Dev-Diary: 65

Wow I am exhausted.

In an attempt to not only get Management In Space done, but also to cram in as much amazing content as possible, I’ve been basically non-stop coding. Constant bug-fixes, more stories and options, optimisations, etc. The big one I tackled today was fixing the primary event management system. See, M.I.S. focuses a lot on the random events that occur and how you deal with them. Do you prioritise resource collection, do you focus on attack and defence, or do you find ways to manipulate the odds in your favour? One way I tackled this in an attempt to give more power to the player was to implement a focusing system, allowing the player to tell the station to prioritise certain modules over others. This works well, but something was still amiss.

Up until today, game events occurred according to base-time plus a random time, partly scaling with difficulty and partly incorporating a variable prioritisation function. In the short-term it worked because it simulated a semi-chaotic space galaxy was kinda cool! Though as the game expanded, there rose a massive discrepancy between runs; sometimes you could play for ages and barely encounter any enemies, then another you would immediately get swarmed by pirates and be destroyed. This is not ideal for a game that focuses on strategy and survival. While I still need to work on the difficulty scaling a bit, I’ve completely re-written how events are tracked and timed. There is now a semi-set structure to the play of events, with a background set of less-impacting random events that still give the game a delightfully chaotic and living feel to it, but not so heavily that it will destroy a run. While the new system will need to be judged over time, it seems to create some level of consistency across runs, allowing players to better approach each return to the game.

I was almost going to take a photo of all my notes about event timing and structure because it looks kinda cool, in a… messy kinda way… but I realised that I would be giving away all the event timing secrets so instead I’ll leave you with another gif to represent my current mood down below~

I still have a way to go, but I’m getting there. And the game is getting better and better every day! I promise it’ll be worth the extra time I’ve put in. Anyways till next time, all the best~
^,,^

(Oh also the website got updated and should be fixed now woo!)

Dev-Diary: 64

Hey everyone!

So I’ve been pretty dang busy. The past month was meant to be focused on more art-assets, but at the start of the month I had a handful of different people have a go at the current build. The feedback was very positive, and aside from the numerous bugs that popped up, there were a lot of suggestions made. Many of these were simple things, usually along the lines of, “Why can’t I do this?” to which my response was always, “You’re right! You should be able to do that!” As such, I’ve been implementing a lot of little upgrades to the game and just going down the list of bugs that needed to be fixed that either didn’t previously know about, or knew about and didn’t want to deal with at the time to keep working on the larger picture.

In addition to this, I’ve been working hard to get all the content into the game; all the stories, events, NPCs, and modules, as well as trying to balance them all out. I’ve been working on art as well, and while I have happily completed plenty, I still have a long way to go. I’ve also implemented a ‘Station Select’ option, which allows you to start the game with different preset module layouts, encouraging players to try different strategies to survive as long as possible. I’ve left a screenshot down below as a little treat, showing off the current Sector screen. Comparing it to an earlier screenshot, you can notice a handful of little updates, a lot of them suggested by players, as well as some of the visuals coming together.

On a much more personal note, something I’ve been trying to work hard on lately is my mental health. Working on a game can be a lot of stress, and while I have a handful of people helping me out with some of the assets and providing feedback and moral support, a lot of the work falls onto my own shoulders to just keep working and trying hard. Mental health, specifically anxiety and depression, is something I have had to deal with throughout my life and the stress of independent game development, in conjunction with other events occurring in my life, it can all get a bit too much sometimes. As such, while I know I need to have this game done by the end of the year, as the primary project still requires my attention, I am not going to be putting a deadline on Management IN SPACE. I’m going to work hard, push myself, and do my absolute best, but I’m also going to ensure that my well-being is safe and secure. I want to become the best person I can possibly be, and will strive for that every day.

Anyways, thanks for listening to my rambles. I hope you are all doing amazingly. Till next time, all the best~
^,,^

MIS:Screenshot

Dev-Diary: 63

Bug-fixes! Optimisation! Story upgrades! Art assets! More bug-fixes! So much happening and I’m stuck with a flu… Gotta work hard though!

Dev-Diary: 60

Hey all!

Continuing from my previous post, I have unfortunately been having to manage numerous personal issues lately which has been time-consuming. However, fortunately things have been improving and I have been able to find time to produce a handful of art-assets! Screenshots below!

