Story so far and Work/Life Balance – 184 days remaining

I haven’t spent the whole 16 odd days making the video game. I 1) have a full time job and 2) have a life outside of video games.

And the second one is an important part of the process. In fact it is actually the most important part of the process. As this is an exercise of finishing a game whilst also having a life and not crunching.

My point is, you can still make something from start to finish that is cool in a certain time period whilst still having a life. In the past couple of weeks or so since I have started this I have been out with my friends, had a date, been home to see my family (to be fair that is every weekend), worked a full time job and played games like Nier, Persona and FFXII.

And I am pretty happy with where I have got to now, but for sort of different reasons.

So, the last couple of weeks have been interesting.

I started off by getting my basic stealth mechanics back in place with some basic camera movement. All the logic is there but at time of writing not all hooked up yet as, like I always do, was still trying to nail down the design. Eventually, after chatting to my mates about games like Age Of Empires II and playing games like Shadow Tactics, I went back to trying out the point and click mechanics.

 

Which overall I enjoy. It is making it a unique style of game.

I then went about implementing some more of the mechanics, in particular the player’s abilities


Actually, what I forgot to mention is that I got some cool level building from Tiled, so there is that too 🙂

Today however, which has led to me writing this post, I had  a serious think about the content. Over lunch I started looking through various other Indie games on itch.io. I also played Undertale a bit. I was also reading “How to be fucking awesome” by Dan Meredith on the train home. I consumed a lot of media today:P. The main point that resonated with me in the latter though was “Figure out where you’re at right now”. In the case of the book it is about being brutally honest with yourself about all aspects of your life. It resonated with me as the brutally honest truth was that I was not going to realistically produce all the content I wanted in the time I had if I had to do everything in 3D.

So I called it. I would actually do it in a way that I can do. I can do alright Gameboy colour style pixel art, so that is what I will stick with. I had a few friends offer to help me with the 3D, but they all have lives as well and I didn’t want to subject their free time to my deadline.

So what I have now is something like this:

For those of you who follow me on twitter and are about to dig though my timeline, I will save you the trouble.

 

So yes. It has taking me a couple of weeks to get back to a similar point I was at in February. Albeit with nicer code and using slightly different tech, but that doesn’t matter. Is this much progress? Probably not. Do I regret doing it? Absolutely not. I looked at some of the guys I follow like Ed McMillen and Butterscotch Shenanigans and I took a step back. For refence, you can go into the Basement Collection

I looked at what could be feasibly done in the time I had and what the skills I already had and made a call. I maybe kicking myself later for not. However, the more and more I look at these guys, the more they grow on me.

 

200 days to make a video game

So a couple of people did mention or have said that I like to jump between projects I work on at home and I actually need to finish a game. So, I took a look at what designs I had, what assets and resources I had and what games I knew how to make.

Eventually it came down to my old action stealth game. The 2D one was ok but it seemed like a cop out for what I actually wanted to make. So it was the 3D one that was gonna be the candidate.

In this little experiment I have set myself the target of 200 days to make the game. The definition of “made the game” is something that is playable from start to finish with at least some of the final assets. So not quite the finished product, but also not just a vertical slice. You might say an “early access” kind of thing. An alpha build.

I am not sure how this is going to go, it may be an utter catastrophe, but hey there it is. It is written down, in ink, on the internet. Let’s go!