Monday, August 11, 2014

End of July Progress Report: I have taken a break

My goal for July was to take a break from programming my game and not do any programming outside of work! I was tired every day from my day job and forcing myself to work on the game was getting more and more difficult, so I wanted a break.

Did I meet my goal?

Yes! I did almost zero programming in July outside of work!

What did I learn?

I learned quite a few things, actually. First, I was reminded of the importance of pacing myself and being flexible with my schedule. I've actually delayed making this post for so long because I was going to Otakon this year and it just seemed like I didn't have the time for writing this up until today. Going forward, I intend to set myself a flexible schedule that still has some hard requirements that'll force me to keep making progress.

Also, by taking a break I allowed myself a lot of time to reflect on my project and consider it from different angles for a long period of time without having to fret about whatever I was changing that week. It has made me reconsider the worth of the voice mimicking in my game and later this month I'm planning on reviewing the code for it entirely and either removing the feature or streamlining it further.

Finally, I was reminded of the importance of doing things other than playing and making games. I haven't watched a lot of TV or read books lately. Being at Otakon and sitting down to watch some shows I hadn't seen before reminded me of how much you can learn just by doing things that aren't "working on your project." I need to block out time specifically for this each week as well as blocking out time for working on my game. It feels awkward, or even wrong to be spending time on "frivolous" things that don't contribute to my project goals, but it's super helpful overall.

Goals for August

This month, all I want to do is focus on level design. When I think about how to make a level for my game right now, I'm frankly just not sure where to start. How do I keep levels from feeling boring? How do I make levels interesting? How should I make levels at all? By the end of August I want to have some sort of answer for those questions, however incomplete, and also have at least started working on 5 different levels for my game.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

End of June Progress Report: I'm taking a break

This'll be a short post.

I'm taking a break from game development for the month, even though it's killing me to do so. My day job has been really stressful and consequently I haven't had a lot of time to do game development in my free time. This has really sucked, but there's been no way around it and I keep beating myself up about not doing more, but that really doesn't help with my stress levels (and I would like to note here that I feel I am typically quite good at dealing with stress).

I'm feeling burnt out and work isn't going to be less stressful for another month at least, so I'm giving myself permission to not work on game development. In fact, I'm going to force myself not to work on it with the assumption that this break is just for the month of July and that this will help me be more energized to do the work in August.

No small part of me worries that not being able to handle this all at the same time means that I could never make it in the games industry. However, I've been reminding myself that if I were in the games industry, I (probably) wouldn't be working literally all day for six days of the week.

I don't know. Guess this is just another part of my grand experiment. Feeling kind of down this month.

On a positive note, I finished my first playthrough of Analogue: A Hate Story tonight and it was great! Also, I'll have some more things to post about the MSU-1 soon, so hopefully people will look forward to that; especially the people who have been posting in the comments of part 2 of that article series!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

End of May Progress Report: Core Features

Earlier in the month, I made a decision to really challenge myself and make my Ludum Dare 29 entry ready for a full release on PC and/or Android by the end of June. I also posted a list of things I wanted to do to the game before I released it. I've reorganized my list into several categories of descending importance: Essential, Secondary, Polish and Dead Last items.

What's done

I don't have as much done this month as I'd like because of things at my day job cropping up and causing a ton of stress. However, here's what I do have done (and keep in mind that I've omitted a lot of technical detail and additional notes under each of these items):


  • Make rooms you can go into from the hallway
  • Add suspicion for the NPCs when you are in an infected host
  • Add voice mimicing mechanics
Adding rooms (and a method of travelling between rooms) is a big upgrade for my game since the ludum dare version is nothing but a series of hallways. Now I can make much more interesting mazes that can be more convincing as a science facility.
NPCs will now act with suspicion when they see you. If you're outside of a human host, you get recognized as an escaped alien parasite instantly and they will react appropriately (Scientists will attempt to run away and call guards and guards will attempt to murder you on sight). However, if you're inside a human host when you're spotted by an NPC they'll stop and consider you. Perhaps your eyes aren't aligned quite right, or perhaps your human host is twitching oddly, but eventually any NPC looking at you will notice something is wrong, assume you're an alien, and react appropriately.
The coolest feature, in my opinion, that I've added is the ability for the player to hear certain phrases spoken by NPCs and then, when inside a human host, parrot those phrases back. So, for example, early on you can learn to say "Hello." This comes in handy when a guard or scientist is suspicious of you but has not yet decided you are an alien in disguise, you can say "Hello" to them and they will respond back with something like "Oh, hey Jim." and their suspicion is eased.

