Tag: yearly goals

2015/2016

It’s review-the-past-year-and-plan-the-next time! That means I basically waffle on about myself for umpteen paragraphs.

Firstly, 2015

I had several goals planned for 2015, and over the course of the year I ended-up adding some new ones and giving-up on others. I also read 19 books, and completed playing 10 videogames, which means I actually released more games than I played through.

Run 5K

Failed! After various attempts in January to March, I decided to put it off until the weather was warmer, and then… never actually got back to it. Going to attempt another exercise goal in 2016, with hopefully more success.

One Game a Month

Success! I actually released 13 games, though not all of them are particularly good or finished.

  • Spacelunky: Barely more than a prototype, just the bare bones of a procedurally-generated platformer. I did make some music for it though, which is a first.
  • Memory: Classic memory game, not much to it. I experimented with the Unity animation system, then everything broke when I later updated Unity so I never expanded it.
  • BREAKPONG: Pong, but the paddles disintegrate when hit by the ball. I really like this one actually! Name is awful though, which is a running theme with my games.
  • Food Fight!: Oh dear. A 48-hour Ludum Dare entry that only ran properly under the exact circumstances I developed it in, which is a bit rubbish. I actually thought it was quite good up until I started getting feedback. Oh well!
  • Catsteroids: I’d run out of time to do a proper game, and so I made Asteroids but with giant cat faces that go ‘meow’ at you! It’s every bit as daft as that sounds. I have no idea what anybody else thinks, but it still makes me laugh.
  • Potato Farming Manager 2000: For some reason, I decided to take my super-early, supposed-to-be-a-side-project Impressionable engine and release a game using it. To say it’s a bit rough is an understatement, though I’m still pleased it’s even playable at all. It’s a simplistic farm management game. I recently upgraded Impressionable to use an OpenGL renderer, so I might update this soon if I remember.
  • Mavis Bacon Teaches Typing: I’d just started learning to touch-type, so what better game to make than a breakfast-themed typing game parodying the apparently-fictional typing tutor Mavis Beacon? This turned out better than I had hoped, and is one of the more polished games in this list. There’s only one stage, and it suffers from suddenly becoming way too hard, but what’s there I’m happy with. I drew a bunch of breakfast items that are actually recognisable, hurrah! Probably my favourite game name, too.
  • 5-A-Day Fun Maze: I wanted to make a raycasting pseudo-3D engine for GBJam. I did, and then had no idea what to do with it, so I made a maze game about finding fruit, and then gave it a sinister tone? Not sure what I was thinking.
  • Frankenstein’s Monsters, Inc.: The game with the longest name and the most punctuation! Another 48-hour LD entry, you run your own corpse-reanimation business! Did loads of art for it, which I’m pleased with. I’m mostly happy that I managed to distil a management game into a single screen with simple drag-and-drop interactions. Made music for this!
  • Flibbertigibbet: Using the same old laptop as for Food Fight, this time I went for the lowest possible system specs, with a survival/building roguelike game that runs in a terminal. It was probably more fun to work on than actually play, however. It was a good excuse to experiment with some C techniques as I’m still fairly new to it. Named after my favourite word because I couldn’t think of any alternatives.
  • Pool: A basic English Pool game, made mostly as a starting point to then make…
  • B!lliards: My entry into ProcJam, an attempt at procedurally generating billiard/pool-table games, to limited success. I managed my time poorly and only got the bare minimum implemented, which mostly picks rules at random, producing amusing but unplayable messes.
  • Ecosystem: 48-hour Ludum Dare again! This time, a little virtual garden. It’s pretty bare, but depending on how the ratings for it go, it’s something I would like to continue working on, with the intention of it being a nice idle game to leave running and see how it develops, and enjoy the little soundscape it produces.

I’m glad to have finally done 1GAM properly, but that said, I’ll be focusing on fewer, larger, more complete games in the future. A month isn’t enough for me to finish things satisfactorily.

Be competent at a music program

Sort-of succeeded? I managed to make a couple of little instrumentals, but didn’t really put enough time into it to make music for every game as I had hoped.

Be competent at Blender

Failed! I enrolled on an online course, but haven’t actually started yet. I ended-up putting this to one side until after I’d learned touch-typing.

Draw more

Success! Had a daily-drawing calendar and mostly did it each day, though sometimes I did get behind.

Daily Bible reading

Success! This is the first goal I added to the list later. Took a while to get into it, but I now read a chapter pretty-much every morning before I do anything else.

Learn to touch-type

Success! Another addition. After years of typing with two fingers (albeit fairly quickly with two fingers) I finally made myself learn to touch type. I used TypingStudy.com, which is a free online thing. I finished going through the lessons in November, and it’s been getting more and more natural since then.

2016

So, what about this year then?

Exercise regularly

Firstly, again, exercise. I’m not overweight (BMI around 23), but I’m a long way from any semblance of fitness. My strategy this time is to use Wii Fit, as it’s easier to motivate myself to flail around in front of the TV for 10 minutes a day than to run around in the cold where other people can see me.

