Happy new year!
Yes, it’s already 2015. What have I done in 2014? Let’s see… I did finish and release my first independent game “Drew and the Floating Labyrinth.” It was nice to have finally finished something I was proud of, and to learn about self-promotion and different distribution sites. Expect a detailed report in post-mortem posts later in January. I got that Bachelor’s degree, and am on track to finish a Master’s degree within a year. I submitted one research paper to another academic conference in the states. I got over 1,000 twitter followers, and yet barely any action from my Facebook company page (note to other developers: don’t bother making a Facebook company page). Not too bad, although looking back, I think I was hoping to do more…
— Dust Scratch Games (@Dust_Scratch) January 1, 2014
Three games… wow, I didn’t even come close. I spent so much time after the release of my first game to promote its existence, and so much time on school, that I have barely begun to start any other game projects.
What am I looking to do in 2015? Like I said, finish that Master’s degree. I may or may not continue to review a textbook on Unity materials and shaders. I will (hopefully) complete two additional research publications by the end of January. I will continue to be a active member in my University’s department. I forced myself to collaborate with another indie developer and act as programmer for a rhythm game called “FliqFlo.” I also decided not to collaborate on other people’s projects anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, collaboration is a important and necessary act to achieve great work. But nearly every time I do it, I feel trapped and exhausted after only a few weeks. This project is incredibly basic and not really unique (who hasn’t seen Guitar Hero by now?), except for its one ability to allow user generated levels. I put a lot of other work to the side to finish what I have on this, but that’s catching up with me and is forcing me to slowly back out. Again. I have a bad habit of doing that. The thing is, what is complete right now is close to a complete game. I’m almost there! And yet, the game’s director is insistent of implementing a few extra features, saying there’s no way he’d release the game without them. He’d even be willing to remove the edit feature, the one unique selling point, and is willing to ignore that the game’s UI system is so rough and unpolished. I do plan to try to finish the game as he wants it, but I feel like he’s missing the bigger picture, and is misguided to what is important to the game, and am frustrated that he is unwilling to budge. It doesn’t help that I NEED to finish soon to work on other projects, and he doesn’t seem to have anyone else to take over. He has multiple games in development, and I’m the only programmer? I’ve mentioned before, every game director should have some programming experience, otherwise don’t bother trying to make a game. To rely so definitely on any one person is a death sentence.
Not to mention this is the last type of game I’d ever make. And from what I know, the last type of game this director would make too. It’s nothing but a quick cash grab for future work for either of us. I want games that mean something, games with story or innovation. Not this.
I rant, but I think I’m only mad I myself. I have my own ideas steaming in my brain, and am eager to start working on my own indie projects. I planned to complete one as early as February, but so many distractions have landed on my plate, that I haven’t really started. It’s depressing. At this point, I don’t even know if I’ll finish any of my gaming ideas this year…
NO! I WON’T GIVE UP! I am too passionate and excited for my work, damn it, and I will make them exist! I will have gameplay finished by April 2015, or so help me God I will shut down this site and my gamedev career forever!
… and that’s why I don’t plan to collaborate on anything else after FliqFlo. As a creative person and game director myself, I cannot commit myself seriously to spending so much time away from my own work. I turned down too many other “real” gamedev jobs to do that. The poor director thinks the game will help him raise money for his other projects… I don’t have the heart to tell him he probably won’t make back what he offered to pay me with such a generic game, unless he’s able to use some marketing skills up his sleeve. (step back, blogger, you’re being too hard on him…) If I really don’t have anything to show by April, I think I’ll quit, get a real job, and practice writing graphic novels as a hobby…
So, happy new year! What are your 2015 resolutions?