How to back up your game project with GIT (for free)

Talking to indie devs, the topic of backing up game projects often comes up. They know they should, but they don’t know how or it seems too complicated. I was there too, but since I started using GIT, I never want to live without it. So I thought I’d write a GITting started guide (sorry). This isn’t by any means the way to do it, it’s just what I’ve found to work best for me.

August 2019 update: wrote a new and easier workflow with screenshots now that Github offers free private repos too.

STEP 0: …What the hell is GIT?

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The gamedev tricks I used to make Coyote

While making the Coyote remake in Unity, I had to make some interesting game design decisions. I figured you might enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at some of these details.

Coyote was originally a fully 2D game, but for the remake I found the perfect asset package to build the town with instead of redrawing everything. I knew I would have otherwise never made the one-week-deadline of the Remake Jam. But a switch from 2D to 3D comes with its own unique set of challenges:

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I’m back baby

I’ve been away. Not just from blogging, but from creating, too.

My creativity goes through phases, where I know very well what I want to achieve, and I burst with energy. Then, I go a bit too hard or I go down some rabbit hole, and I lose my way for a bit. Sometimes it’s a few days, sometimes a month. I’ve learned to recognize this and take it as a sign that I need to refill my creative tank.

But the past two weeks were different. I didn’t feel like creating, but I also couldn’t quite remember why I wanted to create. And not in the sense that I literally forgot, but just that I couldn’t feel it anymore. There was a big empty silhouette in the spot where my passion used to be. And damn I had no idea how to fix that. I had a lot of cool projects I could work on but I didn’t feel like it. Refilling the creative tank with cool shows/games/art didn’t work either. Plus I also felt held back by the muscles in my arm being overloaded recently, and worries about houses and friendships and more. It was a weird time.

What got me out of it was the Netflix show Sex Education. Aside from being very good, it reminded me of something I had forgotten: authenticity.

I’ve been working on a bunch of prototypes for games recently, and while they are all good game ideas, I realized they were missing something: my authenticity. I was so focused on mechanics and scope and marketability that I didn’t realize these prototypes felt hollow because they didn’t include enough of me. A relatable character, an experience I’ve had, a place I’ve been, a theme that I struggle with. I need to start from there again.

In the words of Kanye:

I just needed time alone with my own thoughts
Got treasures in my mind but couldn’t open up my own vault
My childlike creativity, purity and honesty
Was honestly being crowded by these grown thoughts

Minimal Raider released

Happy new year! I’m starting 2019 off right with the release of a small game I worked on at the end of 2018: Minimal Raider, my submission for the #tombraiderjam on itch.io.

I’ve always been a fan of the Tomb Raider franchise, so I had to seize this opportunity to play with the formula. And I learned a lot doing so, as this is my first fully 3D third-person game. (It doesn’t even use Adventure Creator!)

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Big reputation, big reputation

The first thing I watched on Netflix in 2019 was Taylor Swift’s Reputation tour. I loved 1989, but I hadn’t really checked out her newest album yet (or any other album), so: great excuse. And it reminded me why I like Taylor; the phenomenon around her has gotten immense, but in the center is still this genuine likeable person – who still genuinely loves what she does.

When I realized this, I had to draw the moment.

2018 recap

2018 has been a funny one. Even though it’s technically been a quiet year for Hedgefield lots has happened still.

Intern

For starters, I had my first intern! Kim Leunen from the HKU asked if she could intern with me for a few months, so every week we sat down and spent the day making games.

It was really refreshing to work with someone from the game world again. And like me, Kim started from illustration and now wanted to tell interactive stories, so our design vision was very similar.

We wrote a new concept from the ashes of Black Feather Forest, and built a prototype for her girlscout forest adventure game (a recurring theme in my career by now). I look forward to seeing what she creates.

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Inktober 2018 selection

I don’t usually get around to doing inktober, but this year I was doing a lot with my iPad Pro, so it was easier to roll into it. What helped me especially was not to try and do the prompts list, but just draw whatever was on my mind that day. If there is an emotion behind it, I find it’s easier to start drawing.

Hey Frank, isn’t that your horse?

godless

I’m enjoying Godless on Netflix a lot so far. Though as much as they market it as “it’s a western town full of women!”, it’s the small scenes with Jeff Daniels that steal the show. Like this one.

Back out West

This week is Remake Jam on itch.io, which brought me back to my first (finished) game project, Coyote. I’ve been wanting to make a sequel to that for ages, but I’ve got enough games I need to finish first. But in the context of this jam, I thought it might be fun to rebuild the original in Unity, using everything I’ve learned since 2011. I’m not sure I can pull it off in one week, but it’s already been fun to rebuild the town in 3D (using this great asset store package) and recreating the intro. I’m excited to work on this further.

Ocean Boy, the investigation of why I like stories at sea

I realized recently that I have a fascination for the ocean.

It felt like it came out of nowhere, but when I traced it back, it was surprised to find that it’s been something in the back of my mind for a very long time. Check this out:

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