Possibly, maybe, hopefully? some of you might have noticed I haven’t been showing much code, graphics or general new stuff in months. There have been reasons for that tho:
The main reason; I lost my creative mojo for a bit.
During the wrapping-up work on Ashworld, and getting it ready for the mobile release, I started various little prototypes and tried to get some new stuff going. There was the adventure/exploration demo that was looking promising, but I couldn’t really get my head around a clear gameplay idea for it.
I also started on a Space Grunts 2, but didn’t get much further than having the characters walk around in a new level-generator and a huge lack of interest from my side on building a game around it.
The problem wasn’t so much with these prototypes, but more with my head not being in the right place to “create”. So I took time off, and also took some steps away from all the social media and interaction that we have these days as there’s a LOT of information and data coming at us on a daily basis which just isn’t helpful when you want to clear your head for new creative stuff.
So I’ve spend a lot of time hanging around Aline’s shop, which is another big thing we’re doing, and running a store changes the whole flow of our lives (running a store is an extremely busy and time-consuming thing!). So I also had that to deal with, and find my rhythm in all of that.
Luckily the shop is all about creative people doing craft stuff with things like paint, paper, foam, etc. So it’s not a bad environment to hang out in, and I did some claying and painting myself!
The final work things for getting Ashworld on mobile have been wrapped up last week, which was mostly getting the interface and controls correctly working, and wrapping up the app-store present. Very minor stuff that only needed to take a couple of days, but my head just wasn’t in it.
Luckily, the game is currently approved for release on the App store, and the target date is set: December 6th (Android will follow roughly a month later). So yay! it’s finally coming and it plays pretty sweet on mobile (disclaimer: I might be biased).
Ashworld took well over a year to develop, and I learned a lot of awesome new things in terms of game-design and code-design, but it also showed that a year-long development cycle doesn’t fit my style of game development. The world of games is changing all the time, and there are a huge amount of games released in a year. So business wise it’s a terrifying thing to commit to a year of development and then hoping to get a feature spot and hopefully enough sales to continue on the next game. Stressful, and dangerous!
It’s also a huge task to be diving into a single game every day for such a long time. I managed to break it up a bit by doing Meganoid 2017 back in January+February, but that only proves to me that slightly smaller games, with less fluff and more focussed gameplay, are much more fun to work on and judging how the players are still enjoying it 10 months later it’s do-able to create great good and fun games in shorter cycles.
So the last few months I used the time-off to refocus my head on what I want with my games, and what it is that I enjoy about the creation process. Having a clear head about things also made it easier to start on a new prototype, and I decided to get back to one of my favorite squad and design a new game around them (can you guess who from the picture?).
Currently got a very playable game running, not showing anything yet, since it needs a lot of content and content-changes, and I’m honestly not 100% confident in the outcome yet, but I’m aiming for a Februari 2018 release date so you’ll hopefully hear about it soon !