Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by Indinera, Jan 6, 2013.
Congratulation Bram that's a nice achievement
So, how did my 2012 go? Well...
Add more fun and do more marketing for Kobo II, to hopefully sell more than symbolic numbers to mostly Kobo Deluxe fans.
I did release three tech previews that were increasingly "playable", but didn't get anywhere near what I had in mind. "Lost" at least half a year to engine coding and...
Actually make some money, one way or another. More contract work, most likely.
...contract work! So, at least I'm not bankrupt. Things are going to take even longer than originally intended - but I'm still in business.
Get a proper toolchain for ZeeSpace going, for less work, better results and smaller downloads.
Basically gave up on structured/procedural graphics for this game at some point, as it just seemed to require too much engine and tool development. However, doing anything reasonably good looking in GIMP is rather time consuming too...!
Find or write(!) a simple but effective Linux MIDI sequencer that doesn't crash all the time, or just frustrate me to no end. The state of these things is just ridiculous...
Actually, I didn't even bother. Turned out just hand-coding the music in Audiality 2 (formerly ChipSound) script worked better than expected, so I just kept doing that.
And, well... I dunno? Anything fun I can come up with, that might make some money, directly or indirectly.
No time for that...
So, all in all, I only got about halfway to my goals for 2012.
One thing that turned out better than expected though, is the Audiality 2 sound engine. (Formerly called ChipSound.) It's now doing multichannel modular synthesis with subsample accurate scripting, has a proper unit/plugin API and stuff - and it's all hard realtime. So, a few more simple DSP units, and that thing will do pretty much anything I ever wanted to do in terms of game audio.
New goals for 2013:
Keep working with my current main client. Less negotiations and research - more paid work!
Kobo II: Multiplayer! More fun! Proper levels! To speed things up without dumbing down the mechanics, I'm going to drop my custom physics engine for Chipmunk. A persistent scene graph rendering engine is going in, to improve performance and eliminate OpenGL from the scripting level.
New release of Kobo Deluxe! It's had somewhere around 200k downloads, and is also included with a few Linux distros and other things - but few of those players have any idea there is a related game in development!
Finish a small sidescroller I started working on: Project Pixelfire.
Port at least one game to OUYA - probably Project Pixelfire. (Too heavy scripting in Kobo II, so that's probably going to need a native compiler. Later...)
Get back up to speed with music! Almost dropped coding for music about two decades ago - but then I burned out, and this is about all I've done over the last 15 years. I'm beginning to realize I need to pick it up again to stay sane.
Last year's (2012) Goals:
1. Release our first Facebook game.
FAILED - it's not done yet! But we made a ton of progress.
2. Complete casual downloadable game.
SUCCESS - Shop-N-Spree 3 has been released with Big Fish Games
3. Begin work on our next big thing whatever that might be.
FAILED - Didn't have time
Overall 2012 wasn't a great year for the company, but I don't consider it a bad year personally. Learned a ton and had many fun vacations with my wife.
1. Complete move to our brand new house.
2. Work hard.
3. Release Facebook game.
4. Make enough from Facebook game to cover monthly expenses.
5. Start work on next thing (ooooh can't wait!).
1. port my games on at least 2 other platforms. --> SUCCESS!
2. release at least 2 new games. --> SUCCESS!
3. double my income. --> FAIL made about the same
2013, a bit more realistic:
1. make 2 or more new games.
2. try something new: a new platform and/or other monetization model.
3. earn more than 2012
In 2013, we will:
- Release Zombies & Trains! for iOS, Android, Mac and PC (launches in 1 month!).
- Release Heroes Guild, an RPG management game.
- Hopefully release 1-2 more smaller games.
- Do some more 48 hour game prototypes.
- Get better at marketing-fu (tweeting/facebook/blogging and all that).
Better get cracking!
Erm, why is 35 degrees bad? you could try OUR summer, which was basically rain. Lots of rain.
Yeah, rain... Lots of that here too - until suddenly, a few short weeks of "OMG everything's brown! My lawn is on fire! I'm on fire!"
So summary of last year:
Ship alpha "pathfinder" build of EverSky
Failed, mainly because I realized a new direction the game was taking me in and shifted towards it. It feels stronger for that. Its now called HOPE and is up on indiedb and greenlight as a "concept". I have something I can ship as alpha, but I'm doing a local alpha test first, so its only half-failed
Ship alpha "Damzel" build of EverSky and start accepting money for it (through whatever form).
