podcasts for the win

allot of my time recently is being spent changing placeholder object in my scenes to some grade a models that I can be proud to share.

Creating these models is a somewhat argues task, as it calls for hours and hours spent looking at Blender, which is an awesome bit of software, but can be a bit tiring.

This is where I have found some solace in podcasts.

The great thing about cheating this kind of content is that it doesn’t require my full attention.

Where programming and design requires every bit of my attention to get just right, creating a full and realised game world can be worked on while giggling along to some awesome podcasts.

so, for anyone that is in my position, here are some recommended podcasts:

My dad wrote a porno

Joseph Anderson

Errand signal

god dammit

Indie dev is a bitch. I think most of us who are working in the industry can agree that it is as annoying an industry as it is an enchanted one in which to work.

That being said, there is nothing more annoying than the small things.

While taxes, pitch meetings and money stuff in genereal is a bitch to have to deal with and specs, frame-rate issues and bugs are a pain, nothing can get you down on a daily basis quite like forgetting your mouse at home.

I work from home mostly, but when I have the chance I like to go away from my house to get some work done, which is why I pounce at the chance to house sit every opportunity I get.

However, with a 30 minute walk behind me, it is a bit of a heart break when you realise that you have reached your destination, all ready to work and found out that you have forgotten your damn mouse… God dammit!

Officially half way

When working on videogames, project fatigue is a real problem that does need to be combatted at every turn.

You start out a project all excited and ambitious. There is nothing that your game cannot do and nothing that it cannot be. This is probably the best part of making videogames, the open and delightful place where every opportunity is available to you.

and then it starts; the long arduous task of actually making the game. All of a sudden your game has to move from great idea to awesome game. You have to think about things like visual design, audio design and story beats. You lose yourself in questions of color choices and fps count and you can no longer tell if what you are making is any good at all.

This is when project fatigue starts up. You can no longer tell if you game is good or not, you can no longer tell if anything is any good and you start question everything about the game down to it’s core principles.

At this stage you can do nothing but take your successes where they come and today I found such a success.

I am now officially half way. I have reached the threshold that means that I have finished 50% of the levels that are in the game and that is awesome.

Now, bear with me, as I attempt top finish the rest.

Working on the enemies

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I have been revamping the designs of the antagonists of my game. I needed to give them some kind of common denominator, something that let the player know that they were part of the same organism.

Well, I think I might have found that thing: creepy Japanese inspired masks.

I got the idea from watching the movie “spirited away” in which there is a character called “No face”. No Face is this odd character who is neither wholly good nor totally bad, he does some terrible things but finds redemption in the end.

The reason that I chose this character as my main inspiration for the antagonist of my game, is that he wars this eery mask throughout the movie that is ultimately expressionless.

I loved the fact that this mask is terrible and I wanted to pay homage to just how creeped out I was by that character, so I created these masks.

placeholder hell

In my experience game development is a game of place holders. As you develop you game, in the rush of creativity, you simply cannot be bothered with making something look nice. So you create a placeholder object. Something that isn’t necessarily good, but definitely good enough.

This, however, is a double edged sword. On one hand, you have something that works, but on the other hand you have a mess of work that you have to do in the future to make the project look somewhat decent.

I currently find myself in this placeholder hell with the enemies that make up the bulk of the challenge in “The chain broke”.

They are definitely good enough, but there is nothing distinctive about them, they are just “good enough”.

moving forward, I will have to find a way to make these monsters something to be feared. They need to be made scary.

The difficulties of worldbuilding

I have reached an interesting part in the development of “The chain broke” where I am going from answering how something is happening to why it’s happening. This might sound very arty farty (pun intended), but it really isn’t.

Up until this point I have been focussed on how the characters of my game survive given the circumstances under which they live and now I am going into explaining how those circumstances came about. I am, of cause, being purposefully vague here, because I want you to play the game and find out all of the gory details for your selves, but suffice it to say some stuff went down and now I am exploring just what happened.

Surprisingly, I am finding it a bit harder to define the why of everything, than I did the how. Creating the world after everything had gone down was, for whatever reason, quite a bit easier for me than I thought it would be, which is probably why I am struggling now.

However, I will not let that get me down, I have a game to make and damnit if I am not going to finish it.

unprepared for success

I want to state, at the start of this blog post, that I have no delusions of grandeur when it comes to “the chain broke”. I know that in all likelihood, this game will fall by the waysaide, as there are allot of indie titles that are released every day and allot of those are better than the game that I am working on.

In fact, I am pretty well prepared for this game to fizzle. I am prepared for the game to come out and be ignored by everyone but my friends and my family. I have made piece with the fact that simply finishing the game means that I have a succesfull title.

This, however, means that I have no idea how to handle myself if this turns out to be even moderately succesfull. In fact, I won’t be able to know what to do, if people actually start paying attention to me and my work. I am, as the title states, completely unprepared for success.

The only thing that sates me currently is that fact that I probably won’t be succesfull. As it stands, I will sell a couple fo copies and then the game will wort of disappear into the either.