GameDev Diaries II

It’s been a while since I last wrote a chapter on this diary. I know I promised to do it at least once a week but I’ve had a lot of work to do since January after landing two small freelance projects on mobile games. Despite all that work, I learned some new tricks midway.

Although I never continued it, during the first two months of the One Game A Month challenge I created two games using GameMaker. The first one was an interactive experience about freedom of speech; the second was a GPS simulator. I also had the chance to update Unitilities, my personal Unity library, there’s still a lot missing but it’s beginning to take shape; I’ll be updating its status in a later post.

By the end of March, I was already starting the aforementioned projects so my priorities changed. At first I missed sessions in Duolingo, and each day passing just made it worse; I am slowly trying to return to my previous habit.

I also failed my goal to do continue the 1GAM. Having done two games already in GameMaker, I was eager to begin using Phaser. My plan was to port a previous attempt of a puzzle game that I started in Unity, into Phaser; but due to certain deadlines, some irresponsibility and an uncertainty on the design of such game, I archived the project «to continue it later.»

The following month, I made a new attempt to do a new project I had wanted to do for a while, inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords. Because one of my goals was to learn the Unity 2D pipeline, I started watching several tutorials and made some programmer art. However I didn’t like the direction the project was taking and finally desisted on continuing it.

Meanwhile, I had a little existential crisis during these months: the infamous impostor syndrome. I got delayed on my deadlines and even spent a whole week addicted to Kerbal Space Program, which I almost had to uninstall.

But not everything was negative. Thanks to one of my freelance projects I started using Adobe Illustrator. I’ve always been familiar to Photoshop and frankly scared of Illustrator; vector graphics (in practice) were something new for me. For a couple of weeks I played around with the software, trying to do basic stuff, and later found several tutorials and spent almost a week watching them. Learning to create vector graphics wasn’t one my goals of 2015 but I’m glad to have done so. Also, I have been learning how to use the new Unity UI and I’m loving it.

As of now, I’m currently finishing one of the projects and starting another one. I also received part of the payment for that first project and my first instinct (after scrolling down my Steam wishlist, of course) was to pay my Android developer license. It feels great to spend money on learning and open yourself up to new possibilities.

Oh, and by the way, I began reading in my Kindle again! I finally finished reading Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely –great book but a bit too extended– and started with The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman; highly recommended for anyone interested in the design of software, games and experiences (or even for those curious of why things work the way they do).

I’m also trying a new approach: no work after 8 or 9 o’clock in the night. That way I can spend around an hour and half or two, blogging or distracting my self, and later an hour reading before going to sleep. I haven’t been able to stick to the plan (there’s always an excuse), but for the most part I do find it useful and necessary.

There’s this great quote by Jason Fried in his book REWORK, that goes like this:

Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they just use it up. The real hero is home because she figured out a faster way.

Hopefully, I’ll write more often in the future. For now, I think I’m gonna stick with a monthly schedule.

Leave a Reply