Dev-Diary: 99

Hey y’all, happy mid-year! I hope everyone has been doing wonderfully~! ^^

After my month off in May, I’ve come back super-busy and working hard! My time off in May was actually also very active and full of running around, but I did get to step away from the stresses of work for a moment which is always good to do every now and then. So let’s talk about what I’ve been working since on and what’s coming up in the future!

For starters, let’s talk about PokéStudy for a bit! I don’t often go into too much detail with my video work, but since it is a rather big part of my schedule these days I figured I’d discuss it today. This last month was mostly occupied with working on the latest episode where Radioactive Magic delved further in what makes a good Pokémon Rival by writing his own (you can check-out the video down below!)! This was an incredibly involved episode to produce as it was filled with sequences of custom animations and art.

What may not be immediately clear to some viewers in these episodes is that there is a lot of custom/fake game-footage in some of these videos; it’s rather obvious in some sequences such as those that use custom art or contain scenes that don’t exist in any game, but there are some segments (usually Gen I sequences as they are the easiest to fake) that only have slightly tweaked dialogue, artwork, or animations to help illustrate a point. Luckily my time working on my unreleased game Management In Space helped me develop my pixel-art skills as many of these sequences involve careful and precise pixel-art assets layered and animated. Overall though, while it’s still an area I can definitely improve on (as with any of my creative endeavors), I’m quite happy with how well these have been turning out, and I’m also proud of how well I’ve progressed with my video work as a whole!

If you’re one of Radioactive Magic‘s main followers though you would have picked-up on that the PokéStudy series will be coming to and end soon! It is sad time for the whole team, but also a time of celebration and success to see how much we’ve done and how far we’ve come! I’ll do a post next time to cover the thrilling conclusion to that series, but for now I can say that this does not mean our work together is also finished. There’s talk and hope of more content on the way so stick around to see what else may pop-up on the horizon~ 😉

Let’s jump back to game-dev and talk about roll for a bit! As I said last-time; with the completion of the Alpha-demo I was able to get the game into many people’s hands to test, with universally positive feedback! There was some excellent critiques on areas of improvement, as well as some technical notes to work on as well, so when I was finally able to start working on roll again that’s where we kicked-off from!

For starters, we’ve migrated roll to the latest version of Unity LTS. This was mainly to address a handful of very rare technical issues the project had on a few devices caused by an incompatibility in the previous Unity version. Of course this comes with it’s own plethora of problems so I’ve been going through those to fix everything back up! I’ve also been running through a lot of notes and to-dos I had left myself about areas in the codes that need to be rewritten, either for optimisation or future-proofing (a result of improving as a programmer across the course of programming the game!). I’ve often said optimisation is an on-going task, but the next immediate goal is to get as much of the base code and optimisation done-and-dusted in preparation for moving to a full-release so I can focus on asset, content, and world design!

What is the future of roll though? Well up until recently there were a few possible paths the development of this game could have gone. As we enter the new financial year however, we have been forced to accept a stricter reality for this project. Unfortunately my work is not funded (a plight many indie-devs face sadly); the wonderful successes I’ve had as a developer were often either during a time where I was inexperienced and could not earn a return on them (the Series of Colour) or have just not been capable of being financially beneficial (NieR:Cogito). As such, the many hours I pour into my work is on my own time, and the costs behind this work comes out of my own wallet. Because of this, I’m currently in the process of figuring out what content/features I can cut from roll, what needs the least work to complete, and what is absolutely mandatory for the project. Fortunately games can be updated and receive expansions after release, so should the game take-off then I may be able to revisit some of these ideas and introduce them later. For now though, we’re hoping to have roll hit a full development by the end of the year, and look to a release at the start of next year.

To be honest, it’s a bit of a sad reality we’ve had to face recently with our project, but despite this I am still excited to get this game out and to the public! The one silver-lining to having to tighten our production is that it will mean I can start working on something new sooner! My mind (and notebooks) are filled with ideas and I’m always excited to see what comes next! But perhaps we can save that conversation for the next Dev-Diary post when we hit number 100! 😀

I may delay the next post by a month as we further our development and get a better understanding of our new trajectories, but I’m excited to have a wonderful and large post discussing the past, present, and future with you all next time! Till then, all the best~!