal projects. I also got a dog around the same time:

Seasonal depression be damned, I’m determined to get some stuff done this year. Recently Thomas and I did a weekend dev session and started working on a point-and-click murder mystery prototype. The art is placeholder from an open game art site and looks awful, but that aside I have posted a few things from that prototype:

I’ve got most of the systems designed, but there is quite a bit of implementation stuff left to code.

A rare behind-the-scenes look
A rare behind-the-scenes look

In the meantime I am hoping to get some more work done on the Twine prototype of Fear Him, and maybe other things will come up this year. In any case, this is goodbye to 2015, and hello to a new year.

on burnout and other life things

So, I haven’t worked on Debris for a while. At first I thought it was related to other life and health issues, but even as those have been resolved, I find it’s hard to keep working on the project. I guess I’ve gotten kind of burned out on it. At least, I thought it was burnout, but even then, there were always things about the project that would excite me and get me out of my burnout, and back into game development, but it has just been a constant struggle for quite a while.

I think that I had forgotten a key element of these kinds of endeavors: Fail Faster. As Extra Credits taught:

At this point I’m just not sure if the project is sustainable in it’s current state and in my current state of mind, so I need to shelve it for a while, and turn myself to other ideas that I can approach and iterate on much faster. As Thomas put it, I guess I’ve been hit by the idea fairy.

So, for now Debris is on the shelf, I may return to it some day, but I think I need to turn my attention back to Fear Him. My plan is to start by prototyping the story and progression paths using Twine, which will allow me to plan basically the entire game outside of the gating puzzles, as well as get a feel for the ways players might approach the mystery I intend to present them with. Additionally, it means that when I get down to building the actual game in 3D space I will already have my path planned and my script written.

So, that’s where I am at, and hopefully going forward I will make more progress, and update this site on a semi-regular basis.

April Update: Slow Going

This month has been slow when it comes to game development.  One major source of that has been the fact that work has been really busy.  We’ve been prepping to release the product that I’ve been working on, so there’s that.

However, there has been some progress made on debris this month.  Thomas and I continue to get the groundwork set in place, basic controls are mostly done, you can attack and kill enemies now (though it’s a placeholder autokill attack, which will be replaced soon with weapon attacks) and we’ve been making some UI modifications to make the game more readable (even with our placeholder art).

In other news I bought tickets this month to attend both PAX dev and PAX prime at the end of August this year.

March update: I should learn to listen to myself

New goal: at minimum monthly project updates.

The past week or so has mostly been spent on a nasty refactor. The biggest reason is because I didn’t listen to myself. A few months ago Thomas and I had a long discussion about the design we were going to use in a certain portion of our code, and in the end, what we came up with seemed like a really good design.

Fast forward a few months, and I had been working (slowly) on adding to that class, which is one of the main pieces of driver code for Debris. I had been working in a way that pretty much ignored the design we initially laid out.

So, the better part of a week’s worth of short development sessions later, and I’m back on track. When we originally set down that design I had even left a long comment to myself to explain why. I felt I needed to amend that comment after the refactor was done.

So, after that was done, I was able to finally add the new feature that I originally intended to add. Today I got that portion done, so now you are able to switch characters by clicking on other party members.

(Note: the music I was listening to in the background is a little loud in the clip, so you may want to turn down your volume. It is from the Shovel Knight OST, by the way.)

PAX!

Flying out to Texas tonight to attend PAX South in San Antonio. Pretty pumped about this, I bought the tickets sort of on a whim about 6 months ago, and have been looking forward to this trip since.

eternally blessed with critical fumbles