Hedgefield Quarterly Review 2020.the-rest-of-it

Hello there, nice to see you again. I was going to write one of these each quarter, wasn’t I? Well, it’s been a weird year. I hope you’re all doing okay out there.

It’s been 9 months since I started working exclusively from home. In the beginning I loved it, then I hated it for a bit, now I generally enjoy it. I built a really nice home office, but, I don’t think it’s been my most productive period. Not because of working from home, but mostly I’m missing people. People to bounce ideas off of, laugh with, motivate me, and experience new things with. I’m super thankful I have a great wife here with me or I’d probably go a bit mental, but I definitely don’t feel as inspired as I normally would. I didn’t expect that to be such a thing, but here we are.

Still, I did things:

The thing I’m most pleased with this year is the Off-Stage remaster. I’m dilligently working through the original pages and reworking them for a modern vertical scroll format. I’ve also taken the opportunity to update the writing; It’s interesting how some things hit differently five years later. Small tweaks to tone or wording or swapping a dumb joke for a clever bit of dialogue is improving the whole. And it shows, engagement is better this time despite me doing very little marketing. I’ll be continuing with it into 2021.

Read it on Webtoons, Instagram, or the website.

Secondly, I have to mention Immer. This spunky app startup by friends of mine has led to more freelance work this year than I could have imagined. Halfway through the year I got more involved in a major way, and I’m proud to have contributed to the first version that’s live on the App Store. The last few months I’ve been helping design version 2.0 with lots of UX and design improvements, so I look forward to shipping that in 2021.

Check it out at Immer.app.

I didn’t ship a game in 2020, but I still spent plenty of time in Unity, working on projects old and new.

I mentioned Captain Snow last time, that’s been a fun playground to build on what I learned during development of Minimal Raider. I’m excited by what it can become, but it needs some more time in the oven.

Figuring out what the next Hedgefield Game should be is daunting at times. I needed to have some fun just building something in between. So, just for myself, I’ve started a little prototype of a Hitman-like. I keep coming back to that franchise, and making something similar has been on my list for a while. I thought of a pretty cool twist on the formula, though honestly I had the most fun writing the NPC AI system.

Though the most likely candidate for my next game release is Last Voyage Of The Yerlova. It’s an idea/prototype that I’ve been trying to figure out for several years. Currently I’m writing a new story and game design doc with my old intern Kim, and rebuilding the bones of the prototype. I’m ready to do something 2D and adventure-like again, I feel like those are still my roots.

Most recently I started a little pet project for the winter months, inspired by this very good video. I spent a lot of time in various forests and nature reserves this summer, I truly love wandering around there. As the leaves fall and the weather gets cold and wet, I turned to my game engine to virtually recreate the experience somewhat. It’s a fun way to learn more about procedural level generation using MapMagic.

And finally, I decided to review my branding, something I expect to do more with in 2021. I always use illustrations or screenshots in my marketing, letting the work speak for itself, but also hiding behind it a bit. I thought it would be fun to do a photoshoot with a local photographer that I used to run into at the coffee place when I lived downtown. We walked through our beloved hometown, and Angélica shot some fantastic photos that I’ll be enjoying and putting to good use.

Verdict

So all in all it’s been a pretty alright year. Can’t complain about my earnings or the work I’ve gotten to make, I just hope for 2021 I can structure it a little better and mostly feel better working on it.

There’s probably stuff I’m forgetting, but I’ll let you get out of here. I’ve got to go and write the next post about what creative work by others I enjoyed this year. See you there!

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