What's left to do

There's plenty left to do from my list, but near the top of the list is creating a method of deciding what thing the player wants to say when they're inside a human. I've been working on this, but Unity's GUI tools have a long history of not being great. Recently, however, there was an announcement about new GUI tools that are coming out some time this summer. In light of that, I'm going to write a quick hack to get around not having a UI and then try to put it off for as long as possible in the hope that I can use the new GUI system.

Here's the rest of the to do list (again, abridged):


  • Make a menu or something to set the voice clips
  • Add switches that toggle doors on and off
  • Remake the first two levels with the new stuff (e.g. rooms)
  • Add at least three new levels


  • Clean up my code base
  • Make new art for all the new levels
  • Fix the resolution on the windows build
  • Add touch screen controls
  • Make an animation for background doors opening and closing
  • Make an animation for hall doors opening and closing
  • Make animations for characters walking into and out of doors in the background and make them play


  • Add music
  • Add sound effects
  • Add a menu
  • Add an ending
  • Fix movement bugs
  • Fix guard animations
  • Tighten up the elevator script
  • Make new art to make the levels feel lived in
  • Add more voice work
  • Maybe add a sound effect and a start-up time to bursting so that you can't do it on accident?
  • Fix Bugs

Dead Last

  • Test all my new levels and mechanics
  • Release the game for $1 on PC
  • Release the game for $1 on Android and iOS

Goals for June

I'm going to stick to my guns for now and try to knock out all of these things by the end of June. I am, however, very doubtful that this will happen. I may miss my deadline and this will take until sometime in July. Releasing this game is an important step in my quest to get a job in game development.

Next month should also have screenshots since, as soon as I'm done with this post, I'm starting on reworking levels. The changes this past month weren't very visual.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Change of Plan

I work best on a tight deadline and I acknowledged as much during my last blog post. That fact has been stirring around in my head for a few days now and I think I'm going to do something crazy and change my May goals.

Below is a list of all the work I have left to do on my Ludum Dare 29 game, Beneath Your Skin (not necessarily in this order):
Add music
Add sound effects
Add more voice work
Add an ending
Fix movement bugs
Fix the resolution on the windows build
Add suspicion for the NPCs when you are in an infected host
Add voice mimicing mechanics
Add at least three new levels
Add touch screen controls
Make new art for all the new levels
Make new art to make the levels feel lived in
Make rooms you can go into from the hallway
Tighten up the elevator script
Fix guard animations
Test all my new levels and mechanics
Release the game for $1 on PC
Release the game for $1 on Android and iOS

My new goal for May is to do at least half of that list. My goal for June is to do the rest.

Why the rush? I've known for a while that the best way for me to get a job making video games is to just start making video games. The problem is that I'm not finishing anything. To fix that, I'm going to do something crazy and just devote as much as my free time as I can handle to just shipping a game. The game will probably not be as good as it could be, but it will be something I feel good about releasing to the public and that will have to be enough.

Release or bust.

Monday, May 5, 2014

End of April Progress Report: Ludum Dare 29!

Last month ended pretty shamefully with me not working on my prototype much at all. However, it's May now, and I need to review what I did manage to accomplish last month and determine what I'm going to try to accomplish this month. Let's start with my prototype that I made (largely in January and February).

Power Game Prototype

The "Power Game" prototype is currently dead in the water. Editing the script is a huge pain right now and the whole project is larger than I can handle at the moment. Mostly the failure for me here is a lack of experience with Unity combined with a large scope and no art. It's being indefinitely moved to the back burner until it becomes feasible.

Ludum Dare 29

Ludum Dare is a 48 hour game jam where you try to make a game according to a theme all by yourself. No existing private code is allowed and any art/sound assets must be made by you within the 48 hour period. It's pretty intense; especially if you have problems with scope like I do. Compounding it further is my own lack of artistic talent, which is a problem when you have to make all the art yourself.

The theme this year was Under the Surface, so I decided to make a game where you played an alien parasite who burrows under people's skin and controls them from inside before bursting out of their chest like in Alien. My lack of artistic talent makes the game less violent looking than it sounds from that description, but I guess the violence is just implied. That's fine though because the more realistic the graphics got for a game like this, the less palatable it would be.
The exit is just behind this blue-locked door! But how to get there...

