Thursday, March 1, 2012

Game Development Blog #67

Game Development Blog #67

"Updatey Goodness is Finger Lickin' Good"

Well alright, it's been inside of a month since my last update, this is quick for me! It's 2am, I need to be awake in 4.5 hrs, but I have a bunch of energy so I might as well expend it productively. Here we go-

Things are alright, life is extraordinarily busy as of late, but when is it not. I have been hit by several waves on contract work the past several weeks; on the bad side, it's limited my productivity on my own projects by a significant margin, but on the good side it's enabled me to keep paying rent/buying food/etc. I won't lie, things are particularly tight right now (as much as they've ever been) but I am not in a panic or anything, and got enough income to keep things moving for the near term so I can't complain :) It's just exhausting is all, I'd really like to be able to focus (and do a good, sensible job) on what I'd prefer to do versus what I need to do, but I am really happy/appreciative to get any freelance work these days so I will never say that it is a bad thing!

As for the apps, they are coming along. I fully expected to be finished with both GunHead and Trapdoor by now, neither of which has happened, but they are both in good shape so I am happy about it. I'd prefer to have a draggy process, than run something out the door before its' time and potentially have it be a huge waste all around. This market is particularly unforgiving in such situations, you really need to put your best foot forward every time.

I think I've mentioned recently, we've got the control setup for GunHead working quite wel on iOS and for that I am particularly excited. There's some big hurdles to deal with yet (in that regard alone) as the game still is not presentable enough to demo; when I hand it off to someone with no instruction, they can't figure out how to play it (or muster enough patience to do so). This is not a difficult issue to address, but it is certainly a design challenge unique to this platform, it's bit me once and I won't let it happen again! I need to do a bit of catch up across the board with this app, but very soon (a couple of weeks?) I intend to tackle this issue and knock it out of the park. I am getting a shiver down the spine as I write this, kind of a deja vu "ohh I hope I didn't write these exact same words a month or so ago!" Meanwhile, many of the weapons are implemented now (one of the biggest challenges of a game like this) and they look and play great. Wrapping up a bunch of enemies/obstacles and then it's on to do level design!

I am a bit wary on releasing a 2D platformer to the market as it's starting to be "the new puzzler," but I feel our gimmick is strong enough to carry us. So long as it doesn't linger on too much longer - I'd like to meet the other end of the new month with a lot of these issues solved.

Trapdoor is sitting in stasis, nearly, which is a shame as the thing has been almost finished for some time now. I really feel like it's "a good project which could be really good" and so I am grinding my brain on how to wrap this sucker up. Feature creep is never something you want to do, so I am trying to carefully pick and choose what else to do to get it to the endgame. A significant amount of UI work needs to happen, plus a polish phase - and I am still a bit up in the air about monetization/IAP stuff. I feel that it is a necessity, especially with a game like that, to see some potential for decent return, but really I don't wanna get locked down into putting much more work into the game. I have a burst of energy for GunHead so I've spent a couple of days pouring work into that, but I want to bounce back to Trapdoor and get it to a good spot as well and hopefully just get it solid,nice and quick and clean-like.

What else to say - just really tired, really haggard, but my work drives me and I feel proud of what I am working on, it all feels worthwhile. I am still getting new "killer app" ideas here and there and some stuff that is really exciting to me which I'd like to move forward with as well. One thing at a time.. PAX is coming up in a month, I was hoping to have both titles launched by then but I'll be happy if TD is out and GH is demo-able. Unfortunately my panel proposal got rejected, which is a disappointment, but going to the show can still be useful for me, good opportunity to schmooze and show off my games and socialize. I have a lot of work to do in the short time between now and then!

And with that, I'm off to get some sleep..

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