Let’s face it: Compared to last year high octane productivity year, I got a tad lazy. Just a tiny bit. I know it and I will not hide it.
Maybe it’s because of the vacations, maybe because I chose wrong annual targets… or maybe simply I got more relaxed since I already achieved my target – got a job in game development.
Moreover life got a bit bumpy in June. All is good now but I guess this is my body sort of saying – “Dude, you are going too fast. Chill out or you will burn out”
So I paused that mad race of productivity paranoia, enjoyed the beautiful summer and focused on other personal matters – spending more time with my life partner, socializing with friends, playing video games more often, etc.
However, I am again starting to sense this urge to BUILD stuff. I’m not sure why but whenever I spend too much time in that “rest mode” I start to get uneasy. So many things to learn… So little time. I almost can hear that invisible death clock ticking and a Clock Master saying with a grim voice: You are going to die building nothing worth remembering.
I guess it’s time to wake up now. I want this holiday season to be over. I want to get back to school.
We’re approaching the inevitable deadline. Time is running out, TO-DO list is pretty long, so I don’t want to waste too much time.
Current stage of project is as follows:
I’m still adding core features and tweaking the ones that already exist. TLDR: I NEED MOAR JUICE!
Hopefully I’ll manage to achieve something of a better quality.
I haven’t posted that often with the progress as you must be aware that I am in the middle of changing jobs. Can’t say much as I still need to sort out some legal stuff with my previous employer. Things got pretty unpleasent, they still owe me some money. However, things are good already. I have found another GameDev Team and I am starting to work with them full time in August. Moreover I will no longer be bound with non compete agreement and I will be able to cooperate with other teams as a supporting C# developer.
So… yeah… that change has not been planned but it appears that it will be for the better.
I managed to implement cooperative feature known from SWIV: Player 2 can now join in the game anytime to control a Land Jeep. It will cost Player 1 a single life but it may be worth to ask your buddy to give you a helping friend… specially if you happen to fight a big bad boss monster (which is not implemented yet but expect it to happen soon)
After the theme has been chosen (Destruction UP) I have started coding some basic foundation. Still a lot to do (especially with the optimization) but for now I have the core movement and shooting mechanics implemented. I’ll post next update probably on Sunday. Since I am between jobs at the moment I have a lot of spare time to code 🙂
Let me know what you think. I’ll try to implement as much as I can until 31st of July.
Sooo… yesterday we closed the voting survey for July’s Kurki Game Factory theme.
You guys chose “Destruction UP”. As I was seeing the votes clearing out I have decided to prepare something similar to one of my favorite Amiga Games called “Swiv”. The theme fits perfectly to this top down shootem up. Since the concept is well known, yet still very engaging I will be able to focus on juiceing it up.
Here’s how the Amiga original looked like:
Mine will be probably more voxel based but still I want to include some of the core features known from the first SWIV, like for example ad-hoc Cooperative mode (Second player could join in as a Jeep Operator at any time of the game)
Keep the fingers crossed & wish me luck 🙂
PS. I am open to new job opportunities starting August. The part of the project I took part in is finished and I am looking for another place to get more gamedev experience. I would love to learn something more from design perspective.
Last weekend I took part in a live meet up with my fellow indie developers from internet community called Kurki Collective. Kurki Collective initiative evolved from a small, yet quite productive group of developers from all around the Poland. Most of them are less known in the main stream gamedev but that’s the whole beauty of it: We stick together, make games, have fun and live our busy lives without an urge of being in the center of everybody’s attention.
That was a second live meet up, last year we met in the Orla Cafe where I showed my first game Unholy Showdown in it’s early stages of development. This year I showed the early version of base building game I am currently making after hours of my day job gamedev. I have to admit that I had to crunch slightly to deliver the core features I wanted to show but I can only say it was worth it. Folks gave me some really useful pieces of advice. Live feedback was so interesting that I have decided to immediately code some of the changes.
This is a version from Friday:
This is a version from Today:
In the first movie I got some basic Dune2-like building system, where you first had to lay some floor-tiles to place certain building. Now, as you can see, you will have to place a Light Totem first as buildings can only be placed within it’s light radius (sort of like Starcraft Protos pylons).
