Author: fidistheone (page 1 of 4)

1 year anniversary of Kurki Collective ! Yay!

 

Facebook has reminded me that 1 year ago Kurki Collective, indiedev initiative I am memeber of, went live and official.

What is Kurki Collective ?

Kurki Collective is a subgroup of “Indycze Jajo” virtual initiative which has been started by Izabela Latak – Grzesik couple of years ago.

“Indycze Jajo” helped amateur or part-time gamedevelopers like me to “get our stuff together” and motivate one another to become better and better. We usually meet up on our slack channel and Google Plus community to share ideas & knowledge, show our game development progress and generally socialize. We come from different parts of Poland, most of us do not live in large cities, some of us have families to support, some of us work GameDev full time, some of us do it after their day job hours.

We have one thing in common – We love creating games.

After several years of amateur acitivity we came up with an idea – how about going more “pro”, just a little bit. Still no stress and far from getting too much serious. Hence “Kurki Collective” idea emerged.

Numbers

 

What we as Kurki Collective and I could do better?

  • Personally I think we should become more visible in social media. However it requires more time and involvement from the members on promoting our initiative. I know this is partly my fault. I promise I will do better.
  • Publish More Games!  There are bunch of cool projects being developed under the cover of our small collective. Since we’re a tad shy we show it only to one another.
  • We need a webpage !
  • More similar to Kurki Games Factory initiatives
  • More live meet ups

The intitiative helped me personally a lot. With help of Kurki Collective members I became a fulltime Game Developer for hire (https://www.facebook.com/CobbleGames/), published my own small mobile game and now I work with Error Games Studio  ( who work with a a publisher Fat Dog Games) on their game called Futurust

If you take in consideration the fact that just 3 years ago I was still working in IT Support this is a huge life changer: I earn money from what I love.

So if you are or want to be a game developer – join a similar community in your area or simply create one – as we did. Just being around like-minded people will help you grow.

Summary of 2 months as a Freelancer: Cobble Games

The TL;DR; Version of this post should be read: “WTF Time, you serious?!”

Basically since I made a decision to leave the former employer I am working 16h / day on starting up my new Freelance Unity Contracting Service for IndieDevs (More about the business HERE )

I have no time for anything whatsoever. Which is not a good thing. Even now I write this post while preparing a test build for one of my clients and that takes a while so I’m kinda stuck on not-coding. The good part is that I work for myself and my family building independent life. If I screw up then I will be the only person I could blame.

One may ask: Why going Freelance ? You don’t have that much experience as a developer. 10 months? That’s nothing.

Answer is simple: Because there is a demand for my services and I work harder than the average 9 to 5 fellow.

My experience in 3 former companies where I either worked in a development or was closely looking at the production process proved that time on the market means nothing. I’ve seen companies that are 10+ years  in business which lack the very basic management knowledge. Companies that have no game designers and still make games! Companies that do not invest in employees or preproduction and they still manage to deliver!  Companies who even though have plenty of money from the investor have absolutely no clue what they are doing.

That proves the Michał Marcinkowski thesis from PGA2016 : We are equally incompetent.

Of course there is a bunch of well established studios with a great reputation with absolutely 0% employee friction.

They are simply great:  they make awesome games. They care about their teams and their employees never leave. Why would they? The problem is I know only maybe 5 of such companies and they either are not in Warsaw or I don’t have a required skill set in order to get their attention. For now, at least.

I know my place. Dunning Kruger syndrome is long gone.

I could either again start another junior position and risk losing my nerves and be dependent to some weird decisions of someone whose only advantage was that he started earlier, for a wage which is below any industry standards or take a chance that fate gave me and go Freelance.

My Fiancée was getting nervous – we’re planning to get married. Fortunately she has a stable job not in gamedev but being almost 36 years old and working 3rd year below my market value just to chase that rabbit would be very selfish of me.

Just to give you a perspective: Mc Donald’s pays more and gives better work conditions than some of the gamedev studios in Poland.

I could always go look for a senior IT support role again. With 10 years of experience in IT I can find a job in IT  industry practically with no effort.

However I got a call – name it … a Karma blessing.  One small team of developers had issues with their programmers who failed to deliver. I took a chance. In two weeks I delivered what they couldn’t have delivered for nearly 3 months. We all got paid. Then I delivered the second milestone and it got accepted again, payment is on it’s way. Then I got a outsource offer from another company working on some minor tweaks… and the contracts keep coming and coming.  I am in that point I must refuse to take any more work as I have no time for private live and sometimes sleep.

What about the future?

Hard to tell. Life tought me one thing: Never be sure of anything, go with a flow and adapt. I’m good at adapting.

I might have my personal targets or plans but in this particular industry you simply cannot be sure of anything. For now I have that Futurust game to be finished and published and those minor freelance tasks give me a great chance to learn different coding styles as I must add or change existing code which is a great experience. I might want to consider to form my own team at some point and contact a publisher for development funds… or I might consider joining one of those 5 renown studios to get access to their know-how and be part of something greater. Life will show.

For now I stay humble and keep up the hard work.

 

 

Sometimes you just have to say no.

Even though I really wanted just a bit of stability this year, yet again I’ve experienced that the only reliable factor in my life is my Fiancee. She’s with me no matter what. Supporting me with a God-like patience.

Without going into unpleasent details I’ve decided to cut my business relationship with my previous employer.  First 2 months had been almost perfect but the last week turned out in such way that I’ve started to doubt in the future of that particular enterprise.  I’ve decided that the fight was not worth losing my health for.

I didnt mind the money – I asked for a rise and I was promised one. That was a test. I knew we will crunch with that project scope. Guy wanted me to sign Non Compete Agreement which I was fine with… but not for the salary of a amateur bartender.  I was more worried by the type of contract I was offered to sign. It was not on partner terms, against our previous agreements – basically each month they could tell me – hey, we dont need you here, we won’t pay you as you havent fullfilled the non existing game document requirements and we dont care if you need to pay your corporate taxes and health insurance. They said it was a standard type of contract for their publisher.  Well… if this was the truth,  I was working for the wrong publisher.

Moreover it turned out that more and more people started to contact me if I could help them with their projects. They wanted to pay for my skills so the Punk inside me said “Dude, you dont have to be a slave…  F this S” and so I did.  Integrity is the key.

Since I already had a company set up I thought – Lets go full time with this…. and here I am:

I present you Cobble Games: Game Developement contract coder for hire.

More about this on my Facebook Page

New Postmortem: Kurki Games Factory July Challenge

It took me a while but I finally made a Postmortem of the recent short project I took part in.
Go read it HERE

Time to get back to School

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.

Kurki Game Factory: July update #5, #6, #7, #8, #9 and some additional notes

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.

 

 

 

Kurki Game Factory: July update #4

I got some cool feedback and managed to implement some quick fixes today.

Here is the result:

 

Kurki Game Factory: July update #3

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)

 

Kurki Game Factory: July update #2

Get prepared for regular updates. At least until the time my job situation becomes clear you may see the updates on daily basis.

 

I got some feedback from the first movie which I managed to implement.  Here’s the list:

  • Spaceship is smaller, so player can see more
  • Added some optimalization features
  • Voxel particles for explosion
  • Tweaks in ship controls
  • Added some basic sounds

Kurki Game Factory: July update #1

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.

 

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