shawn's blog

2012 Recap

Posted in OriGamInc, Other by Shawn on January 10, 2013

Whoops. Looks like I didn’t have an update in December at all.

To be completely honest the end of the year could have ended better, development wise. Things started to slow down for a number of reasons, the main issue being that my main laptop started to die. As of today, the files are completely backed up on to an external HD, so when I finally get my new machine back, which I recently turned into a brick because my brain said”I know what I’m doing”, work will resume. Hopefully, I’ll be able to meet the newest deadline. More on that later.

Recapping 2012, I’ve made progress with making games, and actually learning how to make games. Of course, the only way to slowly increase the brackets of what you know is to practice, and to continually work on things. A couple of new projects were created, ones that will be turned into full-fledged games.

One of those projects I want to finish

There are a few things that received a lot of work in 2012. The first one being Tone Def: Revenge of the SquareBots. Most of the year had time devoted to this project. Thinking back, I feel as if I haven’t made as much progress as I would have like to. Still, I consider myself a ‘newbie’ game dev, and I haven’t figured out the best pipeline in regards how to get things done. This needs to change, and time needs to be managed more efficiently. While I do use Redmine to track how much time is spent on a task, I don’t take advantage of the boxes which allow me to choose an estimated time. The best use for this box, at least, for me, is to plot out how much time I want to spend on game elements. Of course, bugs and related issues will get all the time they need, until they’re are eventually squashed. Currently, I feel as if my work flow has gotten much better, and it’s easier to define goals and realized what is necessary for a game to feel like a game.

That’s mostly due to the end of the year work on Wiggity Wings. This started as a practice project, where I wanted to provide guidelines for a game based off a dream. Long story short, the only things I could remember from the dream were wings, bungee jumping, and wigs.

Not seen in this photo: bungee jumping, bird poop, lightning, giant brains….

Now, the goal was to have Wiggity Wings out by December. The next goal was by the beginning of January followed by late January. Now, with all the computer issues I’ve been having lately, the new goal is February. The first goal was missed, mostly due to feature creep. I wanted development time to be short, but there were a few thing that needed to be included. I initially intended to work for two weeks on specific ‘larger’ elements of the game. That fell through.

The second deadline was missed, partially because of feature creep, then because of hardware issues. The third deadline missed was all due to hardware. Still, the development time for this is going to be much shorter than Tone Def. The goal I have after Wiggity Wings is finished is to have two projects in an active development cycle. One will have a short development period, the other, a larger one. This should be beneficial to how I work, and the amount of time currently available on a daily basis. The longer project allows me to fulfill the desire to create something complex, something that needs a lot of crafting and fine tuning. The shorter project will allow me to be impulsive, a little strange, and allow me to practice different programming techniques, which in turn, will help me with the larger projects. Already, some elements have been taken from Tone Def, put into Wiggity Wings, made better, and have been or will be injected right back into Tone Def, making that game (hopefully) better. Right now, the next long and short projects are lined up. The next short project will overlap with Tone Def, after Wiggity Wings is finished, then once Tone Def is finished, the new long project will then take its place. This goes for all aspects of each project, including art, scripting, and music.

Ah, the music. In case I didn’t mention it (I did other places, but I’ll do it again), Wiggity Wings is going to have what I hope to be a fun soundtrack available for download via Bandcamp. The game will be free, but the soundtrack will be either $3 or $4. Before the hardware issues, I sat down, and made a number of updates to the soundtrack. Now, all of the musically completed songs have been balanced, hopefully for the better. I’ve heard a couple of good things about the soundtrack at MAGFest.

Ah, MAGFest! There’s a lot I want to say about that, but it needs it’s own post.

So, that’s it for now.

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