What went well

  • The art looks great (considering the artist). I'm pretty hard on myself for not being a very good artist, but when it came time to scratch together some art for Ludum Dare this past month, I feel like I nailed it. The art isn't super awful, and it's pretty easy to tell what everything is. 
  • Unity made adding new content easy. After several attempts (including "Power Game") at making a lot of code to drive the game forward, I feel like I really got close to The Unity Way of doing things. As a result, when it came time to start building new levels, it only took me an hour to put together the entire second level of the game. Most of that was fine tuning, since I was able to drag and drop almost everything else.
Hello there officer, I'm certainly not an infected human being
controlled by an alien parasite.
No, sir.

What went poorly

  • Unity and Monodevelop (the code editor for Unity) crashed on me several times. Monodevelop also stopped responding to mouse input on the list of opened files frequently, which would have been a problem if I wasn't already used to using keyboard shortcuts to navigate. More problematic was on Sunday around 9 hours before the deadline when I clicked between Monodevelop and Unity too fast (I think?) and got an error telling me that my code solution was unable to be overwritten. At that point, Monodevelop stopped being able to debug my game code. This persisted even after I more or less fixed it, and breakpoints only work in most areas of my code. This caused me a lot of frustration and stress. I lost about an hour or so to figuring out what was going on.
  • Levels went poorly specifically because I should've made more of them. There are only two levels in the current version of the game. My general unfamiliarity with Unity and uncertainty of what exactly I was going to build for levels made me over-engineer a bit and I took too long working on making the game work and not long enough making levels. Ideally, I would have spent less time debugging Unity's crashes (as mentioned above) and integrating art into the project (animating individual sprites for characters took longer than I was expecting because I couldn't simply swap out spritesheets) and a little more time working on more levels. I think a reasonable number of levels to shoot for would have been five.
  • Sound is very lacking in my game. There is no background music or sound effects. I had been planning on using to generate looping background music, but that fell through when I realized Unity didn't support MIDI and I had no way to make up for that with the time left in the competition. I did take some time to pull out my keyboard and try to make a 10 second loop, but it ended up being really grating on the ears after more than a few loops, so I just cut it entirely. The sound effects got dropped when I found myself spending the last hour or so of the event debugging a small error that completely broke the game.
Just a parasite hanging out in an air vent.

Overall, Ludum Dare went extremely well and really bolstered my confidence. I'm looking forward to seeing what feedback I get on it and I'll detail that here next month.

Pigeon's Quest

Pigeon's Quest is a game where everyone dresses like birds for some reason. I mentioned the title to my wife sometime late last year and it's been in the back of my mind ever since. Only recently (last month?) did I have the epiphany that it's based on the game Snake. If you've never played Snake before, you can play a basic version of it here using the arrow keys to move.

So far, I've got basic snake gameplay implemented. You move a smiley face around a game area and when you run into other people, they follow your smiley face appropriately. If you pick everyone up on a stage, it instantly takes you to the next stage. There's a lot to do, and after Ludum Dare I've got some ideas about streamlining what's already there. This is definitely a thing I want to work on some of the time, not all of the time.

I've got some neat ideas for innovating on the snake gameplay, so I'm excited about that. I'm very worried about the art though and when I come to that point, I think I'll just save up some money and hire someone who is far more talented than me to make the art. I'll update my end of month posts with any progress I make on this though.

Goals for May

When I left off with my April post, I mentioned that I wanted to use Ludum Dare to kick me out of my slump and I think I succeeded in that. As I type this, there are two pages of improvements and level sketches in my game ideas notebook for my Ludum Dare game. My goal for May is two-fold: I want to spend some more time developing my Ludum Dare game into something closer to complete and I want to work on Pigeon's Quest some more. I don't know if I can get either to a finished state by the end of the year, much less a state where I feel good releasing them, but I figure it can't hurt to try, right?


In closing, as I've mentioned I have been thinking about scope a lot lately. How big is too big? How do I recognize when my scope is too big for a project? How do I better estimate how much work I can do in a set period of time (a month, a day, a year)? How can I trim down scope for ideas I come up with that are too big?

I don't have any answers for that yet, but I am reading about it. For example, I recently found this article where a guy talks about how he loves making small stuff. I don't think that style and speed is for me, but it's definitely a good viewpoint and there's plenty of advice I could use in there.

Do you have any tips for dealing with scope issues? Do you have any links handy to articles or talks about people dealing with project scope? Please let me know in the comments!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

End of March Progress Report

Oh wow! March just flew by didn't it? Well, time to put our best foot forward and work hard this April. It's going to be a month full of hard work and-
Oh... geez, April's already half over...
Well, uh, I guess I've been making good progress on my "Power Game" prototype that I've been documenting all year. Yeah, let's take a look at the progress I've made on that!
Uh... well, shit.

