In the Monday Musings I try to talk about the stuff that’s happening in the world of Game Development, from interesting game releases, to interesting technology, and game business happenings.
We live in a time where there are literally too many games to play. Every day there are various games released on various different platforms, by the end of the week, there are probably hundreds of new games “born”. Luckily most of us don’t want or need to play ALL of the games, as many games are simply not interesting to us.
But as a game developer, there are also way too many games to MAKE. So many ideas, so many things you want to try, and just not enough time!
I just came back from a week of vacation, which was wonderful, well timed (the weather was perfect) and most importantly: relaxing. Luckily my head was clear and I managed to stay away from doing any work, or even thinking too much about work.
As an indie-developer, you are pretty much “self-employed”, or in other words: your own boss. As fun as game development is, that also means there’s a lot of business things coming at you that you are always juggling: need to update these games on those platforms, need to fix a bug in that game on platform X, have to reply to a few mails because they might be interesting business opportunities, have to do payments, create invoice for this or that company, the list is long!
Any self-employed person will tell you: you are never really “free” from work. There’s always these thoughts in the back of your head about all sorts of things, and when you get a calm period where your ToDo list is pretty much empty, your brain will use the quiet moments to come up with interesting new projects.
Right now I’m already juggling multiple projects. I’m very much invested in getting Regulator City done asap, working on it since late 2021, and having investors on board, the game needs to see that finish line and do well.
Earlier this year I started a “smaller” project: Heroes of Loot 3: Gauntlet of Power, which has seen a good amount of development time and content creation already. Since it’s somewhat of a “side project” it doesn’t get as much time as I thought it would get. I had planned to work on it in evenings and on weekends, but my own energy and batteries haven’t been able to do much of that work in the “after hours” of my week, so development slowed down somewhat.
Then there is the co-op project with Studio VDS, which has been a struggle to get it in the right direction. The game so far hasn’t gotten to that “it’s fun!!!” place, and that makes it a difficult project to return to during my week and get it in shape – especially with my own batteries not being fully charged and the other projects being somewhat more important to the business of Orangepixel.
Too many game ideas
So it’s funny that recharging my own batteries during the vacation, only gave me more new game ideas that I wish I could work on – but simply don’t have time for!
I really, really, really, want to start work on a new Space Grunts game for the series. Returning to the original, but bigger and better with all the stuff I learned since that was released back in 2015.
When designing a new map for Regulator City I came up with the idea how much fun it could be to just, without any reason or goals, blow up a room full of stuff. Just grab a gun, enter the room, count-down: 3.. 2.. 1.. GO! and shoot the crap out of everything you see! Throw grenades, shoot rockets, just full mayhem, debris, destruction.. !!! ..
So.. yeah, a few other ideas slowly wanted to crawl into my head during vacation and recent weeks, but I’m trying to stay away from any new projects for now. I should finish the stuff I have going first!
Not just new games
Besides, I don’t just have the new games to worry about, I also have to update my Android and iOS titles again because Google and Apple make it a habit of forcing developers to update their apps or they remove them. No need to add new functionality, just rebuild against the latest SDK’s and re-upload it to their respective stores… Something I also had to do last September !
Perhaps that’s do-able if you got a bunch of interns or other folks working for you, but I’m just one guy, and now I have to dig through 10 or so games and see if I can rebuild them against the latest SDK’s without too many bugs that need fixing or other issues popping up! Upgrading my tools, the frameworks, the SDK’s and my own code!
Besides that I still have a “mystery project” in the works that has just been dead and untouched because of a lack of time and energy for it from my end, and then there are still games to push to Switch, Playstation and maybe XBox, although with Microsoft ending Xbox One support, I’m not exactly sure if we can release on the newer Xbox (actually, I don’t even know the order of all the Xbox devices, so not sure what is what!)
What I really need
Let’s just say it, I need a vacation! – and yes, I only just got back a week ago.. but if someone wants to take my wife and I to a nice sunny location for a week or 2 months, let me know!
Right now it’s just a phase I’m going through, usually this happens the weeks before vacation, but now it’s the week(s) after the vacation where it’s just hard to focus on the stuff that really needs to be done.
I’ll slowly get back in the rhythm of working on all these project, juggling all my tasks, and getting things done and released. So maybe, before the end of the year, I’ll get to work on one of the many other projects I need to push out of my head for now!
…and that’s not even mentioning all the games I still need to play!