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Given the slip

April 10, 2012

People say that “less is more”, but no, in the last few days I have confirmed to myself that more is more, and less is most certainly less. Essentially I am not making this thing quickly enough. Every screen has little shitty bugs or things that should look better, there are some features not started or some that are half done…It’s all a little frustrating and destroys my propensity for sleeping through the night!

I have been writing a to-do list, and last night decided to do a bit of project planning. Aside from my list seeming to get a little longer each day rather than shorter, at 1 am last night it stood at 28 items, so I have to do 9.333333 things a day to hit Thursday, (leaving a little space on Friday to do some more things that I haven’t thought of yet)…by 3 AM I had done 4 (hurrah) but they were 4 pretty easy things so yeah it isn’t exactly accurate.

But it did motivate me a little more to focus on finishing things rather than tweaking little bits here and there…I am now in the throw it all in as fast as possible mode, which means my code is getting worse – (and it was messy to start with!). But at this point I am expecting the game to slip beyond the original 4 weeks between starting and getting into the store.

My track pad broke on my MacBook, which is damned annoying, If I am out of the house I now have to get my mouse out if I am going to some work…currently it’s like my laptop is part of me, everywhere I go, I have it, and at any spare moment I will start coding…places recently have included:

  • The MRT (train)
  • The back of a taxi during what I can only assume was a race between the taxi driver and everyone else on the road.
  • And my favourite, Stood up outside a mall waiting to meet someone, while desperately trying to type and hold my laptop at the same time.

However, on the plus side I connected my Bravia up so I could look at a larger display, I know TV’s aren’t supposed to make good monitors, but I am pretty happy with it. Sitting about half a meter away means the colour gets washed out at the edges of the screen because of the viewing angle, but I can live with that as it is way better than staring at a microscopic 15 inch screen.

My home desk...until I move house in a few weeks

I Digress – So the net result of all this planning? I am thinking it’s time to be like a real game developer and start cutting shit. The great thing about the iPad that wasn’t true of say the errr Amstrad GX4000, is that making digital games means I can always fuck with them later, if the boss battles get cut and the game starts to do OK, I can add them in as an update…(although there is the potential that not having features at launch will tarnish reviews and lose potential sales, which is what keeps me pushing to work extra hard to get it all in)

So three weeks in to going alone, what have a learnt? Well it is kind of as expected really, the uncertainty of it all fills you with total fear, keeps you awake at night, makes me want to chicken out and start applying for jobs.

But the good side is also as good as you would hope for, All the crazy work I am doing is for me, by that I don’t mean that I don’t enjoy working on large projects for other people, it’s more that I can do what the hell I want. Sure I am listening to feedback from my friends and making changes, but only if they are ones I feel comfortable with. If I have a stupid idea that I want to put in the game, no one can stop me (my skill & grandfather time excluded). I don’t have to spend time each day doing management related tasks or going to meetings. When I am working, my time is going into making stuff appear on the screen (Except when I am writing this blog or making the inevitable “Springloaded games” website!).

The other thing is that I am building my future. Working on my own gives me that chance, no matter how small to make something that could become a bit of a hit. (I realise a game that teaches you how to read Japanese is probably not this game, but it’s a start right!?). The potential for living the dream of creative freedom and working to my own timetable makes me very excited.

Anyway, new stuff this week:

  • Another piece of music…
  • In App purchases structure (Freemium or not??? what do you think???)
  • Fail state / death screen / Birds for health
  • Arcade Mode  (no Japanese learning required!)
  • Lots of bug fixing + some boring menu stuff – Why is making menu’s so slow!

I also got some support from an amazing place, but more on that when it happens…

Anyway here is a poll for the grand freemium debate – I  don’t know what to do really, but people seem to tell me that from their experience freemium makes the most financial sense. Go ahead…click the button!

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