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2015: What Happened Part III

2015: What Happened Part III
We're already halfway done with the year and what a year it's been. The summer is upon us. The birds are signing, the children are playing, the dogs are barking, the ice cream is melting... it's the best time of year except where I was living at the time which was Arizona because the temperature gets up to about 115 and you can't really spend a lot of time outside without dying.


This month was dedicated to working on Otter to make it into something more usable for the general public. The main problem with the engine at the time was that I kept updating it and I had totally outdated example videos.

I buckled down and got a simple content management system up and running on the Otter site and started churning out examples. I wanted to focus on getting potential new users up and running with the engine so that I could hopefully expand the community, which would lead to more people using it and contributing to it hopefully!

I also went to EVO this month with a bunch of amazing people and it was the most amount of fun you could possibly fit on a bun.


August was a pretty strange month because I spent most of it traveling. The first half of the month was pretty much spent visiting my home land of the Northeast. It's much more pleasant to visit Upstate New York in the summer than the winter... although this year the winter for some reason it's been 60s and 70s, so shout outs to El Nino and global warming, I guess.

Also what made it strange was it was the official end of the indie house in Arizona! After living together for like 5 years or something crazy like that, we decided it was time to go our separate ways. I think this was for the best, as you probably need some change in your life and your surroundings to keep growing as a person, and it felt like things were getting stagnant in the desert. The plans to move out were in motion, and I still had more travel to do, so things were going to get crazy.

I only had a limited amount of time before I had to take to the skies once again though. I did a little bit of reflecting and I had high apply pie in the sky hopes of maybe finishing Otter to a 1.0 version, but I kinda don't think that will ever happen with just me working on it unfortunately.

I did some more examples for Otter for some more complicated stuff like collision detection.


And loading tilemaps


The end of August came, and suddenly I found myself in Seattle for PAX for my yearly summer trip up to the Pacific Northwest.


This was a pretty weird month to say the least. It more or less began in Vancouver as I went to visit the indie house up there. So what did I do when I got there? Well I started a brand new prototype, of course!


What else am I going to do surrounded by really cool people working on cool stuff? Working away at grunt work to finish a game feels really crappy when you could be working on a sparkling new project which is probably a big part of my problem!

I became pretty obsessed with moving platforms and getting wall jumping to work with them and all this kind of stuff... so I went down a rabbit hole of despair pretty quickly.


So when I returned to Arizona after my wonderful adventures full of good times, friends, and sushi, I had some reality to face! The indie house was undergoing renovations, and I was in a strange scenario where I didn't know where I was going to live yet...

My girlfriend Corey had applied at a game studio in Denver, Colorado back in July. We still had no idea if she was going to get the job or not because they had been pretty sluggish at keeping us updated on the status of her application. We were basically stuck in limbo because we didn't want to sign a lease on a new place if we were going to be potentially moving to a new state.

When I got back to Arizona I immediately packed up my room at the old indie house, and Corey and I opted to go stay with some friends of ours. They had a spare room in their house, and were kind enough to let us crash there for what ended up being a pretty long time, whoops!

So I found myself in a new situation where all I had access to was my laptop for working on stuff. My desktop was totally packed away, and all I had pretty much was a small table and an air mattress. It was pretty cool actually... I went from having a lot of stuff around me to almost nothing.

I ended up going to a local coffee shop just about every day to work and I noticed it had a pretty strong effect on my motivation and work ethic. I continued to work on my platformer ideas from a coffee shop in Gilbert, Arizona.

I got to the point where everything felt frustrating though because I just ended up aiming too high as usual.


The problem was that I had been exposed to Mario Maker, a game where almost everything interacts with everything, and you can have stuff move and push and carry other things, so I wanted my platforming system to be able to match that... and also have slopes. What is wrong with me!

I ended this month with some more Otter examples.


So by this point life was feeling pretty weird! I had just got back from a bunch of travel and now I'm in a spare bedroom living in a house with my friends and their three little kids, and three cats. Things were pretty chaotic, but it felt like a lot of fun, and a cool change of pace. I still had no idea if I was staying in the desert or moving to Denver at the time, but I had a feeling that we were going to be going to Denver in the near future.
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