Complete the Blender course

Lack of 3D ability continues to limit what games I can make, so I definitely want to learn Blender this year.

Learn to play the piano/keyboard

There’s been a MIDI keyboard lying around as long as I can remember, and I think learning to play an instrument would be useful and help with stress, so why not commit to learning it publicly on the internet? I’m naively assuming that touch-typing will help a little here, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

Make some Arduino things

I’ve wanted to learn electronics for years but always put it off. I’ve got an Arduino, so why not actually do something with it? If I come up with anything interesting I’ll post about it.


 

So there you go, waffling over. Have a great year!

Goal Update 25th of January 2015

The last couple of weeks I’ve been in Lanzarote on holiday with family, so I haven’t got any work done! So rather than a dev log, here’s an update on how my 2015 goals are going. Overall, pretty well I think.

I ran a couple of times in the first week, then faltered a little, not helped by going away. I’ll be starting over tomorrow morning, despite it being very cold at the moment. Need to break through and make it regular.

I actually began my game for this month, Spacelunky, a bit early because I couldn’t concentrate on the work I was supposed to be doing. It’s intended to be a very basic version of Spelunky, but set in space, hence the awkward placeholder title. What that means is it’s a 2D platformer with generated levels, lots of hazards, and when you lose you start from scratch. I have definitely bitten off more than I can chew, so we’ll see how complete it ends up being. Here’s a screenshot from where I left off, with a basic tilemap, some art, and you can jump around:

Music-wise, I’ve picked up FL Studio, and have found it massively easier to understand than LMMS. So technically, I’ve already completed my goal to be competent in it! However, making the music itself is really hard. I’m not sure what I was expecting really. I’ve created a short song, embedded below, where I basically worked on it for 1:30 hours and then ran out of ideas. I’m planning on entering February Album Writing Month, a contest where you have to create 14 songs in the 28 days of February. Right now, it looks like it’ll be really tough, but I’m still hopeful I can do it.

A couple of Sundays ago I worked through an introductory Blender tutorial, and then created a model of a barrel on my own. It’s certainly not the best barrel or anything, but I’m still pleased with it.

I didn’t take my drawing calendar with me, so I’m now working through it a few pages a day until I catch up. I’ve rather lost my enthusiasm for it, but I’ll try to keep on regardless.

Tomorrow, work on Spacelunky begins properly! Looking forward to it, I should probably be more organised for it than I actually am though.

Goals for 2015

So, last week I mentioned wanting to make more games this year. I’ve had a bit of a think, and decided on several goals for 2015. I think this is the first time I’ve made a conscious effort to do this. Anyway, let’s go!

Become fit enough to run 5 kilometres

For probably at least a year I’ve been intending to start Couch to 5k, a running program that takes you from no exercise at all, to being able to run 5km in one go. I’m incredibly unfit, but as it hasn’t caused any actual problems I’ve been basically too lazy to do anything about it. I’ve always felt too busy to devote time to exercise, and too embarrassed to go to a gym. This time though, I think I can really do it. I made a start on January 1st, and I’ll be running M-W-F mornings from now on. It should help my mood too, as I’ve generally been pretty low recently.

Make One Game a Month

I wasn’t sure before whether to actually participate in 1GAM or to come up with my own system of doing lots of small projects, but I think 1GAM is the better idea, if only because it’s an external thing that I can’t change the rules of. How I’ll actually go about it is subject to change, but to start with I’ll devote the last full week of each month to a small game project.

Become competent in a music program

I’ve wanted to learn to compose music for ages. I hum a lot, often making the tune up as I go along, but any time I’ve tried to use software I just get confused and give up. I’ve created very short songs for a couple of jam games, but always in a rush, and the next time I go to do so I can’t remember what I’m doing. So, a proper effort this year to learn some software properly – I’m considering buying FL Studio so I’ll feel obligated to get my money’s worth. 😉 I’m not going to worry about making good music, only being able to make music at all. By the end of the year, I want to be using my own music in my games.

Become competent at Blender

Being able to create 3D models, however basic, would be very useful. I’ve learned from experience that Blender isn’t the sort of thing you can just pick up in a game jam and start using! I want to be able to create simple models, texture them, and animate them. As with music, I’m not going to worry about making good models. Just being able to use the software is the goal, and then I can practice and get better. Again, by the end of the year I want to have made some games with my own animated models in.

Draw more

I used to draw constantly in high-school, then got out of the habit. I’m using a desk calendar with a daily drawing prompt to get back into the habit. The goal is only that I stick with it all year. 🙂

In other news, the website redo is progressing well. I’m not entirely happy with it, but it’s a definite improvement on the current one. I also got distracted and started tweaking Snowman Sumo – mostly polish, but also fairly-inept AI that I may or may not keep as it’s too easy to fool. I’ve also made F!shing pay-what-you-want on Itch.io, because the EU VAT changes mean either that or removing it from there entirely. Enjoy!