Real Talk

So, what happened?
The answer is a lot of things happened. Work at my day job started to get really hectic towards the end of February and that's still going strong, so I've had a lot less energy by the time I get home each night. Then there's been some tough times for friends of mine, so I wanted to be available to them, further diminishing time I had for working on the adventure portion of my game. When I did work on my game, I managed to make it really tedious to put text into the game and since my plan had been to write out the story, that made me loathe to work on the game. 
Perhaps the biggest problem though, is taking a step back and looking at my project's scope. I've designed an art heavy game and I have no means of making the art. I mean, I've been making do with my horrible approximations of art, but it really doesn't do much for morale. I see what other people are doing in less time and I feel like their smaller, simpler (graphically) games are doing more for them because they're actually learning things and making finished projects.

I haven't been completely delinquent in my game development though. I've created a few small projects experimenting with different parts of Unity, and while that's been fun it hasn't created anything very impressive or fruitful.

So What Now?

Well, I've identified my problems, and I've taken some time this past week or two to recuperate. I'll probably take most of next week easy as well, but my goal for April is to have a small finished game. There are three things I think will propel me towards hitting this goal:
  1. Greatly reduced scope. Despite my best attempts to check myself before I wreck myself, I keep trying to make games that are beyond the amount of time I have available. So part of what I'm doing with these small projects I've been making is busting myself down to the smallest possible scope I can let myself have. It sucks, but it has to be done.
  2. Ludum Dare 29 is happening on the 25th of the month. I'm going to participate and make a small game in 48 hours. The last time I did this, I actually came out of it with something, so hopefully a small scope and a hard deadline will kick me out of this slump.
  3. There was a job opening at XSEED Games for a Localization Editor. From the job description, it sounded like a dream job for me. I thought I met all the qualifications rather well and then some, but they told me that my background was too technical for that position and that I didn't have any sort of English degree or professional writing background. They're absolutely right, of course! I've taken five years of creative writing classes throughout high school and college, I've completed nine first drafts of novels in the last ten years and written several short stories, but none of it has ever been published! Tons of people have done this as well, so I'm really not special in that regard. If I want to get that sort of dream job in the future, I need to get published. I need to have work I can point to and say "I don't have a degree in English, but this is what I've done and here's how people have responded to it." Basically, I'm disappointed but determined to not miss out on such a chance in the future.
So for now, I'm going to try to relax and be in a good place for Ludum Dare on the 25th, keep up on my small projects in Unity, and come May 1st I'll reassess where I am and figure out what I can do to make a game in eight months. I'm down, but I'm not out yet.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

End of February Progress Report: More Prototype (also HDD failure)

Prototype Progress

Not a lot got done this month due mostly to a lot of stress coming from my day job. However, I did manage to find some time here and there to flesh out the framework for the Adventure portion of my game. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of visual stuff, so here's a single .gif that shows off all the new stuff:

Here's what was in that gif:
  • A Config menu skeleton
  • Working saving and loading functionality
  • A title screen
  • UI Event scripting (e.g. display this portrait at this location, animate the portrait, change the portrait, remove the portrait, etc)
  • Word wrap in the message box
  • A lot of data validation and error handling
This is all pretty basic adventure game-y stuff, but it felt good to get it all set up and the work I did this month will make things easier for me down the road. Luckily, these things didn't take as long as they could have because of previous experience I have from making two Adventure game engines in the past.

Goals for March

It has come to my attention that March is NaNoReNo which basically means that there's a bunch of internet people making visual novels this coming month. It sounds like fun and will probably be motivating, so I want to participate. The only way I can do this though and have it not stop progress on this project is if I put together a rough draft of the adventure portion story! So that's my goal for March: create a rough draft of my adventure story IN ENGINE. 
Those last two words are important because my engine is definitely not finished. As I go about creating a rough draft, I'll learn a lot about what my story is even going to be about and I'll run into things I want to do that the engine can't perform yet. Finding these things will lead to me implementing those features at least in a first-pass form. With this goal in mind, I should also end up with a lot of rough art and features that will make for a very lovely post next month.


A big part of the reason that not a lot got done this month is because of stress from my day job, but as hinted at in the title, the rest of the reason is that my windows drive is dying. All my work has been backed up, but watching my computer slowly die has really slowed down progress and everything else on my computer as well. An SSD should arrive today (Feb 28th) so hopefully by the time you read this post, everything will be resolved. (Edit: Everything took longer than expected, but all data is safely on a really fast SSD now)


Please let me know what I can talk about in the coming month or what I can do better on posts in the future in the comments below.

