Dev-Diary: 76

Hello all. This one will be different.

Firstly, I haven’t been posting as frequently; once a month as opposed to fortnightly. This is two-fold, partly due to adjusting to new work-loads (working on the video editing mentioned in the last post) as well as managing myself and my work capacity, particularly during these difficult times. This is also why my work output has slowed down and I have not updated the CYO Adventure in about a month; I am trying to ensure I do not start engaging in burn-out again as I had previously. Hopefully over the next few months, my work output will return to normal along with a more careful accompanying workflow.

This isn’t to say I have not done any work of course! I have fully implemented a new “emailing” system into M.I.S.. I noticed the in-game chat-log was not the most ideal method for story-telling as it rolled out at quite a fast pace. The new emailing system allows me to deliver story updates, as well as background quirks, in a more detailed manner that the player can approach in their own time. I have also been doing my regular dabbling in various small, non-committal projects to keep my mind creative and sharp.

Additionally, this month I will be taking a break from releasing my monthly One Page One Shot, with the current OPOS remaining at ko-fi for another month, as opposed to uploading it to itch.io. While I do have the next OPOS ready for upload, I do not believe now is the time to be releasing entertainment content. Even with the Covid predicament still very much an issue, the recent uprising to give voice and equality to those in America is incredibly important and one that I believe deserves dominance in online spaces right now.

For everyone fighting everywhere, whether outside or at home, please stay safe and care for one-another. Hopefully, after the dust has settled, we will have won a new system that supports all people, both overseas and here in Australia as well.

Till next time, all the best.
#blacklivesmatter
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Dev-Diary: 75

Hey everyone! Hope you are all safe and caring during this time!

Sorry about the delay, as well as the missed mid-month post. The combination of commissions, projects, and the global situation have all been rather intense lately. As such, I’ve been actively trying to reduce my work-load and take things slower. During this time, I’ve heard a lot of talk of people “needing to achieve new goals” or “learn new skills” or “take care of old business” while we are all locked-down. For some this is a fantastic way to self-develop while also distracting from the world outside, and I wholly support those who use their time productively! However, it should be stressed that, even if you are safe or even comfortable, the tension of the world is still real. Now, more than ever, is when we should be taking care of both ourselves, and one-another.

At the start of the year, I tried to push myself quite hard, taking on new mini-projects, opening up to commissions, and continuing my game work. When the added stress of the pandemic slid-in, it became very difficult to mentally keep up. Fortunately, I’ve managed to complete most of my commissions, and slow down my extra mini-projects a bit, specifically the CYO Adventure, from bi-daily to weekly. I’ve also been taking it slower with the progress on Management IN SPACE! and allowing the correct time to make both the recent adjustments to the core game, as well as continue the scheduled progress. M.I.S. was originally looking at a mid-year release, however I will be pushing it back to later in the year for now to better accommodate the situation, and so that I can do it proper justice. 🙂

Additionally, I have also been fortunate enough to pick up some casual video editing work (Fun-Tip: I studied film at university and I’m actually not too bad haha~) doing the editing for Lab Muffin Beauty Science! It’s infrequent enough to be able to slot it in among my other work, and different enough from my other work to be a good, yet still productive, distraction.

As with every month, I’ve cycled the One-Page-One-Shot games around! This month the new game on my [Ko-Fi] page is ‘Isolation’; a very fast social-deception game about figuring out who is sick, and distancing yourselves! The previous OPOS, “Secret Space” is now freely available over at itch.io, link [Here]!

Thank-you everyone for your continuing support! I hope you are all staying safe, looking after yourselves and others. Till next time, all the best~!
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Dev-Diary: 70

Happy 2020 everyone! ^,,^

I’ve started the new year with a different twist, trying to re-organise myself and my endeavors. I’ve been doing some work on some commissions, both in audio and 3D modelling (which I have had a lot of practice with lately~)! I’ve also been working on a new direction for SilStiPro; as anyone who has been following me may know, I usually work on large-scale projects. Even when I intend to work on smaller projects, I still end up putting in the extra effort to make them a worthwhile experience, and they get quite big! I definitely don’t regret this, I love making big things that people love! But unfortunately it also means my income is quite low, as it takes so long to release anything or I just release smaller projects for free.

In an attempt to fix this issue, I have dedicated myself to a little side-project. For the next 12 months (Feb2020 – Feb2021) I will be releasing ‘One-Page-One-Shots’ that I have designed! An OPOS is a pen-and-paper role-play game, usually with dice-rolling and conversation, but all the rules are written up on a single piece of paper! They are designed to be fast (few minutes to a couple of hours) and simple to pick-up, and to be played with a handful of people, occasionally with a host guiding the game. I’ve already been working on a few in my spare time, writing and testing them, and they have been well received!

Each OPOS will be released on the 1st of every month (which means there is one available RIGHT NOW!), however they will be released behind a donation/subscription paywall, which I am running through Ko-Fi. This is intended to be perk for people that have spare money who wish to contribute to and support me; if you like my work you get a little bonus while you wait for me to release my bigger projects! But don’t worry, because after a month I will release the OPOS to the world for free via Itchio, so that everyone can enjoy them! There may also be additional benefits to donors/subscribers, such as credits in future games, but we shall see~

Aside from that, I’ve had the latest version of ‘Management IN SPACE!!’ out for testing for a little while now, and I am very happy with all the feedback! I’m going to continue to dedicate myself to working on MIS, focusing on getting the artwork done, filling in more early and mid content, and patching out bugs and what-not! At the moment I guesstimate a mid-2020 release. 🙂

If you would like to donate to my Ko-Fi, follow the link below, or press the Donate button on the side panel! Only donate if you have spare money, always ensure you have enough money to support yourself first!! <3

That’s it for me now! Going back to regular twice-a-month posts, so until next time, all the best~! ^,,^

Ko-Fi: https://ko-fi.com/silsti

Dev-Diary: 69

Hello!

So since the last update, I’ve been focused on a couple of things. The first, and biggest, is a tutorial! It took some time and effort, but I managed to get a fully-fledged tutorial all set-up! While skippable, the game directs new players into the tutorial first and walks them through the basics on navigation and game mechanics. M.I.S. has a LOT of freedom in what you can do, and there is quite a bit of information to take in constantly, so having a tutorial to help ease new players in was something requested by a lot of testers. Fingers crossed it not only helps new players, but also works consistently!

I’ve also been working on new information panels and other small aesthetic updates. The Station screen now also shows you information about your shield and repair recharge times, as well as which modules your repair functions are operating on. Another, less useful, visual update is intentional visual artifacts! As your station gets ripped apart by Xenos, your screens will slowly fill up with pixel-line cracks. The obstruction is minimal, unless you’re about to completely collapse, but it’s enough to be very slightly annoying, and to show you that you better hurry up and fix things!

I’ve also made a solid handful of balancing tweaks and other bug fixes. The base difficulty has been reduced slightly, and random events are tighter and more accurate to your difficulty level; no more having entire armies spawn on you within the first 15 minutes of gameplay! I’ve still got a number of issues I need to address that have been brought up by testers, but I’m working through them. 🙂

As almost every year, December is a very hectic time for both myself and my family, so I’ve been jumping between project work and personal work a lot more over the past few weeks. As always, I may or may not have an update at the start of the new year, but I will be back at some point in January!

As for my testers, I should have the next stable build up sometime over the next few days! I just want to check a few more bugs out.

And as for everyone, thank you for listening to me ramble for another year! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and as always, all the best~!
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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~!
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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.
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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~!