Sunday, July 17, 2011

Still Alive


I just finished Portal again and the end credits song "Still Alive" has given me the kick I've needed to update this and let you all know that I'm alive and well and whilst there has been little actual progress on the development front, it doesn't mean I've drifted off into the land of the giver-uppers. The wheel is still turning.

I guess you could say I'm in sort of a development limbo at the moment. I'm juggling a bunch of tools, Unity, UDK, Zbrush, 3D Max and sort of just being unsure as to what to pick and use going forward. It's clear that I've been over-evaluating and procrastinating. One minute I'm pro-Unity, the next, UDK is the best thing since sliced bread (it really is though..) and then I'm modeling vases and walls in 3D Max and having a tonne of fun painting on beautiful normal maps in zBrush, all without an end goal. Dither brain. Sure, it's all practice and I'm constantly learning, but at the end of the day, it's all about how efficient and productive you are with your time, that counts. I can tell you, I have not been efficient with my time.

You can tell from my previous posts and pretty much since the release of Craggy Island, that I've been a right dither-brain, hopping from one idea to the next. Little Big Planet, Virus Attack, iPhone game, AI behaviour game, yada yada. I've made some progress with the AI behaviour game in Unity and hope to post some progress shots of that sometime in September. (2 week holiday to Corfu in August!)

So where does that leave me? It left me in a state of deep and meaningful thought this week. I worry an awful lot about the future. Is this the right thing to do given current industry conditions? What studio should I aim to work at, would they hire me? How should I best spend my time, making nice maps for a pre-existing game, or build some prototypes using my own assets? How do I want my portfolio to look? Should I look to join a mod team and contribute content? Should I skip returning to college and spend the near 20k I will have saved on funding an indie game?

These are the questions running through my head on a daily basis. They've pretty much been clouding my mind and have left little room for the creative part to breath. So I've come to the conclusion that I will no longer think or worry about what the future holds and instead focus all of my energies on creating COOL SHIT. I'm sure that any of you reading this are probably shouting the monitor "Well DUH" but sometimes it's not as easy as that. In this case though, you'd be right. That's right, I'm going to make some cool shit. Some seriously cool shit. Make cool shit and the rest will take care of itself, right?

I will primarily be using Unity for the AI based game. There are some really interesting behavioural and pathing libraries out there that can be integrated into Unity's API. We won't be sticking to any rigid game design just yet, rather just testing the waters with the hope of something interesting emerging from that. To speed up production and save some hair, we'll most likely look to get a programmer on board. The library integration will take a little work and neither myself or Sergio are immediately equipped with the necessary skills to bring our visions to life.

Hopefully soon enough I'll be blogging about something productive and less about promising to be productive.

Have a nice Sunday.

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