Friday, July 13, 2018

A year since!

I haven't been keeping track - clearly - but it appears to have been nearly a year since I last updated this journal. That is quite a stretch, even for me. I suppose that many folks just let it completely wither and die, on average (or so).  I am disheartened to realize this case for me, for many reasons - not least of which is that I used to put something in here DAILY (although to be fair back in those days, it was not exactly a daily development journal). Anyway even though this has fallen off the wagon, I have been quite busy in the meantime. I have meant to contribute in here, although that doesn't really offer much in the way of actual content I suppose. Whatever the case, here's a very quick recap of what has been going on..

Deluxe/Method, Justice League VR - this was my job from April - Dec 2017. I was a Unity developer/designer for a couple of the minigames in this project. I learned a huge amount about development, surrounded by many of my former crew from the previous job (Daqri). After this gig wrapped up, I had a breather, and then onto the next thing -

Technicolor/MPC, Immersive Group - this is where I am at now, we do AR and VR content. The likes of which is rather hush-hush, although it's been talked about online a bit, and the AR project I am involved with is pretty decent-profile stuff. I'll make mention of it here when the curtain has been pulled back - anyway I have been here less than 6mo, but it has been a good gig and it's kept me quite busy. Anyway enough with all of that, let's discuss what is up with my indie projects. WHAT - THEY ARE STILL GOING ON???

StarCrab - yes it's true, when I have been in-between jobs, I've picked up and spent a LOT of time on this project. As it's the first legit game of any real size I've endeavored 100% on my own, I've already run the gamut of building it from very roughshod proof-of-concept prototype up to legitimately-system-designed full project (such as I am capable of, anyway). It's true, I got a very early prototype moving quickly but it was really not any kind of scalable, in consideration of how so many of it's systems and managers (if they can really be called as such, in the shape it was) were handled. Yes to the end user you could control a character, and interact with environment and enemies, but it was very much strung together and not in a way which was terribly friendly to a programmer or designer - me in this case - to pick up and make heads-or-tails of say 3 or 6 months later, never minding much further out than that. The way enemies were controlled, a basic game manager, health systems, the background tiling controller - all of that really had to go and be rebuilt from scratch pretty much, piece by piece. And for me, these projects are really designed for me to get a stronger handle on my own tech development and process understanding, so I have been heavily leaning on developing all of this framework (within Unity) by myself, and NOT relying on external "readymade" tools and scripts etc from the Asset Store. As such, it's been a Herculean effort in many regards to get as far as I have with things, and that is somewhat frustrating as it doesn't look too different than it has for awhile - but the structure is quite sound, I have built things in a very sensible and manageable way, and it's made everything easier to build off of (or go back, and tidy up) as a result. In all of that, I am very proud. I am very dead-set to get a releasable candidate of this project out the door at some reasonable point, still probably some months out but I'd like to say the end of the year AT LATEST. I am and have been basically putting all of my other personal projects on hold, while I dedicate time to this one.

Beyonder - cousin to StarCrab, this is one of the many ignored projects, although as it shares a huge amount of tech from that other project, I have recently cracked it open again and updated a bunch of it's elements. I need to do this again soon, just trying to keep things clean and sensible. This project is next in line, and I'd like to have it at least more playable sometime this year. The clock is ticking.

That's really all there is to say for now! So many specifics to get into, but I'd like to cool off for the night. Thanks for reading. Hopefully it will not be a whole other year before you hear from me again..