What’s happening?

It’s amazing how days can go by without you really noticing.  Think it’s been a few weeks since I posted anything here and I told myself I’d keep this updated more than that.

Started working on a new project with some people.  It was agreed that the other ‘main’ project will slow down a bit because it is quite ambitious and it relies a lot on various people that are doing it in their free time (and work full-time) so it is not going to move fast and be good, so decided to make it a slow burn.

I’m also conscious of the fact I’m still learning the programming side of things.  In an ideal world someone else would be doing it but I don’t know anyone else willing to.  Some things are fine, but sometimes I come across something that really stops me for long periods of time and it’s frustrating.  I wish I had someone I knew in real life I could pester about it.  The internet is a great resource, but would be good to have someone (or several someones) to ask.  Oh well, it’s a learning exercise.

That’s part of the reason why we’re working on this other thing.  The project is smaller in scope and I want to do various things like this to gradually build up my skills.  Or find a time machine and start learning this kind of stuff about a decade ago!

I don’t know if its “the wise” thing to do having these various projects on the go, but it’s what I’m doing!

Schedule and balance

Since finishing Robbing HUD I’ve been trying to pause for a bit while also finishing off a few things I’ve been putting off for a while. In doing so I’ve been thinking a lot about my commitments and how I’ll try and balance things going forward.

At present I’m currently:

  • Working 24 hours a week (with another 3-5 hours travel depending on mode of transport)
  • Learning Italian (an hour a day typically)
  • Various writing responsibilities (time varies)
  • Gym (around 3 hours a week)

Then of course there’s sleeping, socialising and that kind of stuff.

So between all those I’m trying to progress what I wish to turn into a career. There’s a lot I want to do and I often find myself alternating between feeling like I don’t have any time to do it and cursing myself for ever giving myself a break.  Quite often at the end of the day I’ll feel “I could have done more today”.

It’s a tricky one to balance; the drive to progress and the need to look after yourself.  Maybe it will become easier with time, or maybe I’ll become more successful and can leave work behind (one can hope!)  I’m trying to think what I can cut, other than sleep which is kind of needed.  I might swap the gym out or cut down on my Italian.  I’ve had quite a progressive pace in the six weeks since I started it, but I don’t know how sustainable that is going to be.

I’ve always been one that wants to skip to the good part.  That’s not to say that I don’t put in the hard work, I just grouse as I do!

Halt and Catch Fire cinematography

Halt and Catch Fire returned and the show’s cinematography has always struck me.  There are numerous times when watching an episode where I’ll think “that’s a good shot”.  Sometimes it’s just because it’s different from most TV shows.

Thought I’d go through the first two episodes and randomly choose a few.

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Infamous 2’s New Marais

I love cities.  There’s something so intriguing to me about how they evolve to handle the people within it, and the people within it shape and are shaped by it.  When I tend to go on holiday it is typically a city break.

Some of my favourite pieces of fictional work create cities that feel real.  Whether these are entirely fictional cities or existing ones set in the future.  One thing I love about Akira and Ghost in the Shell, particularly the mangas, is that the cities real realized.  There are areas, boroughs and a sense of people living (or in some cases, avoiding) these areas.  Unlike sometimes where cities are nothing more than landmarks and spaces between them.

Infamous 2

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Scene muck around

Decided to just play around with low poly models and terrain stuff for a bit this afternoon in Unity3D.

Most of what I’ve done in Unity has been 2D based so I thought I’d give it a quick bash.  As you can tell, when it came to the terrain stuff I didn’t even bother adding a text.  It’s a snow scene, okay?  Or maybe clouds…or who knows.  Just trying something different.

Low poly test
Low poly test
Low poly test
Low poly test
Low poly test
Low poly test

Robbing HUD now available

My very first completed game is now available to purchase!

A year ago I posted on Facebook “Oh screw this.  Who wants to set up a studio?”  I can’t recall what drove me to that, but the outcome has been good!  A lot of people seemed interested and that’s still ticking away, but in the mean time I’ve been working on my own stuff and after some last minute crunch I managed to get Robbing HUD available for today to mark the anniversary.

It was always meant to be just a little project to try out some stuff but hopefully it’s at least fun and entertaining in some capacity.  I’ve learnt a lot along the way so that’s all that really matters eh?

Hoping to do a few more little projects (even smaller than this) to try out a few ideas and get to grips on some stuff.

You can find out more about the game and download it from the Robbing HUD page.  Price is completely up to you.

If you give the game a chance let me know what you think.  Would love to hear any feedback you have.

It’s great to finally have something out though.  All those years of playing games and now I made one!  That’s kind of weird, but really cool and exciting.  Hopefully the start of many more 🙂

Reviewing feedback

Got some feedback on Robbing HUD from two of the people that agreed to test it.

There was some really useful feedback on the balance as that was one area I really wanted to get some feedback on as I was very much just playing to test if things broke when I played it.

There was also useful feedback on the overall difficulty.  I always wanted it to be challenging, but seems it might be unfairly challenging.  The difficulty apparently ramps up too quickly and the maths quizzes become undoable in the allocated time.  In addition to this information wasn’t clear (such as which jobs would earn more/less money).

Now I’m trying to decide where to go with this.  I intended the game to be a quick simple project just for the sake of having something out there and I could tidy up a few bits and get it out quickly.  I always ended to release it as a set your own price kind of game so I wasn’t too concerned about it being ‘perfect’ (or near), but perhaps I should consider spending a bit more time just tidying up a few bits so at least it plays better.

On the one hand I don’t want to labour too much over what was intended to be a rough quick project, but on the other I don’t want to ignore the possibility of improving things after dedicating a bit more time.  Think I may try and do a half-way between those two things, just need to figure out what that half-way would contain.

Just gone through and listed 12 changes I would consider (others are worthwhile, just not in the scope of this project).  Seven of them are small changes that will be implemented and now I’m just trying to figure out how much time the other five would take and what exactly they would entail (as they’re not simple “change this to this” kind of things but additions of features or significant changes of existing ones).

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