This month the aim is to the ‘Management In Space’ to an alpha-release stage. This means finishing up some of the core engine and UI work, updating the story events, and enough balancing to make the game consistently playable. I’ll also continue to try to get art assets done, but they do take time and I’d rather have a functioning project than a pretty one at this point in time. I have also been working with my ever-talented musician who has been producing some wonderful pieces! Fingers crossed I’ll have something to show this time next month. 🙂

Below are a handful of the ship assets for the game. I’ve completed enough of the Civilian ships so along with all the Debris and Minerals, I’m well over half-way through the ship assets! I’ve already roughed-up the designs for the remaining ships, as well as numerous station modules. We’ll see what we can pull off this month; hopefully I’m able to find enough time to achieve my goals.

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

Dev-Diary: 59

Hey everyone.

Lately I’ve been stuck dealing with a number of personal issues. As such I haven’t been able to do much dev work or update properly. Hopefully this won’t continue for much longer and I’ll soon be able to continue again normally.

Thank-you.
^,,^

Dev-Diary: 58

Hey hey!

Sorry about being gone for so long! I was away for family obligations (and a little R&R) for over a month in Europe! It was great to get away for a while and reset my mind; I spent a great deal of time just writing and doing small sketches for various projects, both current and distant.

I am back however! It’s been slow but I have been getting back into the development schedule churning out art assets. I’ve also been in talks with the musician for ‘Management IN SPACE’ and we’ve got some drafts in the works!

Unfortunately I don’t have much to talk about, though I will show-off some lovely little assets I’ve whipped up for M.I.S. (one Ship image, one Debris image) but I will also discuss time-frames. M.I.S. is not a major project for me, it’s a fun little side-project that spawned from a game jam. While it is heavily unbalanced and still in Alpha, the game runs and plays quite fine with a series of random events. At the moment, I am giving myself till the end of August to finish M.I.S. with two results; either as a full game for maybe $1 or as an Alpha/Beta proof-of-concept game for free. This is because I do not wish to commit too much time to this game. I really must return to the primary project, it is very important it gets completed and I have distracted myself with this fun little space game for much longer than I expected.

Anyways, as I’ll be back to our regular Dev-Diary posting next month! Till next time, all the best~!

Dev-Diary: 57

Hey y’all!

So these past couple of weeks have been a bit all-over the place with work and obligations, but I have been able to keep working on the regular event pools, especially balancing. The regular events still have a bit to go to be balanced, but it’s getting there. I do hope I can start working on story events and unique encounters soon, but I would like to build those from a stable balanced ground first.

Some nice progress was definitely made in the art-assets! After a number of redo’s in various styles, I found a visual aesthetic for the ship and module visuals that I am happy with; fine single-colour pixel-art. Definitely not my forté but I am quite happy with how they are turning out so-far. Unfortunately, they take a while to make, but I’d like to think the results are worth it. Check out the screen-shot combo down below to see for yourself!

Because of the time it takes to balance and produce the art (and the fact I once-again have the flu…), I doubt I will be getting the game released this month. Double-unfortunately is that I am away for a month coming up soon to visit family. I’ll be doing concept work while I am gone, but I won’t be able to do updates or directly work on assets. At this point in time, all I can say is this “mini” project and my primary project will be done when they are done. Hopefully sooner rather than later, but as I have said in the past I would rather release a good project rather than a fast one. I guess we’ll just see won’t we.

Ah-wells, enjoy the screenshots and till next time, all the best!
^,,^

MIS:Screenshot

Dev-Diary: 54 | 10-Year Anniversary of Colour

Hey everyone!

I’m posting early for once! That’s because today is the 10 year anniversary of the start of ‘The Series Of Colour’! Beginning with ‘Colour My Heart’ all those years ago, the series grew over the space of a year as I constructed the adorable and monochromatic world. Since then the series has had over 14 million tracked hits and, to this day, I still receive wonderful messages from the kindest people who have enjoyed my works.

Without both this series, and the support from my fans (and friends and family) over the years, I would not have made the choice to pursue game development as a career. As such, I owe so much of the person I am today to this series and all it has been to me.

While the series has been long concluded, a look-back through some of my previous draft projects on this site would easily reveal that I am still in love with that world and style. Hopefully one day I will have both the resources and the pleasure of constructing a new world inspired by my original creation.

I won’t talk about my current project (though it is coming along very nicely~), but I will leave you with thanks, because if you are reading this then you are supporting me, regardless of if you are a new-comer or have been here since the very beginning. I will also leave you with a commemorative sketch I’ve drawn up for the occasion. It’s a little rough (I had to speed through it to get it done on time), but it was a delight to again draw the in classic style, revisiting that story one last time.

Thank-you again to everybody, and till next time, all the best~
^,,^

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~!

^,,^