Dev-Diary: 52

Hey all! A lil’ ol’ Dev-Diary time!

So I’ve been trying to power through this new project as much as I can in-between my paid work. It’s coming along! Getting there! Kinda slow but definitely making steady progress. The only thing slowing me down is actual available time to work on this project, but despite that I have still managed to rebuild about 80% of the original game-jam game in a much cleaner way, as well as expanded in numerous areas, including a total UI redesign from the original layout!

I’m keen to see how it goes. It will almost certainly take longer than just the end of January to complete, but I also see this project not consuming much of this year at all (hopefully, as I would like to get back to my primary project!)

Anyways, I’m going back to work, so to tie this update off I’ve left a screenshot below of one of the game screens in it’s current bare-bones form!

Till next time, all the best!
^,,^

MIS:Screenshot

Dev-Diary: 51

Boom! New Year! Happy 2019! Hope everyone is doing well!

So let’s start with the end of last year. As seems to be the tradition, December was mostly full of family events, work, and general insanity. It was very busy to say the least. I did manage to get some dev work done, but it was mostly small updates, readjusting my schedule, and preparing for the new year. Progress was made.

So now that is out of the way, what’s coming up? Well the primary project is on hold for about a month while I work on something new(-ish). Remember I mentioned a game jam last dev-diary? Well last month I was also figuring out how to turn that into a releasable project. And so I am! I’ve already re-written a lot of the original functions, and I’ve been revising a lot of the concepts and mechanics. It’s not a big game, quite small actually, and is hopefully achievable in the time-frame I am setting myself.

So what is it? Well unlike my larger work which is super-duper secretive, this one is just a fun little resource management game full of chaos, stress, and space pirates~ Nothing to show for it right now as I am still writing all the delicious code, but hopefully later this month. Or just wait and see it completed hopefully next month! Or later, who knows! Time is an illusion and I am constantly super busy!

So that’s me!
Till next time, all the best~!

^,,^

Dev-Diary: 50

Oh what 50 Dev-Diaries on this site go me! I have been doing this for over 2 years! (not to mention the monthly Dev-Diaries I have been doing on Newgrounds and DeviantArt).

So! What has happened lately? The primary project has been making progress; I’ve been assembling the main world which is taking time but going well! All the large models are done (minus finalising textures), and most of the collision set-up has been done as well. I’m also about half-way through setting up the overworld base-scripts. Getting there! However a combination of delays and other-things have forced my hand to delay the originally intended release date of this work. This came at a combination of maintaining my mental health, as I have been pushing myself way too hard, and not wanting to cut corners. When I originally undertook this project I wasn’t too sure what I was getting into, but it has really taken over me (in a good way!) and I want to do it justice. It deserves to be done right, so that everyone can share in the experience and enjoy it; the way it was originally meant to be enjoyed!

Side-note for those of you paying attention; the game-jam went well! I whipped up a little stress-filled resource-management game. I’m happy with how much I was able to achieve in such a short time! I want to touch back on it one week and upgrade it into a releasable version one day and just throw it out there, but we shall see how that goes!

Anyways, it is the end of the year almost! Hopefully I will be able to do my usual mid-month update as well, but considering how busy it is this time of year, who knows! But, to celebrate the 50th  Dev-Diary on this website, I’ll leave you with not one, but TWO screenshots from the current build of the game. The world is still very empty, but at least you can see things coming together now. Till next time, all the best~! ^,,^

THE:Screenshot

THE:Screenshot

Dev-Diary: 49

Oh snap it’s Dev-Diary time!

So far November has been pretty full-on; I took some time to chill after releasing ‘core_ailtt.exe’ and then jumped right back into working on the primary project. Been busying assembling the game world! Hopefully I can get *all* the modelling done by the end of this month, minus clutter, so that next month I can get working on all the world scripts and start setting up all the character scripts! Fingers crossed I stay on target! I have a deadline after-all… ^^”

Despite that, I am taking this weekend away from my main work to participate in a small local game-jam (that I am actually co-hosting) just to work on something different for a change so I can come back to my main work with fresh eyes, so hopefully that goes well! :)

As always, till next time all the best~!
^,,^

memories

Dev-Diary: 47

Hey all!

So firstly, sorry for not posting mid-month in September like I usually do, the first couple of weeks for me were slow and tiresome with both work and personal stuff, and as such there wasn’t much to post about. I’ve definitely fallen behind (again) so I’m trying to get everything sorted out as best I can. It’s a pretty taxing project, but I am getting through it!

So instead, let’s focus on success and cool stuff! I did manage to get almost all the character models done! How awesome! The only thing they all lack are animations and final textures, but almost all the characters have models that have been rigged and unwrapped! Character modelling is definitely one of the most challenging things to do for this project so I wanted to get them done and out of the way, and now I have enough to work with so I can focus on environments instead! Yay!

Also bonus cool info; I participated in a panel at OZComicon Sydney the other day discussing ‘Video Games, Ethics, and Their Place In Our Society’. I hadn’t done public speaking for quite a long time, and definitely not to a more random crowd as the one found at a convention (I have previously spoken at lectures before a few years back), but despite being terrified I had a grand time and hope I get more opportunities to speak in the future!

