Time keeps on slipping

I often,  have written about the passage of time, in my blog posts. With good reason too, as we have a very limited amount of time to exist, as we are, on this planet. We are here and gone in a blink of an eye. I personally believe this is important to remember every day, to try and make sure that a sense of urgency stays present, so that thought can become realized action.

In that light, deadlines are starting to creep in, and  I can feel the fires beneath my feet begin to burn hotter as time moves on. One such deadline , that I have given the current project, is an igf submission this year. (If you’re saying to yourself, what’s an igf, follow this link Independent Games Festival)

The submission deadline is four months from today. I feel like the project is ,in no way a ready state, right now; and four months seems like a real short time to get things up to snuff, when I struggle to get time in on the project every week. Again though, it is motivating. It also looks like they changed their rules, so even if the game doesn’t do well in it’s submitted state, I can always resubmit the same game next year, as long as it wasn’t a finalist, which is encouraging.

My main hurdles to progress this year have been trying to be a lone wolf doing a 3d game. By lone wolf, I mean completely a lone. No outside contractors at all. This is very challenging. I had a friend who had signed on to do the music for the game, but at the end of the year last year, decided to up and move to Oregon on a whim, and didn’t take any of his equipment with him, so that fell through. And of course back in 2014 when the current project iteration started, my artist didn’t work out.

So, this has left some challenges.  My skill set, while versed in graphic design, and having experiemented with 3d modeling, has been lacking.

I ended up buying zbrush last year, so have been learning sculpting, and skinning and animation in blender. I am still working to really nail this part of my pipeline down. This is getting closer, but there is still a great need for assets in this area.

In addition, the audio assets now fall on me as well. I have played music guitar, piano, and bass, sang semi-professionally. <tangent>Before I tore my uvula from PT shouting when I was 17, and altered my throat, my uvula now is stretched out and sits on my tongue at rest, and I can no longer sing like I used to be able to .</tangent> So I can write music, have since I was 11, however drums have always been a challenge for me, and I never really had much exposure to them. So that is another skill I’ve been working to develop the last four months. I bought a digital drum kit in February. I’ve made pretty decent progress, but this is also still a struggle for me.

Coding wise, I have created a lot of really cool systems, but there are still many processes/systems that need to be coded, and then hooked up to content.  The narrative content itself is fleshed out completely for the entire game for the main story beats, however dialogue, and filler content still need to be written.

In addition to a narrative/story mode, the game is also slated to have 3 other modes. These modes are designed to be test beds for the story mode, but also have some interesting rule sets and content that the story mode won’t have.

The saving grace of this project, is the age that we are in right now. Never have there been such a collection of tools that are available to everyone to create games like this. Software like blender, Unity3d, and zbrush empower one person to make a 3d game in their spare time. There are so many other tools out there too! These just happen to be the ones I’m currently using.

It is the sweet and sour of this day and age, there are so many options and so much  cool stuff out there, that there is no way anyone person can experience and do all the cool shit that is available in this day and age, but one can try!

In addition, I also need to make the games website, which I’ve set up back in 2014 but haven’t had time/motivation to create yet.There are a lot of business tasks to complete as well, but not by October so that is a relief.

I am going to be aiming to blog at least once a week from here on in as well, simply to share some of the stuff that I’m doing with the game, and to get back to it, I’ve been pretty spares about it the last couple of years. Thanks for reading, back to work.