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2013 in Review (Part 3)

2013 in Review (Part 3)
Continued from Part 2.


I started out July working on Otter, but late in June I started to run into some walls that were slowing my progress. I got to the point in which I needed to figure out collision detection, and even though I had a lot of resources at my disposal I just couldn't make a dent in my task of implementing a bunch of collision types. Circles, rectangles, tile maps, lines, and points... I just couldn't figure out the math behind it for the longest time, or the best way to implement all the functionality for detecting overlapping colliders.

This was pretty frustrating, and I felt like I couldn't work on anything else until I solved these issues and finished the collision detection code. The result was that basically for the entire month of July I got close to nothing done when it came to Otter. I tried to focus on some other minor tasks which I was slowly able to complete, but I was starting to feel depressed about the whole thing which feeds into the cycle of not being able to work on stuff due to depression which makes me feel even more depressed.

I also started this month by making my hair blue though, and that was pretty cool.


July also marks the yearly trip to Las Vegas for EVO which was a lot of fun, but right after the trip I got incredibly sick for a couple days. That totally put me out of commission as far as game development work goes for about a week. Also I got big into Street Fighter 4 again after Evo and played it alot until my trip to PAX in August. Once I travel any sort of gaming obsession I have goes out the window, and then I feel too rusty to pick it back up again.

My special bonus feature footage from Indie Game: The Movie also finally came out on Steam that month, making me into a famous movie star.

This month had a lot of fun moments, but overall it felt like a pretty big bummer. I wasn't working on stuff as much as I wanted to be, and I also had some issues with anxiety and depression which makes working with my brain pretty difficult. It's tough to focus on game development tasks when some of my brain cycles are being spent on anxiety and all that kinda crap, but maybe next month will be better!


The core issues that were starting to cause anxiety and depression actually started up in May if I recall correctly. I was having some minor stomach issues which lead to some run away anxiety. It's one of those things where I get a pain in my stomach that doesn't go away for a long time, and then I start to obsess over it, and eventually I've convinced myself that I'm dying of some horrible disease, which makes everything worse until I can somehow break the cycle.

So actually in May and June is when I first started to feel anxious, and then finally in July is when it started to actually cripple my ability to work on things.

But that was then, and this is August. My productivity on Otter slowly started to increase as I was able to make some breakthroughs with the stupid collision code that I was struggling with so much.

I also somehow became a global Twitch emoticon this month as well. If you type DogFace into Twitch you'll see my face pop up. Why? Well, it's a long story involving me, FrankerZ, and Steam emoticons. I go over it in this blog post. This was a pretty weird experience, and it still is strange seeing my face pop up in Twitch chats every once in awhile.

I ended up doing a little web work as well this month as I whipped up a site for Gravity Ghost. I still do web work every once in a awhile, but it's starting to feel more and more foreign to me as I focus so much of my time on game development.

The very end of August was my trip out to Seattle for PAX which was a blast. Afterwards I headed up to Indie House Vancouver (actually located in Richmond) which brings me into September.


My productivity stated to return to me this month as I was surrounded by some amazingly inspiring and talented people during my travels in the northwest. I was working on an example game for Otter that I was planning on using as the big example project that would hopefully explain how to use the various features of the engine.

Most of this month was pretty low key. After my return home to the desert I was able to keep working on Otter and the example game, and I was making a lot of progress.

My trip to PAX also inspired me to try out Spelunky again. I watched a couple of live streams of people playing the game, and also went to the Spelunky Video Armageddon panel at PAX in which Colin Northway played all the way through and beat Hell in front of a live audience. It was awesome to see, and I wanted to get that good at the game too.

I played Spelunky before on XBLA but never really got into it. I defeated Olmec once or twice, but didn't really have any interest in Hell. Eventually I got frustrated at the randomness of the game determining how far I could make it, and stopped playing until after I got back from PAX. I picked up the PC version and went all in.

I started using a lot of techniques that I learned from watching live streams and videos from expert players. Then after one and a half days of playing, I was able to secure my first victory over King Yama.


I still play a little Spelunky, but I've been traveling since mid-December so I haven't played it quite awhile.

So far this has been quite the year. My engine was shaping up to be pretty promising and usable, which I didn't really expect when I started out. Only three months to go now!

Stay tuned for Part 4!
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