Generally I had been encouraged to play more with the light mechanic. This would be integral with the core story of the game. The plot is still very blurry and lacks precision but I shall stick to a concept of bringing back the light to formerly lively domain, which is now exploited by evil creatures who feast on it’s light. Very simple, maybe not too deep at the moment but time will show.
As soon as I get the building system going I want to include some progression system and basic quests to be able to explain Player the plot without cutscenes. Not sure how they will look like but I want them to be meaningful – if a player reaches a level that allows them to learn a skill = find a teacher. Need access to new part of the map? Please the gatekeeper. Etc. As I mentioned before – this is more of a learning experience for me.
So to sum up the planned changes:
Structures can be placed within light radius only.
If the totem is gone they will slowly decay (to be implemented).
Structures need light sparks to be build.
Some buildings (like defense towers) will require upkeeping cost.
Progression system:I want player avatar to be able to gain experience points to unlock special abilities. Nothing too complex, maybe just some linear skill tree. Just to make the game slightly more interesting and focus it more around the main protagonist.
Quests: Yet again. Nothing too complex. Kill 5 monsters. Bring a package… or maybe I shall come up with something more interesting. I dunno at this point.
I will have to learn Blender this time to create some basic 3D models. Right now what you see are just a placeholders. I chose this art style for a reason – this whole bloom and glow is perfect to cover my low modelling skills 🙂
Work on camera – I havent decided if I want to make it static or give more control to the player. Time will show.
Since the game will strongly be based on light on / light off mechanic I will need to work on some textures and light system. Right now there are no shadows. Just a lot of glow. This will have to change at some point.
This is generally a simple informative post with what’s currently going on in my private, indiedev and dayjob gamedev life. So that you know that this place is alive and I’m also still breathing despite my “noble” age 😛
I’ll try to be brief:
Private life has become stable again as some time ago we finally closed all the logistic issues with my former city of residance. Me and my Fiancee both have a stable employment and we moved to a new small, yet cosy and comfortable flat in Warsaw. Neighbourhood is safe and quiet and basically that is all we need.
My dayjob gamedev things are getting better and better. The project I am in is about to finish it’s prealpha stage and decision making people decided my role will be more System / Technical Designer-like. I will still have to code but I shall not focus on creating tools or optimization but rather brainstorming, talking about and designing game systems as well as roughly implementing them in a prototype sort of code, so that better coders can see them in action. They will probably have to refactor it afterwards but at least we have something to work with. I am the one who asks uncomfortable questions and try to brainstorm with other team members to find the best system solutions. So yeah – a lot of meetings, a lot of talking and later a lot of writing notes and documents and a bit of spread sheets … and after that even more talking to make sure we are all on the same page.
Frankly, I love it 🙂
My indiedev side projects: I guess I start to see a pattern in my behaviour. I pick a topic in a first half of the year which I think will be that BIG ONE. Then I fail or get tired by some weird obstacle and I come up with a new idea and prototype which actually has a chance to work. That was the case with year 2016 when I firstly came up with an idea of “the best rythm game evaaa” which I failed to deliver and ended up with finishing Unholy Showdown. This year is almost the same: I came up with an idea of “the best mobile platformer evaaa! ” then I found out that I am actually a very poor animator and that unfortunately this time my Fiancee cannot help me with drawing. I became frustrated and then I drifted to another idea and prototype … which is actually getting a better traction.
It’s called (for now) “Light Sheppard” and the core game loop is really dead simple:
You pick up lights > you spend them to build structures > structures like turrets can destroy monsters> you pick more lights > you build better structures and create a base > you can destroy bigger monsters and so on and so forth.
Current stage of development is as you can see below. I am aiming at a first playable pre-alpha for the 23rd off June when I am meeting live with my fellow indie developers from Kurki Collective. I’ll get their feedback and iterate as quick as possible to deliver a descent MVP maybe by the end of this year. I am aiming to publish it using Steam Direct and publish it on Early Access to get feedback from community. I dont necessarily need to earn that much from it. I dont have any financial expectations from this project. If I manage to deliver this game then this will be yet another personal achievement and a great learning experience. That is all I want… and never wanted anything different. Money can come and go but what I manage to learn and experience, stays with me forever.