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Is this the droid you are looking for?

June 7, 2012

This week I was slow writing my blog, why? Well firstly I wanted to make sure had something worth saying (which I don’t) and secondly because I spent the day riding around on my bike yesterday where I met a group of monkeys (and wished the camera on my phone was better):

I have to say sitting on a bike for most of a day is a very cathartic and relaxing thing (even if it is tiring as hell), I pedalled around with my friend K7 (who runs an epic restaurant called lagnaa), and occasionally stopped for beer or random things like salty / sweet / pastry / cake things.

Speaking of which, I mentioned chicken heads – there is a place at the end of my road that does 3 on a skewer for $1, while not technically 3 (because they are sliced in half its 1.5) it was interesting, the face skin is spicy and tastes pretty good, the eyeball tastes like you’d expect an eyeball to expect (have I lived here so long that I assume everyone knows what animal eyes taste like?) and the brain was a bit brainy…all in all there isn’t much food to be retrieved from a chicken head, but looking down ad a peeled skull with the eye peering back at you does take some of the edge of your hunger.

So Gamezzz:

Hiragana Pixel Party:

Yes that is the Android SDK, and yes I have no idea what I am doing, but have spent a while trying to set up my mono project correctly on windows so I can get Hiragana Pixel Party out on more than one format. It happened in part because

  • I want to see what pitfalls there are in releasing on Android and want to know if I can actually get my game running on other hardware for future reference.
  • People have asked many times for an Android version, so I am sure I will sell at least ten copies.
  • A guy called Lee wrote to me, and said he’d bought an iPod touch specifically to play HPP, but it doesn’t work with iOS 4.1 and above so he can’t play it. That last one made me feel bad so it kicked me into taking 48 hours off Nuclien to start taking a peak at Droid dev…

I was hoping to show you a screenshot today of it on android…suffice to say I haven’t even got a test project to run yet!

iOS wise V1.1 finally went live yesterday, with the afore mentioned  4.1 and above support. Sales have dropped in to the microscopic region, so there was no big swell or turn around last week. I did get a bit more press with an interview (or some quotes) in Games TM, (which I did with an awful hangover) and something coming up in the Straits Times, Huge thanks to my friends who put my name forward for each of those! Super amazing stuff J

Star Wars 1313

The new Star Wars game 1313 was just announced to the public at E3, and to those that have seen it it looks pretty epic right? Respect to the team for making such a great impression at this year’s industry showdown, I can’t wait to play it! So here’s the question, now it is announced do I put it on my CV or don’t I? I spent 4 or 5 months working on the game, but how much impact my work will have on the final product remains to be seen. Anyway, after speaking to some friends it seemed general opinion was that if I worked on it, it’s OK to say I worked on it…even though I am not going to be there when the game rolls in to manufacturing…I’d say I worked more on the other things in development at the studio, but they have to remain shrouded in mystery until the next announcement event.

Anyway the reason I bring this up is because I decided to make a mysterious image wall of springloaded’s creative experiences (by springloaded I just mean me)…I tried to do it on Tumblr, but then decided Tumblr is a pain in the ass so just did it on my website instead.

Nuclien

http://www.springloadedsoftware.com/Exp.html

So I finished creating all the visual effects for the levels, making each of the 70+ levels look unique took a dammed long time…but now there are simply a few tidy up’s remaining and then balancing and the music. So still quite a way to go. I also haven’t had people play it yet, and no doubt after watching a few people struggle with the menus or tutorials I will suddenly need to sink a few extra days in.

Progress thus far:

So what does this tell us? Well it shows that early on I have big tasks like “Do visual effects” and when I start doing it I break it down in to smaller parts and the task count goes up drastically. Essentially early on you don’t really know exactly what things entail you could guess and I have on many occasions. But then as you make the product the numbers will change, as you adapt the design. When at companies I have sometimes had to detail everything to the minutest degree before starting, and while it is the most efficient way of doing things, it probably doesn’t give you the best game.

Development can be a bit like looking under stones in a garden, when you turn one an unexpected number of bugs and things come running out. You can just leave it at that and walk off, but it’s best to satisfy your curiosity and have a good look at each of the new things that have just appeared in front of you.

I think looking at this game and my last one, there is a long period where tracking the numbers is fairly ineffective, but it’s still important because it lets me see where the numbers start to decline, which means I am on the home stretch. I know there is another spike ahead though, when I actually design the sound it will break out from “do music” to “intro”, “world 1 tracks 1” etc.

I have discussed the idea of forced end dates with people, and I think it isn’t a bad idea, but then and again, that is what makes working at companies suck, so for me as long as I am making visible progress, and am not throwing work away and changing direction it’s OK to roll a bit…well until I change my mind.

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