Category: Weekly Updates
Well, it's 2011 now. Just under two years left to go before the world will totally and for sure end!!1 o_O
I like the thought of writing New Year's Resolutions, but I don't know if I can think of many this year. Let's see what I can come up with:
1. I should try to finish at least, uh... four games this year? Four seems a doable amount. I hope.
2. I should learn from past mistakes and try to avoid feature creep, try to minimise development time, etc...
3. I should stick to a better schedule or something, planning my tasks out in advance and *having weekends off*; so often, I've worked all day every day and spent much of that time procrastinating just because I have no time marked as definitely free.
4. I should try to overcome my anxieties slightly?
5. It'd be great if by the end of the year, living with my girlfriend in a house of our own looked more like a reality than a distant dream...
6. Getting FHO working by the end of the year is a goal I am aiming for, but I don't know how realistic it is.
Hmm... I'm having difficulty thinking of more than that. If I think of more, I shall edit the list, I suppose.
Let's look back at the last year and see what I've actually achieved...
I released MARDEK 3. And that's about it. That's my whole year. And during its release, I felt like I had a sort of breakdown and now my anxieties are perhaps worse than they were before that... o_O
So not very good, all in all.
Towards the end of the year, I worked on Clarence's Big Chance and mostly finished it, relatively quickly compared to my other games. I hope to make this a habit: making relatively short games and finishing them fairly quickly, rather than trying to focus on loads of projects at once and abandoning most of them.
I feel like I've done a lot of learning this year, actually. After I released MARDEK 3, I approached various creative hobbies differently.
I started using ActionScript 3 rather than ActionScript 2, aiming to use better Object Oriented Programming approaches and intending to make cleaner, reusable code. It feels like I've succeeded somewhat, and looking at old code is embarrassing.
I also learned about music theory stuff I didn't know before; listening to my old music is similarly embarrassing since it was based on ignorance of how music is actually built. I feel like I've come a long way just by learning some fairly basic things, like chord theory, etc...
I think I also changed this site to a new version, didn't I? In doing so, I improved my knowledge of PHP immensely and wrote much cleaner, faster code which makes the site run much more smoothly.
Even though I don't draw often, I still feel I've improved with even that, learning stuff about how to draw humans better.
So I feel like the latter half of the last year marked a huge change in the way I approach my creative works. I feel like I really want to move away from the idea of me as someone who spends forever finishing anything and abandons most things, who doesn't know how to stick to plans and who promises things I never deliver.
I don't like that that was ever true of me, and I've been trying hard to change, so... hopefully this year, 2011, will be much better in many ways, productivity-wise.
I'll be contacting sponsors about Clarence's Big Chance tomorrow; I've been delaying it since I'm nervous about it and also didn't want to bother people at Christmas or the New Year. Tomorrow, Monday, seems like a good day to mark on my calendar as the day I must do it, no matter how hard it is for me.
Hopefully soon after that, I'll release the game, finally... and hopefully people will actually enjoy it!
I've already thoroughly planned my next project though.
To avoid hype, I won't go into particular detail about it. I'll just give a general idea of the gist of it.
It will be an RPG, separate to any RPGs I've made before. I want to use everything that I learned from MARDEK to make a much 'neater'-feeling game (neater to me, that is, in its inner workings), in AS3, as practice for future RPG projects in AS3.
With MARDEK, I copied what was tried and true; in many ways, the battle system and other mechanics were very much a typical JRPG.
While this new RPG will have many things in common with MARDEK in terms of mechanics, I want to try out some innovations on the formula to hopefully make a more satisfying and accessible experience. I'll be trying to completely eliminate any need for grinding, for example; in fact, it won't even be *possible* to grind in the game.
I'm excited about the new mechanics stuff, but please don't ask me about them or suggest anything; I am content with them but don't want to talk about them before I've *made* anything.
The game will be set in a new world I've designed and given a more detailed history and backstory and stuff than the worlds in my other games. The world is called 'Alora Fane', and I intend to set at least four games in it, HOWEVER they will be separate games rather than parts of a series. The 'Regression' game has its own self-contained story with a beginning and end.
It's a relatively short story, but not too short, and is based around the theme of changing one's past to fix mistakes and hopefully build a better future as a result of doing so. It's a rather personal story, and I'm eager to work on it since it'll mean a lot to me when I do.
I've planned the project to be neat and tidy, low on necessary features, so it should be relatively quick to make (I'd estimate 2-3 months, but that's a wild stab in the dark since I've yet to even start it). Something I definitely want to do is avoid 'feature creep', which plagued MARDEK; I've planned out exactly what features I will add, and I won't decide half way through development to add any more.
(I tried doing this with CBC, and it worked. So hopefully I can keep it up.)
I've written detailed plans for the game's mechanics and story, and I'll start developing it maybe tomorrow, or next week sometime, while waiting for the sponsors to get back to me about CBC.
So yes, that's that, I suppose!