Saturday, October 6, 2012



Cheers, and welcome once again to Masterpiece Theater, err, indie game development update journal. As one would notice, the format over here has really gone all to hell, but considering many folks just let their blogs completely wither and die into nothingness, I am just happy to periodically post updates time and again, format notwithstanding.

Things are alright over here, as usual it must be mentioned that things have taken on a dramatically different shift in 2012 with my career plans than they had for the years since HCG was launched; therefore, I don't talk so much about "all the games in development" and when to expect them quite so much anymore, although to be honest I am still quite busy on that end to some degree or other. It's just been shifted priority as I go about focusing on getting paid work first and foremost, and this will continue for the time being.

On the indie front, our side-scrolling shooter GunHead has been absolutely frozen in stasis for at least 6 weeks now. I can't recall the last I've written about it too sharply, although I'll say that the mobile versions are pretty far behind and the PC/XBLIG version has come a long ways. There's still much to be done in terms of design (and beyond that, testing) but a large amount of the assets are completed and a very solid codebase for the mechanics as well. Likewise, much of the boss behaviors are implemented to an advanced degree, so there's actually a lot to work with here. I expect 100% this game won't be completed before 2013, but I am still happy to take my time with it and deliver it the right way.

Trapdoor has also been in stasis - seriously - and it is with a degree of shame that I realize that it's been over a year since I've worked earnestly on "this little game!" I see a small window of time to wrap-up the assets in my near future however, so I am eager to pounce on that and put this one to bed. I feel like it's bad juju to keep talking about it in these terms though (how many times have I blogged the exact same thing about this game?) so I will just leave it at that for now..

180 - I've actually had reason to consider dragging this game up from the grave! That is, to build a "sequel" of sorts, and Pat and I have been talking seriously about it recently. It makes sense because - A. Assets are already done, B. a strategy mode has already been prototyped, and C. we have a built-in audience already (probably about 6k+ daily players) to advertise to. If we are going to build a full-on sequel, I might consider to revisit some of the other ideas I had for the game a long time ago (tablet mode, multiplayer) which would be pretty awesome. As of now, this is going to be an Android-only affair, although depending on how things play out we might look at iOS next year. Right now I am trying to keep "new game ideas" far away from y overflowing plate as much as possible.

Blast Rover - Pat's pretty eager to get a game out and I don't blame him. He took a list of my "rough game proposals" and we've decided to proceed with a Moon Patrol-esque game. Trying to keep it pretty light and dirty, although already the visuals are looking pretty nice and much of the codebase is implemented. I am taking the backseat on this one and just providing A/V support for the most part. For that matter, a bunch o the audio has been worked on already and sounds really sharp. I am psyched to put out little games like this!


I've been quite busy with my freelance work. I had about one week in between projects (did my best to get some work done to get Blast Rover moving) and then it was on to work on another paid gig, and that has really been ruling my life for the past few weeks. I am not sure when it will wrap, I hope not for awhile ($ is really tight) but that stuff is shaping up and I am hoping to cruise through the rest of the year with it if I am lucky.  Otherwise, I'll take turns wrapping up existing HCG stuff and pounding on my portfolio in equal measure. There's a huge amount of unfinished business I need to take care of, and it's hard to know what will be next for me until I can clear a lot of it up. Most of that work is stuff I really enjoy doing, and should only make everything in my life much easier as I get through it, so I am not complaining!

Other than all of that - personally, it's a very challenging time for me right now. 2012 has actually been a tough year on my mental state for a lot of reasons. Operating this way really takes a lot out of a person, and affects everything and everyone around them. I don't have any regrets for what I've attempted and the price I've had to pay to get there, but I can honestly say that doing this stuff for a living, and trying to do it in a capacity where one can make a living at it, live in a place like Hollywood, try to maintain a semblance of a "normal life" and do it all on one's own terms, it's really the stuff that shows you what you are made of. It takes a long time, it tries your patience (and pretty much everyone around you) and it can really go to some dark places. After some point, you like at the path behind you and try to figure out "just how did I wind up here, exactly?" and all you can do is keep going, and keep trying. Al that being said, I don't doubt my abilities as an artist, designer, businessman.. or friend, boyfriend, etc. Like I said, it shows you what you are made of..

Lots more to discuss (I have much to say on the gaming scene, etc) but I guess I will save that for another entry, another time..