Friday, January 31, 2014

End of January Progress Report: I Have a Prototype!

At the start of the year, I resolved to focus my efforts on making one game this year and making as best I could. I said that I wanted to spend January on designing the basic concept for my game and picking an engine. So, here's what I've accomplished this month:

Design 1

I've written down some bare bones designs for three games. The first idea is a game that I call "Legally Distinct From Chibi Robo" because that pretty much sums it up. There was recently a new Chibi Robo game on the 3DS which is not quite as charming as its predecessors, and I was musing on how I would make a game of that sort. I sketched out some ideas and wrote a bit about what I thought would work.

Design 2

The next idea is one I've had mulling around in my head for a while and will probably end up trying to make eventually, though it will not be my focus this year. It's a fusion of falling block puzzle games like Tetris or Puyo Puyo and the Visual Novel genre. This idea is pretty dumb and I'm honestly not sure how fun it would be, but also I'm not entirely sure how I'd pull it off, so it's gonna stay on the back burner. I did, however, write down a bit about it for future reference, so I wanted to mention it.

Design 3

Another idea I've had was to make a series of Warioware-esque microgames and string them together with a loose story and themes. Simple one or two button games that could be a fun distraction for an hour or two. I've had this idea in the past with rhythm games, but I lack any sort of musical talent, which makes rhythm games pretty much impossible.

Design 4

The last idea is a fusion of adventure game exploration and 2D platformer arena fighting with RPG elements. Your character is entered in a tournament where every fight is to the death. Winning fights allows you to increase your stats so that you can be more powerful next time as well as affecting the adventure portion of the game. The other big feature of this idea is multiple branching story paths, some of which are only available after you've cleared the game once. Ideally, the game shouldn't take long to play through start to end, but there will be plenty of (sometimes radically) different endings to see and different things to do.

And the winner is...

As you may have guessed by now from the level of description, I'm going with the final idea for my game this year. I really wanted to do "Legally Distinct From Chibi Robo" but 3D art is currently just out of my reach. Even for placeholder stuff. It's a problem I really need to address, but I keep putting it off. The second idea is much simpler than the one I'm ultimately going with, but I'm less confident about it being good or fun in any way. It really needs some prototyping and I think it needs more time on the back burner anyhow. The third idea I think could easily be done inside of a year, even with my hefty art handicap, but I want to try for something a smidge more ambitious. For now, it's relegated to being a fallback plan.
Design 3 inspiration...

...and this is what I made.
The zoom and mouth close are triggered when you push the "A" button.
This is art.


So what about picking a game engine? I'll get right to it: Unity 4.x is the only possible choice for me. I've got a bit of experience with other frameworks and game engines though, so let's quickly run through them to see why they aren't going to be the right choice for this game.

XNA is a very powerful framework based in C#. If I made my game with it, I could easily publish to PC Desktop and Xbox 360. With more effort, I could probably also port to Mac and Unix. However, part of my game's design this year calls for action segments that play sort of like a 2D platformer. And I have a storied history of frustration with making platformers on XNA. XNA would work, but I'd rather develop in an easier environment if possible.

RPG Maker is pretty neat, and is actually flexible enough to include the sort of platformer and adventure gameplay that I want, but like with XNA it's a bit too much work to get it to happen. I really love RPG Maker though, and I feel like people give it a harder time than it deserves, but really it's better for games where RPG elements like stat building and equipment management is a bigger focus. Also, RPG Maker can only really deploy to PC Desktops, which is fine but I'd like to potentially port to more systems.

Construct 2 is a really fun little game engine. It deploys to the web with HTML5 and it's very newbie friendly. This makes it fantastic for prototyping and the editor is really good about visualizing your design process for you. However, it's a bit too newbie friendly right now. Debugging is a nightmare and it's really hard to go in and make major changes to big systems due to the very visual nature of the programming involved here. Recently the engine has been getting better, but I need something that I can easily debug right now.

At this point, my options are rolling my own engine (nix on this because it'd be even more work than all of the above put together), using GameStudio (I'm really not familiar with this and past attempts to familiarize myself had not gone well) or Unity.

I'd actually tried to learn Unity 3.5 before, but gave up because I didn't have any 3D modelling skills and Unity is a very asset driven environment. What has changed now is that Unity 4 has been released which contains a bunch of new features which includes expanded support for 2D games, which just happens to be what I want to do (and what I can make crappy placeholder art for)!

