It has been a while since I’ve really done anything of note. So far this year has seen Invertical Touch get launched with a whimper (despite being a game that I’m very proud of) and then Invertical Touch Lite.
I’ve been primarily working on an unannounced title that has proven to be a heck of a lot more work than I planned. The game is coming along really well and I’m quite proud of it, however it is proving a little dry to work on. It isn’t easy to go “tonight I will sit down and figure out and implement this complex feature” after getting back from a day job of just that. I end up just playing games. Or blogging. Just like now, I’m avoiding work. Any pointers on keeping focused are welcome!
It is an odd one because I really want to finish. Partly because this will be arguably my best game yet and also because I’m desperate to work on new games… but I really can’t be arsed! Just very tired and looking at the mess of code gives me a headache. Perhaps one key factor is the lack of design input. Working on a port of a board game (*spoiler*) means that I’m primarily looking at turning physical rules and stuff that you count in your head, or hold to the side, into a slick UI that works across browsers is a bloody hard challenge! However it isn’t the challenge of figuring out how to make the game more fun. It will be fun because the board game is fun (and hard!). As I say, an odd one.
To try and reignite my desire to make games I have tried working on a few side projects. I spent a couple of nights looking to make a simple game called Frown Upside Down that would be suitable for very young kids ahead of Dare to be Digital, however I lost interest in the project and don’t see it going any further. Maybe at most I’ll just stick it on Android with an apologetic description.
I’ve been keen to revisit The Really Annoying Game for a while now, in particular a mobile port. However I wasn’t entirely sure how I’d want the controls to work and as I’d want the whole level to be visible, this brings in aspect ratio issues. Due to the complexities and level of design, work on this as a “fun project” was put back onto the backlog.
Squeebles is another game that I’ve looked at revisiting, or more specifically finishing. To be honest the core gameplay was boring but I liked some of my plans for silliness, in particular Fun Facts. I’m thinking instead that I’ll build a new game that is based around very simple puzzles, primarily basic key skills (i.e. basic science, geometry, numeracy etc), with basic platform gameplay. It would be very accessible to children but also inject a little bit of my “humour” and more adult references (as in 80s culture not sex references!). This will be really fun to work on, but perhaps a bit of a more substantial side project than I plan for now.
The same can be said about my sequel to Captain Getsu, which despite being close to finished at one point I ended up canning it. Such terribly written code! Working as a software engineer in my spare time has taught me a lot and I’m confident that if I restarted the project it would be a lot better. A big change I made in the design was to move from lots of story and missions to having a “survive as long as possible” game but with stages that had a range of objectives. Seems interesting I hope! However time is running out for a new XBLIG title…