Saturday, June 9, 2018

Starting a studio and making games...

Anor Studios is started

You can see my games and play them on the Anor Studios Itch Page. Currently have been working on a small 2D arcade style shooter called Amber Sol you can play the demo with the itch client. Here the latest dev video.

Keep it simple...

I am trying to keep it as simple as possible and focus on polishing the design. Keeping it fun is a definite challenge. 

After years of practicing and making so many different variations of game framework codes I have finally been able to put my fingers on what makes a game feel good.

I was not able to do it alone. Here were a couple of videos that really solidified things in my mind on what makes a game feel good. It also happens to be the kinds of things that really really enjoyed about game programming.

You definitely need the juice. 

Here is another that I thought presented some good techniques.

Two videos worth watching. I was so excited after watching those two that I stayed up almost all night doing things I completely ignored to my then simple 2D space game.

It was incredibly satisfying, fun, and the biggest thing was it was easy. After all these years I missed something so obvious, the fun. It's of course in the explosions and the things going on on the screen.

So come along for the ride...

I don't plan on stopping any time soon so if you have followed me at all please keep doing so. I know I don't get the highest points for engagement. That really has never been my thing, mostly code has been it. But with itch I am really trying hard to get into marketing, building a community and being involved.

Call for help!

So if you can appreciate someone who really just takes a long time to "get with it" and want to help them out, please give me a shout out!

There is nothing like the motivation of knowing that what you do has an impact!

Thanks for reading and understanding!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Too many projects syndrome

The syndrome

As I sat down to write this I was trying to figure out what I should work on today. I started by going to my latest game project. An Android game using Love2D which are Lua bindings for one of my favorite libraries SDL. I had always enjoyed development using SDL in C/C++ and so found development  in Lua to be similarly enjoyable. Alas my current projects graphics are all pixel art. For which I use a tool I had built for myself. Writing your own tools during game development is not unheard of at all. I believe its kind of a necessity. Creating your own tools in game development gives you a lot of advantages and huge time savers. If your favorite image editor doesn't give you the fine grain control your looking for or convert to specific formats or provide a way to, um say bake in additional information into your images well you need to write a script or code something to do it for you. And even though I initially created the editor many years ago it's still missing lots of features and something of the things about it are limiting.   I have been meaning to open source it but I just haven't cleaned up the project enough yet. And there in lies the rub.

So whats 'the problem'...

Well I started thinking about all the other projects I have that I have ideas to enhance. I need to port a UI library I created in lua to java so that I can use it in my image editor, and java based games. I have a jogl based game that I want to convert to lwjgl. I have 3 old 2D map editors written in Java that could use some tlc. I have a code editor project, an os project, a programming language project. And of course not to mention the 12+ shelved game projects that got started worked to a point and abandoned.

For about a decade I have suffered from not having either the expertise, focus, time, or resolve to finish any game project. I have a treasure trove of projects that stemmed from what in my mind could be great games and fun projects. I would set them up and start to work on them. Ultimately getting stuck somewhere in the creative process which usually was not far into game development.  So I would drop that project for another idea entirely and repeat the same.

I have created more than a few tools along the way, from an image editor that I use often to build graphics for my frantic game project building project to full game building applications. All these half baked projects has taught me a tremendous amount about myself. What it really amounts to is that all this time I have really been simply practicing and practicing. But practicing like this does not produce many useful or playable games. Nor does it help in my goal to quit my day job. It does serve a very important purpose however. And that is that I can use each of these projects as a way to avoid the feelings that lead to wanting to drop a project because I have a ton of experiences that can help me identify when I am in the practicing mindset and when I am in the productivity mindset.

 In addition to learning how my personal process leads to failed projects. I have also vetted to various degrees a large number of game ideas. These ideas can be extremely useful. I still look back at some of the game ideas for projects in my collection. When I look at those projects I had a vision of the game I was trying to make. A lot of those games do not exist in the set of games available for me to play, leaving me with the same desire to bring those games to life.