I have a lot of background work to do this month for the project, and I will be very busy with that. Hopefully I can get the rest of the characters finished up and get the blueprints done for the environments so I can start modelling them, but it will be a bit of a juggle this month!

Fingers crossed for me! Gotta keep working hard!
Till next time, all the best~!
^,,^

Dev-Diary: 46

Heys!

I am exhausted. This project is becoming super draining. I’m lucky that I now have some people helping out with a number of the assets, but it’s still very taxing.

While I didn’t manage to complete the first level as I had hoped, I did manage to get the base environment for it sorted out. I’ve got a texture artist doing materials and a 3D modeler helping out with the, well, models! Hopefully together we can smash through a good number of the base levels and assets before the end of September. Also need to make sure I find the balance between pushing myself and self-care. Along-side way too many social obligations, this month is going to be intense. Just need to get as much as I can done.

I need sleep. But before I leave you, have a snapshot of how the base environment looks with draft textures. Till next time, all the best~
-,,- z Z

THE:Screenshot

Dev-Diary: 44

Hey all! Sorry I’m a day late again; time and tech and work.

Offt, this has been a stressful fortnight! I’ve been grinding hard to get this engine as completed as possible to regain lost-time. While not entirely caught-up, I have fortunately managed to get a LOT done! There’s still more to do, but I’m entering a stage where I can start working on art assets so I can start building the game world properly!

Unfortunately, no images this post as a lot of my time has been coding based. However! A brief run-down on things I’ve managed get running! Menus now work; from pause menus, to the main menu, to a pre-game loading screen. Still need to be filled up with content, but the functions are all there and all automated! With loading comes scene management, including level transitioning, level properties, and game resetting. Very important! Items are functional (albeit non-existent), and various overlays work, including the HUD, and more!

An important lesson I learned from working on the (currently shelved) Monochrome Engine was automate and prefab everything! This has become even more crucial working with Unity as it is such an object-oriented engine whereas M.E. was more self-managed by a single, way-too-big script controlling various classes. Working with a professional game engine that manages a lot of the difficult things (such as physics and lighting) just helps so much. Of course, even though I’m improving and the project is getting done, I’ve learned I need to branch out a bit and ask for help from other professional friends. I guess we’ll see how it goes, gotta look after myself as well!

Till next time, all the best!
^,,^

Dev-Diary: 42

I’m back!

I would have posted earlier but when I got home my computer decided to die (as predicted…). This lead to about two weeks of running back-ups and fixing hardware till everything was running again. Bad news is it delayed my work a fair bit, but at least I’m on a clean system now, and I didn’t lose any work! :)

On the game-progress side, I’ve gotten everything re-installed and working again! I’ve just started working on the engine again, as well as some other things. Hopefully next time when I’m deeper back into my work I’ll be able to show-off some progress!

A little personal note/life-of-a-developer story; my trip went well! It was exciting and crazy! So many wonderful experiences and people! But while away on holidays, I don’t stop working! While I will always be passively writing and drawing, even if it is just in my head, something that is very easy to do but also very effective while on holiday is collect reference images. For me, these range from textures, both interesting and basic, to shots of objects and architecture. Now that I’m working in 3D, I’ve also started taking reference photos from the XYZ perspectives (as best as possible), in-case I ever want to re-create an object or architectural piece in the digital world. I’ll pop a little montage of some examples down the bottom of this post. :)

That’s all from me for now, I’ll be returning to the regularly scheduled broadcasting this month! Till next time, all the best~!
^,,^

Example Developer Shots

Dev-Diary: 41

Whoops!

So in the lead-up to my little holiday, I may have become absolutely consumed by work…. In this, I missed the normal ‘dev-diary’ time and when I noticed I decided to just update when I could because of how stressed I was. Then I ended up just getting more and more stressed as time went on so I decided to just do a big ol’ post at the end of the month before I go away! So here it is; the big ol’ post!

Aside from the extra hours of ‘money’ work I picked up to pay for this trip, and the time spent actually planning of the trip, I committed a large amount of efforts to my project. As I will be away for number of weeks, I wanted to have as much as I could completed. Naturally, there were problems along the way, however I think I am only approximately a week behind schedule, which is really good! Unfortunately, one of those problems is my computer is kind-of failing… An issue I won’t be able to address until I get back. Even though I am yet to narrow down the cause of the cause, I know it will take me a few days of work and backing-up, and possibly a couple of hundred dollars worth of parts, to fix. This is a problem for future Matthew.

I was hoping to include a photo of how the engine has come along. It now has a lovely little day-night cycle, I’ve created a sequencing system (which allows multiple events to be played in timed and specific order), and a dialogue system! There is still a bit more to go, but if all goes to plan (haha…) I should have it finished up by the end of June!

Art-wise, didn’t get to complete everything I needed. I have a lot of art completed, but this will be an on-going task. Currently I am hoping to get character profiles completed to be used as bases for modelling, which I did not get done. I will however up-hold my promise of showing some of the sketches I’ve done while working on this project. Keep in mind; everything is subject to change, or are just rough drafts, and there is plenty I can not show because spoilers~ Check down the bottom of the post for the fancy image~

Well, that’s it for me now. I’ll be heading off very soon on break so you won’t hear back from me till about June, been wracking my head around this project and work and I need a bit of a break.

Till next time, all the best~!
^,,^

THE:Concept Art