Sunday, December 4, 2016

Another year winding down

Can't believe it is December already. AGAIN.  I thought I'd like to get at least one more journal entry in here before the year's end, so here goes..

Things are alright. Work has been super busy at my day job, it's actually been fairly exhausting. Not really left a lot of time to do earnest independent development, but I've kept at things pretty steadily in spite of that. I am actually pretty excited with my Headcase projects usually ("it's what keeps me going...") so it's to hard to conjure energy for it semi-regularly.

Only title that is seeing active development at the moment is my Hololens project, Starcrab.  It's been fairly slow since there's an immense amount of technical background to work through, and I am trying to keep on top of that end of things without biting off more than I can chew. It's really testing the limits of my development ability in some ways, which doesn't say so much as I am still fairly fresh. But it is coming along and feels very representative of my vision and that is a great thing. I am happy that much of the boilerplate of how the actual game logic works has been pretty well worked-out by now; I've been concentrating on building up the visual elements of the game and it's been just kind of a slog, but it's important to me that it presents well otherwise it won't make a mark. That being said, I've recently been doing some new builds with a huge ton of updated asset dumps in place and things are just really coming together. I put a demo video up on Twitter recently - viewable here - to show the state of things, but to be honest the video capture solution is nowhere near decent enough quality to express the true experience for so many reasons. That's all well and good, I just want to express some semblance of what I am up to, but it definitely makes it hard to get people excited when it is presented in such a fashion. I am not worried about it, for me it is important to show the black-and-white "here's what it actually does right now, and where I've got to from zero - to get the true impression, one will have to try the experience themselves."

And in that though, "when will the project be complete?" I am still aiming for the year's end, just a few short weeks away. That's close and it's rough, but I've decided to simply aim for a vertical slice rather than a fully-realized project of a larger scope. That being said, I can still pack it full of gameplay and features given that deadline. I don't think I will really be able to do a whole slew of differently-arted levels unfortunately, it just takes too long to do all of that. Depending on how things wind up, maybe I will continue past the vertical slice release, but honestly I am interested to continue learning/building tech from this project and getting on with something different.

I've been working in a special hololens-centric Unity beta and was happy to get a full upgrade to 5503f, which supports it natively and fully-integrated - but of course it's horrendously broke a bunch of important things, so I will stick with the beta in the meantime. And so it goes...

Meanwhile, lots of other things to ramble on about as usual. I am eager to resume development on other projects as well (the usual suspects) but just trying really hard to concentrate on a single project at a time for obvious reasons. I kind of want to carve out a little extra time to either wrap-up or even pick up the slack with a couple of the other things, but we'll see how it goes. I just really want to get the current project out the door so I can say "there, I finished something else" and be proud of the achievement.

Life is okay besides. Another year in Hollywood is wrapping up. 2016 was - well, it's been an interesting year for sure, but then aren't they all? Sure, some more than others. This year has had some particular ups and downs, no one can argue that. I think we all just want to put it behind us and move onto better times. Here's hoping..