So far, recording and editing these Love2D YouTube tutorials is fun, but it sucks up a good amount of time. This is especially true when you are doing coding videos and you aren’t exactly sure what your final product is going to be. I’ve found what seems to work best is sitting down, figuring out what I want the episode to be about, writing the code for it and making sure it works, then re-creating that while recording. This essentially means re-writing all the code I just wrote again, and sometimes I’ll change my mind in an episode and write parts of the code in a completely different way. It’s a lot of effort, but it is nice to have a “released product” video or two by the end of the day. I have even finished several episodes and uploaded them only to rethink what I had done and scrapping them. Last week, I also put the code for all the episodes I’ve created to date to a github repository. That took a decent amount of time as I didn’t do a great job of keeping zips of the code for each of the videos, so I had to recreate several of them from scratch. I also improved my VSCode plugin for Love2D by adding the ability to open a webpage for the love2d function the cursor is on. My journey with Love2D has been enjoyable as it is a different beast from Unity 3d, but I will be working on some C# goodness this week as I will try to participate in the 7-day rogue-like challenge 2017. We’ll see how that goes…

I spent last week knee-deep in Love2D recording video tutorials and learning more about the framework. I ended up with 7 more videos that are now scheduled for release. As a result, my VR asteroid prototype lay dormant all last week as did my ‘side project’. I found out this weekend that Defold is releasing a “pre-release” 2.0 version of their IDE. That will probably be yet another week-long distraction. My plan is to investigate the new Defold IDE and get some work done on the VR Asteroids prototype as well. Add my continued interest in GoDot Engine V3.0 and it becomes a busy week of coding, learning, and teaching. Then there is the new Pixelbyte work PC build and whether to go with Skylake or Ryzen…

I’ve been working on my asteroids VR game which has changed shape a couple of times already. Google has now opened the submission of Daydream apps to all developers so now we’re seeing more Daydream apps come online every day. My strategy was to get something done and released to Daydream before a glut of VR games saturated the store.

An idea for one of the scenarios in the game. A thief ship.

I still might be able to accomplish that, but I’m currently having difficulty as to what this VR game should actually be. What is the core game play mechanic? What are the rewards? Should there be locked scenarios? What kind of scenarios should there be? What should the user interface look like in VR? These are just a few of the numerous questions that have plagued me during this project. Trying find an answer to each of these and put it into code can at times be a long process. Even after you finish implementing something it doesn’t feel like you have accomplished much.

“If I could only code faster.”

“If only I had a better idea of how to implement feature A.”

“If I had half the talent of [big name game developer] I could already have this done.”

These are a few of the things that have popped into my head at times.  Here is the deal. Game development is hard. The ideas may come pretty easily and coding up a prototype to test the idea might not take too long. However, once you’ve settled on an idea and begin to tackle coding all the other stuff (user interface, save/load system, upgrades, rewards, in-app purchasing, web-site design, checks to make sure a user doesn’t crash your game), you begin to feel the weight of it all. As a single-person indie studio, you have to do all these things yourself not to mention sound design, music, marketing, building, packaging and releasing the game to x platforms.  I don’t care who you are. That’s a lot of stuff for one person to do. What’s more is you also have to resign yourself to not expect much (or anything) in terms of response to your game once it comes out. There are just so many games on all the stores now. Many of them free to play, but not all good. Most are junk, but it doesn’t matter because in this age of plentiful games, marketing is king. If you don’t have serious money to spend on it, you probably won’t get very far.  As a result, implementation of the answers you come up with to these questions that come up can become quite a slog.

Experiencing this ebb and flow of motivation and discouragement on whatever ‘main’ project I happen to be working on, I’ve come up with a schedule for my week. It’s designed to not hold me to that slog all day every day. I get breaks from the main project to go and create prototypes of other game ideas, etc. It also includes some production of programming tutorials as well as steaming game programming, and posting to this blog weekly. You’ll hear more about these other endeavors as they manifest. Until then. Try to stay motivated.

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