Prototype Progress

In order to make sure that Unity was the right choice for this year's game, I decided to try prototyping a bit with it. I goofed around for a while and read tutorials and looked at sample projects before starting, but once I got started, I was surprised at how quickly I was making progress. With that in mind, I want to show you my prototype game.


Part of my game will be very story driven. You'll explore a city of unfortunates, oppressed by those in power. There will be different people to meet and, as the story advances, different choices for you to make. One of the big things I want to do with this game is let the player take the story in a lot of different directions and cause many different outcomes. In the animation below, you can see the map mode, which will let players travel about the city (it's very basic right now and only lets you go to the arena or quit out of the map). Then, you see a city street where the player can interact with people (who will be) on the street. You can also check your character's progression on the stat screen and level up your abilities for the fighting portion of the game.
This will eventually look more like an adventure and less like a first grader's art.


When not exploring the city and being wowed by character drama, you'll be in the arena, fighting to the death against various opponents. This part of the game is tricky to make work right, and will need a lot of attention. It needs to be fun and deep enough for seasoned players of games like Mega Man X and accessible enough for players who maybe don't care as much about the fighting bits. I also want to include mid-battle cutscenes and dialog to spice things up depending on choices you've made in the adventure section. Finally, while I have some great ideas for the different battles players will come across, there won't be too many of them. This is for reasons of scope and ability, after all, I'm only one person and everything cool I add will need art and I am, obviously, not great at art.
This is some of the progress I've made on the placeholder player character.


Speaking of art, one of the things that has always impeded my progress in the past is taking the time to animate all the characters and such in a game I want to make and then putting it in the game and finding out it looks horrible. One of the chief reasons I wanted to pick Unity 4.x over other engines is that it has support for creating 2D animations of a given collection of sprites very easily. I could do things the old fashioned way and draw separate frames for each animation or I could front load a lot of the work and animate each piece of the character individually. As a means of demonstrating what I mean, take a look at this:
Cut my life into pieces
What you see above is all the art for the placeholder character. Each piece of the character was chopped up and loaded into it's own gameObject in Unity which allows me to create animations by dragging parts around and rotating them- rather than drawing key frames and flipping between them at a convincing speed. This placeholder art isn't perfect by far and there are lots of weird areas in the gifs I've posted above that you can see some strange things (like a hand becoming disjointed). But also keep in mind that I was able to create that art and all the animations you see on this page in about three hours.
I gave my game a walking loop.
Games love walking loops.


So, did I achieve my goal for this month? Very much yes. I have a design, I have chosen an engine, and I even have an okay prototype. This month was a resounding success. However, it's all uphill from here. This month will ultimately mean nothing if I don't keep moving forward with this.

So what about next month?

February's goals are going to be for me to flesh out the adventure portion of the game code wise. If I can get a solid foundation there, then I'll be in great shape to tackle the fighting arena portion of the code in March. This means that there may not be a lot of great screenshots for me to post a month from now, since all the juicy bits will be related to things like text processing, but that's just how it goes.


I know this was a long post, so thank you for reading this far. Please feel free to give me some feedback in the comments or directly via my e-mail. I welcome suggestions to make these blog posts better and if you have any comments or suggestions about the content of the article I'd love to hear that, too!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A New Year and New Goals

Last year, I sat down and decided that I was going to release one RPG per month. They didn't have to be complete games and they didn't have to be very good, but they had to be kind of done and I had to release them. Looking back, it uh... well, it went incredibly poorly. I released two games, one of which wasn't even an RPG, and made a lot of progress on another, but mostly I was just feeling frustrated with myself. Eventually I got interested in the MSU-1 and did some stuff with that instead (which I'm still working on, by the way. I just haven't had much progress to report lately).

This year, I'm not doing that stuff. I want to settle on one game design and work steadily towards it over the course of the entire year. I'm not saying I should be done with the game by the end of 2014, but I want to be able to look back and be proud of how much I've done.

I feel like it's a personal flaw that I can't release one game per month for the entire year, but... I just can't. I want to make games for a living, but I just need to focus on what I can do for now. I can focus on trying to live up to my personal expectations later when I have more experience.

My goal for January and February is to create a design document for my game for the year, and also to select an engine. This may take a while because I want to explore game engines that I don't have a lot of experience with, such as Unity. So there might be a lot of learning involved in these two months. Either way, at the end of each month I'm gonna post my progress here and possibly solicit feedback.