Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Quick catch up

So last week, I worked to consolidate my menus into one script file.  So when I want to display any menu it calls the one file and from there the correct scene.  Later, I hope to change this to use only one scene to display the menus.  This shouldn't be such a big job so I'm happy to leave it until the project is functional when I'm optimising the entire game.  I was also working to resolve this one particular issue last week for ages, but now that I'm over that I can press on :)

I have to say my break down development plan has really helped me focus on what tasks I need to achieve and I'll definitely be doing this more in the future.  The times I spend on it each day do vary i.e. with this one issue I spent a lot more time than my estimated length to sort it so it has obviously had an impact on the remainder of my workload.

Out of 20 tasks I have 15 left to do.  Ok, so not massive progression, but I'm getting there slowly and I can track exactly how much work I have left.

I'm getting through Mass Effect 3.  I haven't sunk a vast amount of time into it, but I am prioritising my Unity work over it.  At the mmoment I think this is alright.  I think I'm 16 hours in so that's not too bad, it is quite hard to avoid the constant discussions about the ending though. I find I have to run away from people "lalala-ing" with my hands over my ears to keep myself from being prematurely exposed.  Soon I'll be safe to listen again in public.

I've also written short extension to my bounty idea which I'll be posting probably next week. I'm not sure whether to keep writing in a linear fashion for this idea or move on to something else.  Time will tell.

So, April's going well so far.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

March is over, so what's left for April?

I've been slacking a lot recently in regards to updating this blog and I know I should really go into detail of what I've been up to but I'm afraid I'm going to keep this quite short.

My targets in March were to finish Blue Toad Murder Files and complete the PC version of my mobile game.  Blue Toad Murder files is now complete and I have learned a lot about from this short game about story telling and game design for a "Whodunnit" game of today.  I do want to try and sum all of this up within a short dissection later in the month, but we'll see how things go.

The PC version of my mobile game has not yet been finished.  I started making good progress with this project convinced that releasing a PC demo version of the game would be the best way to get feedback early into how successful this idea would be and of course the most that I could manage financially.  And then Unity did the most amazing thing, they released the Unity Android and iOS versions of their engine for free until 8th April.  I had to take advantage of this great turn of events as I was going to create my game for mobile devices.  It was only the cost that was really stopping me from going down that route straight away, and now their was no problem.  Also as I'm developing the game within Unity I could quickly edit what I had already done to suit a mobile device.

So now I have redefined my development timeline to get a mobile prototype up and running.  This is going well so far and I'm learning a lot in javascript thanks to Codeacademy.  However, I think this target is going to be longer than a month as I'll be learning as I'm developing and with work projects and my other personal tasks this year, I think spreading this target out over a couple of months is a good decision.

So what's next for April?  I'd like to set myself a game and project task this month again.  I've started playing Mass Effect 3, the last in a great sci-fi RPG series by Bioware.  This isn't going to be a straight forward 10 - 20 hour game.  I need to sink a good 40 hours into this game to truly appreciate it all and I wouldn't want to rush through it for the sake of completing a target.  But with my mobile project running alongside playing this game, I wouldn't be able to do both of these at once without one or both suffering.

So I am going to run both of these tasks over the next two months.  That should give me enough time for each.

Additionally, I want to try to keep up writing creatively specifically coming up with short stories about anything and everything.  Whether this is a excerpt from a small idea I have had or a fully fleshed out short story I don't know, but I need the practice to ensure I improve writing storylines for missions in levels or entire game plots.

So April/May's tasks are:

  • Complete Mass Effect 3
  • Create a functional version of my mobile game in Android (can't afford a Mac to develop for iOS sadly)
  • Complete an original piece of creative writing
This should be an interesting couple of months (yes this was a short post :))