Awaken is done & out.

2013-06-13_08-53-02
Welp, I finished Awaken yesterday.
A project for a creative writing course.

I wrote about the overall concept in the About section of Awaken, but you can only see it if you finish it once! HAHA.


Here’s the node map.

Originally, there was a bit of music to go with it. Didn’t end up working very well.
The piece is on my Soundcloud titled Lament to an unknown woman.

Also, criticisms/other forms of communiqué are always appreciated.

Enjoy.

UPDATE: Feedback piece

Jealousy/envy

One of the things that I think has held me back GREATLY with getting into game-dev is suffering for envy & jealousy. It probably is with a lot of people.
I remember a few years ago when I started my CS degree, I had made a pretty decent at the time text adventure/RPG (of course which I’ve now remade). I was speaking to another first year one day and he was talking about some 3D project he had almost finished. I ended up seeing that shortly after and was heavily discouraged. So this kinda made me put the game-dev thing on the back-burner until middle of 2012 where I finally made something, LSS. It’s terrible and only took a couple of days.
I have been discouraged many times over the years. Seeing 16 year olds code a better game than I ever could. Seeing people my own age release something that is just breathtaking. They all make me want to quit everything and just become a mindless, ignorant fool. “Oh no, poor little white cis-man struggling with his insecurity” you are probably thinking. Feel free to do so. My problems are insignificant compared to many others but this one is one I’ve recently overcome.

I managed to finish LSS because I went in knowing that the final product would be not very good. This is key to overcoming jealousy and envy.
I guess it’s bad to think this way. But it helps. It’s like setting the bar really low. Preparing for failure, not success.
As long as you don’t spend the entire time during a project thinking “this is the greatest thing ever made”, then probably you’ll have the will to complete it.

After doing this for a while, you do build up a bit of confidence. With Spring Of Life I knew that the end product wasn’t going to turn out great but I thought it could have some decent components. And despite the art, it’s an alright game. I even got positive feedback on it from various sources.
Le Lac on the other hand, I went in thinking “this could be fucking excellent.” It wasn’t. I didn’t plan or think enough about it from a design aspect. It turned into an interactive story with a fishing component. Great. I started looking at the other entries from the FishingJam. Some absolutely amazing things there and comparatively, mine is the worst. I don’t even have an feedback after it being out for two days. But that’s all okay.

I made it for myself. It started as an experiment. It turned into a bit of neat narrative (albeit a little clichéd) with a great soundtrack.
Great. It took me a few days to realise that what I had written was actually good.

This is another key aspect to overcoming jealousy and envy. You are primarily making the game for yourself.
Here’s another thing. Don’t expect feedback.

A couple of days ago, I started releasing music that I’ve written over the years (which at one a day would taken about 7 months…). No one has heard any of it apart from me and occasionally my partner. I’ve recorded/synthed them, put them up for public ears to listen and promoted them on various places. It was absolutely gut-wrenching when I saw that the first one had a play. It did inspire me to upload more (the rest of this week will have a new song every day.)
This doesn’t really elude to a point but highlights an issue. Getting any sort of attention is gutwrenching.
Of course, listening to other people’s music shows that mine is all terrible. This reveals a similarity to above to which the conclusion is: for every project you finish, there are an incalculable number of better ones out there. They don’t have to be of the same genre or type, but there will always be something better.

So, my points:

  • Don’t start off thinking that the project is going to be the best.
  • You are making the project for yourself.
  • Don’t expect feedback.
  • for every project you finish, there are an incalculable number of better ones out there.

I must admit that these are pretty grim, but they do certainly help.
Using these, I’ve released four games (1GAM Page. this year (soon to be five) and released four songs.

There will be a point where having to think this won’t matter. But that is not today.
Unfortunately, I still find it incredibly hard to participate in a community/forum, but that could be linked to my anxiety issues.

Le Lac

Alrighty, so I released Le Lac last night. You can see it on the FishingJam forums or go right ahead and play it.

