2017

2016 was a big year for me personally/professionally.  I left a job that was draining me in February to pursue video game development.  I said at the time if needs be I’ll find some kind of work come January, although in June I got offered some part-time work that was still not in a field that I wanted to be in, but helped keep a roof over my head.  Two steps forward, one sideways.

However, I did release my first game (Robbing HUD) back in August.  Work on it started around May and I decided to try and do a simple self-contained idea to start and finish something.  It was a great feeling to finish that (even if I never got round to the Mac port as I don’t own a Mac) and it taught me a lot about aspects of Unity, but also general project planning.

Since then I’ve begun working on a visual novel with some friends.  Making decent progress with the programming side of things and we’ve pretty much got the story side sorted.  We’re writing it in Ink and I’m trying to build tools to then more easily build interactive fiction stuff in the future.  Had an idea for a small game recently and might try and do that soon.

In 2017 I’m hoping to release the games mentioned above and I also want to do more art.  Spent a lot of the last few years on the programming side of things but I want to try and do more art.  I’m out of practice and I know I’m going to be self-conscious about that, but I need to rip the bandage off.  Similarly, I’d like to do more writing.  Did some for the game mentioned above and felt great to exercise those muscles.

One thing I did achieve in 2016 is to keep this updated somewhat regularly.  No more posting every year saying “I should post more”.

All in all 2016 wasn’t too bad for me personally (let’s ignore what happened in the world), and I hope 2017 will be the year things really take off for me professionally.

Where I’m At

Been a while.  I went on holiday for two weeks and have been fighting a cold for the last week or so.  Been trying to do a few things but I’m exhausted most of the day.  Fun times.

However, trying to figure out where I’m going next.

Working on a project with some others and they’re focusing on the creative side and I’m trying to set up some Unity Editor scripts which is an interesting challenge (read: confusing and not as documented as I’d like) but not getting that creative itch scratched quite as much.

Considering doing a NaNoWriMo maybe using something like Ink.  That might occupy me and maybe I’ll finally finish one.  Who knows.

Also considering doing a series of small self-jams on occasional weekends to work on a side project.  Got an idea for one and just trying to figure out scope and requirements at the moment.  This is where I wished I was working with others in the same room as I have conflicting ideas and I’m trying to work through them so I’ve ended up here, obviously.

Week off reflection

This week I’ve been off work and tried to make progress with the video game project I’m working on.  As Sunday is drawing to an end, unfortunately, I thought I’d reflect on the things I’ve managed to achieve:

  • Set up a prototype
  • Got the player moving (although I have at the moment taken an open source script for that)
  • Got the enemy moving, rotating and shooting randomly
  • Got it so that if the player is in sight of the enemy when it shoots they get money deducted and an icon briefly pops up
  • Player must pick up an item before they can exit (item disappears on pickup)
  • Player must pick up all items before they can exit, although at the moment it’s a hard-coded number.  Would ultimately be a proper count of how many items there are in the scene
  • Player can exit and character is destroyed
  • Overarching timer running while the game is active.  Not doing much now, but will come in handy
  • If a player gets shot too many times it calls the police
  • If it keeps happening it calls another policeperson
  • If it happens after that its game over and timer is stopped
  • Began work on the Design Document.  Managed to get a fair bit done in terms of story, structure and mechanics.  Need to sit down and factor in the creative side (art, music etc) at some point
  • Tried to arrange a meeting with people involved.  Nobody has responded yet but let’s assume they will…

Obviously still a lot to do, but I’m happy with the progress I’ve made thus far.  Unfortunately as of tomorrow I’m working 12 days in a row and then after that in Greece for 4 days (less unfortunate) so won’t get too much time to spend on it in the coming weeks.  I want to get a basic inventory system in place, a UI to display the money the player has and figure out exactly how I’m going to structure all of the different enemy types.  Oh and the design document.

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