In 2012, I basically had a breakdown. Stress at work reached a point where one day in April I just couldn’t make myself go. I then bounced around various mental health services and medications, and mostly sat around doing nothing and feeling horrible.
2013, however, is the year I finally got some control back in my life. Not complete control – I still find dealing with people outside of close family members difficult; I doubt I could handle employment; and I’m still on medication. However, I am working self-employed. I’ve seen my first Android project through to release. I’ve not given-up despite it being a failure commercially (though I do have plans for several improvements to it that may help).
I have found I struggle with uncertainty: if I know how the finished product should be, I can stick with it, but when it’s complete, I feel lost. Games are particularly tricky, as you cannot design one in advance and know if it will work. I’ve put a lot of time into two projects in particular this year, DropPix, last mentioned here; and Turn By Turn Racing. Both seemed good in theory, but didn’t work well in practice, and I found it very difficult to pull the plug on them. How could I know whether more polish would fix them?
As I go into 2014, I have several projects in need of completion. There’s a new Android app that’s been in my head since before Quick Quote. F!shing is in need of a structural rewrite to deal with some performance issues, but I’m otherwise pretty confident in it. I began work on a roguelike game in November for the Trial of Oryx contest, and though I missed the deadline, it’s very satisfying to work on, even if it’s not likely to make me rich. I have the beginning of a Goblin Fortress remake lying around too, though its fate has not yet been decided.
So, I’ve got lots to keep busy with. Hopefully in 2014 it will finally pay-off a little!
Well, my updates aren’t getting any more frequent apparently! I’m a bit drifty at the moment, and really need to get on and finish something. Anything.
Firstly, the block game formerly known as DropPix is still ongoing. I started adding some more mechanics, such as disappearing floor tiles, and walls that smash when collided with. It feels like I’m never getting any nearer to completion, and I guess I’ve been avoiding it because of this.
I then bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen for a while, and he gave me a brilliant idea for a smartphone app which doesn’t exist. So that became my main project. Native Android app development is quite a different beast from games, and took a while to get into. I figured-out that a section of the app could be completed independently of the rest, so I worked on that for a week and got it done. The rest of it needs a bit of thought to figure-out the structure.
Then it was the 7dRTS competition! For lack of any better ideas, I decided to start on the remake of Goblin Fortress. There were a couple of things I wanted to try: test-driven development, and working with entities and components. Trying to learn new stuff made progress really slow, and in the end I was so busy that week with other things that development petered-out. I slipped into depression, and then had a horrible cold, which I’m finally getting over now.
Ayway, development on GobFort is finally coming along. Not long ago I finally got little goblins running between home, work and the campfire. 😀 Got a couple of bugs to fix, then reimplementing the rest of the stuff from the previous prototype, then new stuff! I’ve come-up with quite a list of things to include, hopefully I won’t take too long to get them in.
Today: More streaming! Whooo!
Worked on the world map some more. There are now little villages, with randomised names and population counts. You get a pop-up box when you hover over one. It’s all pretty rough-looking at the moment though – polish will come later.
Goblin Fortress was my entry to the recent Ludum Dare 25 contest. I didn’t finish the game in the time limit, but I got some pretty positive feedback for it, so it makes sense to continue it! So it will be my January game for One Game A Month.
I only just had the opportunity to begin it today. I streamed an hour and a half of development this morning, which was fun! Mostly it was planning out what to include. I did begin on the ‘world map’ screen which will be used to send out raiding parties, though.
The current state of the game is always available on Github, if you want to take a look. In particular, there’s a todo list on there.