So…
Like I’ve said a few times, I never planned to participate in this jam, so everything was a little rushed at the start. It began after a conversation with my partner. I realised that the grinding nature of fishing in games was a pain in the arse. I also realised that fish can be jerks. This is how the dual-game thing began: one was to be a game about grinding, the other about cannibalistic fish. I wanted them both to be rather minimalist.

This all sort of changed after I implemented version 1 of the story system and use the test like “I wish she was still here”.
The idea of grinding was still there but now remained at the back-burner. Fishing is primarily a solitary activity. I decided that the grinding fishing could be used to frame a story of loss, while still being able to interactively fish and control various aspects of the story.

With this I was planning to have a juxtaposition between the solitary nature of fishing and the brutal one of the world in the water. This seemed fine. I went back to the fish game and polished it up a bit. Everything was making sense. I even wrote a track (which I’m still super happy with.) The plan at this point was that each decision you made in the story would affect your being, which was represented by a lifebar at the bottom of the screen. When it reached 0 or 100 something would happen.

Then something happened.
I was writing the story and each line I was writing, the logical purpose of the cannibalistic fish game started waning. Eventually it got to a point where I had to decide between a single line of story or the cannibalistic fishing game. I thought that maybe I could find a way to put the fish game in still. I tried to, but the story ended up feeling extremely forced. So the fish game was left out. I ended up putting a little more emphasis on the fishing aspect, for example you would catch a fish and say something, but that ruined the pacing of the story. So it was removed.

What about the lifebar?
I have no idea why I got rid of that. I think it was because of screen clutter. It may be because I thought it was a bit silly towards the end.

From the original concept, what remained?
The fishing, the story, the minimalism.

What changed?
The story became the central focus not the fishing.

To be entirely honest, I’m not too happy with the final product. It would have been nice to spend a whole day on the story. It also would have been nice to be able to link the two games together in a neat fashion. Although, it is nice to play through at a slow pace.

Fishie Update

So things have been progressing. But how do these two combine to form a single game?

You’ll have to wait and see.
Sorry about my terrible artwork.

This is also my last game until semester is over. (Maybe HAH!)

Fishie progress


A pink fish living in a world of green fishies.

This is actually going somewhere.

This week has changed

This week is the Fishing Game Jam.
I had planned not to enter it.
Talking to my partner about it, I came up with an excellent idea and something she said helped another idea spark.

As such, I’m now making two games.

Upcoming stuff

Not much game dev here, too busy with other things BUT I have the following things appearing soon.

  • Article about marshalling and saving using Flixel
  • Article about multi-user collisions in speed crucial systems. Much more complex than it sounds.
  • Twine game Awaken.
  • Also trying to design something that should take me about 5 weeks to make. Longest project ever!

Yep.

EDIT: My review of Metro: Last Light is out on Player Attack.

Speed is nice

Made a game with AS3 and Flixel in about 2 hours.
It’s nothing special but it comes from an idea I got last week when a student mentioned how the Adelaide CBD layout resembles a pacman-esque structure.

Give it a while.

Since I spent all that time making Spring Of Life in Flixel and AS3, it has now become a super quick way to deploy ideas.

Pause

Due to the events of yesterday, things might be slow for a few more days. The game I had planned is now on hiatus.

A problem

I’ve noticed that every game I’ve done or am planning to-do take me no more than 11 days (if you remove the non-working days, it probably turns into about 8.)

When I speak to other game-devs they always talk about long running projects that they’re working on. Long running being greater than a month (or at least have enough work planned out.) This annoys me.

Why?

Partially, it makes me realise that my ideas either aren’t good or detailed enough to require that much work.
The bulk of it feels as if I’m doing something wrong. Maybe I’m not comfortable enough with a language/library to really try something wacky. I’m not really sure, but hell, it couldn’t hurt to (sorry to reiterate the last post here) focus on one language and just make games in that. Again, I’m not sure.

I have an idea I want to get done this weekend and then I’m FINALLY going to get stuck into C++ and SDL. Yep.