Week 93/94 – Unwinding and maintenance

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. For illustrated depictions of these events, visit my daily comics page.

Week 93 had a late start due to Kingsday, a dutch national holiday. On wednesday I had a call with Hubbub to plan out all the features we want to put in the next Home Rule beta (including a better name for the project), and on thursday I had a call with a potential new client, an illustration rushjob.

I spent the rest of the week doing administration and updating my portfolio. Google’s new policy is to give priority in their search results to sites that are mobile-friendly, so I dove into the world of responsive design and media queries to make my portfolio site adapt to all kinds of resolutions. It was a nightmare of weird glitches and quirks but it works now!

Last week also started out mellow because of the national war remembrance days. I made a little character animation for the folks at mindbreaker games who are working hard on their demo. It was nice to open After Effects after a long time and animate a little something using the latest version of the DUIK plugin, which is UHH-MAZING. Highly recommended if you do a lot of character animation.

Later in the week I finally sat down and upgraded Black Feather Forest to the latest version of the game engine. Miraculously nothing broke! There were a few weird thinhgs in transitioning from Unity 4 to 5 while simultaneously updating two plugins, but I managed to solve 90% of them in an afternoon.

I’m itching to continue developing Black Feather Forest. I realized a few weeks ago that it’s been a year since I started working on it. And I think almost half a year since I stopped development to rethink a few aspects. That stung, so I’m determined to carry on with it in the next few months. A Kickstarter may be inevitable.

But first Reconquista! I started that project up at the end of the week to add a few features and get it ready to launch. I expect that will happen in the next few weeks. The game is practically done, I just need to figure out one thing and then I can push it out the door. It makes no sense to leave it lying around for much longer.

Next week: new dailies and the kickoff of the third phase of Home Rule.

Week 40

This is a weekly recap of the goings-on in my professional life – to keep track of what I’m doing and to give you a peek at what it’s like being an independent creative.

Things really started coming together on my game this week. I’d been living mostly in a test environment last week where every game element was thrown together in one space, so when I created a proper scene with some nice background art it felt like things were going somewhere.

Early in the week I did some resolution tests, and uprezzed and tweaked the characters. I was pretty satisfied with the designs I had made but those were still considered placeholder so not nearly high enough resolution to use in the game, so I had to repaint the edges to tighten things up.

On thursday I sketched out the rest of the locations, and finally got some dialogue in the game so it actually started to feel like a game. It was time to make build 0.2. I also wrote a post explaining deltaTime for some guys on the Idle Forums, an elusive and abstract concept in programming.

On friday I had lunch with Niels ‘t Hooft to catch up and share our current projects. It’s great to chat with someone who shares your passion for a certain thing. After that I squashed some bugs and tightened up some UI elements then left everything be for the Kingsday holiday weekend.