2016 look-ahead

We looked back at 2015 earlier this month, now it’s time to look ahead at all the things coming for Hedgefield in 2016.

Finish developing Last Voyage Of The Orlova

I started this project last summer with the intention to finish it up in a month or two, but then I got caught up in other things eventually leading me to my current job at Yoast, so the development timetable for this project has been stretched out somewhat. But this year I’m definitely finishing it and putting it out in itch.io.

Work with some cool people on 7 Days Of Klement

I can’t tell you what it is yet, but this year I’m working on a game spearheaded by Sytze Schalk, though I’m keeping my role in it limited to some design and prototyping work, leaving the heavy lifting to contractors. But that’s a great opportunity to involve some people I’ve wanted to work with.

Write a new draft for Black Feather Forest

This again? Yes. I’ve done a lot of thinking about this game since I completed the vertical slice in 2014. It was way too ambitious, while still missing some crucial mechanics. So I’m slowly writing a new draft, and so far it’s looking pretty solid. 2017 here I come.

Draw more

It sounds weird considering my day job IS drawing, but I want to make more quick little drawings in my free time and learn new techniques. Just get better at it, basically.

I’ll be talking more in-depth about these things in my newsletter, so sign up for that.

 

2015 review

2015 was a great year. I moved to a new apartment, got a sweet job as an illustrator and celebrated being together for two years with my girlfriend.

Professionally it was also a great year, and I hit nearly all of the goals I had set for 2015.

[X] Earn more revenue than in 2014

I more than doubled my income from freelance activities last year compared to the year before, and had a good spread of work throughout the year.

[x] Diversify client base

I also succeeded in doing business with more new clients, some of which have become friends, and I had a great time working with them. I’m sad to see my main squeeze of 2015 Hubbub going into hibernation, but there is something poetic about it coinciding with me scaling back my own operation too now that I work for Yoast as an illustrator.

[x] Draw daily comics

I didn’t last all year, but I wanted to start doing dailies again in 2015 and I did. They were a fun extention of my weekly blog posts (which have now evolved into a newsletter).

I also intended to start up Off-Stage again and draw a page a week there, but I just couldn’t fit it into my schedule.

[x] Make a small (adventure) game and publish it on Itch.io

Reconquista was a small game idea I got from a dream, and it was my first 3D game and my first commercial game. I’ve always given away my games for free, but it’s a great feeling to earn money from one. It wasn’t much but it was a nice shot in the arm. I made another small (free) game too for the Idle Thumbs Wizard Jam, so technically this was a two-hit combo!

Itch.io is fast becoming my favorite indie game marketplace, and I contributed to the dutch translation of the desktop client that was just released.

And one of my definite highlights that I could not have foreseen at the start of 2015 was spending a week in the Torenkamer for a dutch radio show, making a game.

More exciting things happened in 2015 that will also carry over into 2016, so sign up for my newsletter to hear about that.

And 2016 is starting off well – I’m enjoying my new job, there’s a cool freelance gamedev project starting this month and lasting all throughout the year (more on that once the embargo is lifted) and it was just announced that Adriaan de Jongh is in Forbes’ 30 under 30 list of game designers. I’m proud to have worked with him on Fingle and Bounden, the innovative games that kicked off our careers.

So a happy new year to you all!

Week 120 – Change

This is a weekly recap of what has been going on in my professional life. It’s to keep track of what I’m up to and to give you a peek at what it’s like being an independent creator.

This is the last weeknotes blogpost.

Because I am changing the format. Like Ive said in previous posts, now that I have a fulltime job I won’t have something to write about my own projects every week.

So instead, like I mentioned before, I’m launching a newsletter.

I’ll be sending the first one soon, which has updates on all my current projects with some exclusive images. Sign up for it now so you don’t miss it! Follow this link and leave your email adress.

It’s been fun writing these posts for the past two years, and I look forward to browsing through some random ones to see what I was up to back then. I’ll miss having this moment with you guys every monday though, but instead I’ll use that time to draw off-stage again and work on some backburner game projects, and fill this blog with art again, like it was intended. And then I’ll let you know how things are going about once a month via the above newsletter. It’s better that way. And I can’t wait to talk to you guys over there. It’s gonna be fun.

Catch you on the flip side.

Week 119 – penultimate

This is a weekly recap of what has been going on in my professional life. It’s to keep track of what I’m up to and to give you a peek at what it’s like being an independent creator.

Last week I drew more artwork for Yoast. It’s a change of pace from game development where you’re focused on one project and draw lots of assets for it, while here each blogpost is a little project and has a turnaround time of a few days, so there’s lots of small moments of completion and release, which is nice.

I also drew some assets for Embodied Games and made a few mockups for some new interface elements in Vrije Vogels, the Hubbub museum game. It should be appearing in the App Store in the coming months so I can finally show you what we’ve been working on.

Doing the work was hampered by the fact that I don’t yet have internet in our new apartment, so I went down to the restaurant around the corner to mooch off of their free wifi. Staying connected proved to be a real challenge though, and when it was finally stable and I was doing a pull from a Git repo my laptop crashed with a BSOD. Sigh. Getting a photoshop file from the Creative Cloud account I use at Yoast proved to be an equally cumbersome process. But eventually I got everything done.

Then came Moving Day at the end of the week. It took the better part of the day but we managed to squeeze everything into our new apartment. Incredible how much stuff we had amassed. Now one more week until the girlfriend is done with her job and we can start putting everything together again.

Next week: home improvement and the launch of the newsletter.

Week 118 – orchestrated chaos

This is a weekly recap of what has been going on in my professional life. It’s to keep track of what I’m up to and to give you a peek at what it’s like being an independent creator.

As M-Day (moving day) draws nearer, it occupies more and more of my thoughtspace. I didn’t really accomplish much between working my last two days at my side job (hooray!) working two days at my new job, and cleaning the new apartment. We received the key on thursday and I slept there overnight. Going to work and especially coming back from work to this new place definitely feels good. All the shops are closeby, so it’s easy to grab whatever I need and forgot at home (which is a lot, turns out).

I completed my first illustration at my new job this week, which was published over here. Hooray!

As for the poll from last week, the results so far are unanimously telling me I should go for the newsletter idea, so I will. More on that soon.

Next week: Free birds, alien foods and wifi woes.