Failed, see above. Decided I don't want money until I'm happy with it. Was considering kickstarter but ultimately decided not to. At least not yet.
Make enough from continuing development to pay for an artist to add content.
Same deal really. Decided against trying to get early funds. Just didn't feel right.
Continue my research and write a few more academic papers on Digital Actors
Success. Published a few papers in this area, furthered my research base. Switching to thesis only now though, so don't have to publish papers so much. Probably a good thing as it takes forever to write a paper. Did get in 2 books this year though, which was good.
I also shipped a prototype that got us venture capital money, went through the whole VC startup experience and learnt a lot from that about what I don't want to do (I'm really not motivated by money it seems).
My goals for this year:
Build out the game to the point where I am happy for a public alpha (not too far off).
Continue building up a community, posting info and generally being "out there"
Get one of these android based console thingies and get a quick game out on them
Find an artist to partner with
Finish my PhD (very unlikely, but one can hope).
I think I'd prefer the rain. 35 is getting uncomfortable, and we've had a week of 35+ lately with one day getting to 45C.
It's not that I like rain, but with the current global climate totally FRAKKED by the global warming, either you get all rainy days of some places like UK, or if you're in Italy you get 35°C AND humidity (didn't rain for 3 months, but was still humid) and you simply CAN'T work. And you can't even go outside! I remember we went one morning to take a walk in a mountain nearby at 1000m and was already 26°C at 7AM :|
If you try just one summer here when there are such temperatures I'm sure you won't complain about the rain anymore
Then come to Rio... we managed this year to achieve nothing less then 49 degrees!!
Thank God now is cooler, on our usual 32-35
I'd love to visit Rio. When my ship comes in...
At risk of starting a certain type of contest, there's a town here called Oodnadatta that up to a few days ago hadn't had a day below 40 all year, and had several days over 50. Apparently the weather bureau has added a new color to their temperature range because this is becoming normal... sigh.
Perhaps my resolution needs to be to keep cool...
A quick (possibly grim) reminder to my fellow indie game developers.
More than half of 2013 has passed.
I hope you are well on track to your 2013 goals.
If not... work harder!
PS: For me personally, I have made a lot of progression, and should hit my goals. Only the twitter follower count is lagging, so if you feel like it: @BramStolk
grim is an understatement... I guess that's what I get for only working 5 hours a week on game development :/
5 hours a week!?!! I DREAM of 5 hours a week!?!! :-(
Well, it's been a close shave... Too many unexpected problems with my main client's project, so that basically has to be put on hold for now. I have to move on.
I've considered more contract work, but there's a lot of overhead, and either low pay or too high risk.I have two kids and live in the wrong part of the world, so I need to make (relatively speaking) ridiculous amounts just to pay the bills. The "right" kind of contract work can pay really well, but it's too unpredictable. Can't have that as a main source of income.
On the upside, I may have found a really nice local job! So, chances are I'll soon have a proper income AND some time for game development. Wasn't planing on ever having a full time job again, but the current situation is just a complete waste of time. I'd even be better off completely pausing game development for a year or two, saving up for a restart budget.
Pro tip: Don't finance game development with contract work, unless it's predictable stuff, or you can charge by the hour at all times.
I feel your pain David, I've been there and it's not easy :-(
For me everything is still possible I guess... but I am not working on my games as much as I should be doing right now...
How did everyone pan out in 2013?
I was off the map in 2012 but did release two projects in 2013. They were not picked up by any commercial portals nor publishers so they're hanging out on my own website. A third project is in the works but contract work has pushed it for a 2014 release.
Failed spectacularly, thanks in no small part to a game that was due to be finished February 2013, STILL not being finished due to lack of artwork. This had a knock-on effect to my other project which I can now barely afford to fund development of. To say I'm annoyed, does not even come close. Once people have had a wad of cash off you, they don't give a flying shit. It's my own fault, in that I let my guard down a little. Never again. You do the work in full, THEN you get paid IN FULL. As it stands, if the game artwork still isn't delivered by 31st December (and I'm 99% sure it won't be), I have to fork out more money and instruct lawyers to sort it out.
I didn't even get near mobile development yet. A real shitty year, all in all.