posts dated from: february 2017

To GDC or Not to GDC?

To GDC or Not to GDC?
Game Developers Conference is almost in full swing (technically the main part of it starts tomorrow) and it's always mind blowing to me how this event seems to draw out every single game developer on the planet. There are a lot of game developer events through out the year now, but for some reason GDC still is the main one for a lot of people.

I almost wasn't going to attend this GDC, but thanks to a lot of good luck and a lot of help from friends of mine I was able to make it happen in the end. I feel like every year I weigh the good and bad sides of attending GDC which is what ultimately drove me to decide to not attend this one. I'm not sure if the bad was necessarily out weighing the good, but I don't think a conference like GDC or a conference in general is always 100% a good idea to attend.

Let's get the worst things out of the way first:

Doodle Post

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Choosing a Path

Choosing a Path
Strangely enough my brain is always filled with the background noise of self doubt. Am I working on the right thing? Am I spending my finite time on this earth in the best way I can? Am I enjoying what I'm doing?! My mind is always packed full of questions like this, and most of the time it's directed at game projects, and my framework Otter.

I've decided to pursue making a new version of Otter using FNA and leaving SFML behind. I figure by using FNA I can get a better handle on actually porting my work to platforms other than Windows, and maybe also get some better performance. It comes at a high cost though. Although by this point I'm pretty quick at throwing together a decent framework for making simple games, a lot of the more under the hood stuff still gives me a lot of trouble.

I haven't been working that much on the FNA version yet since I'm still in the middle of a project with the SFML version, but so far progress has been pretty slow. I often ask myself if it's even worth doing. I usually think it is, but then I wonder if I should hop back to something like Game Maker, or if I should give something like Unity another shot.

I think Game Maker is immediately out of the question since I've started using C# to make games. Game Maker was great when I used it, but sometimes it was so painful to be writing scripts in their built in IDE. As the projects I work on grow in scale and complexity Game Maker falls pretty short of how I want to be coding my games.

Unity seems cool but at the same time every developer I know that uses it is in constant struggle against it. The editor tools and overall experience of using Unity seems great, but I just know that I'm going to dislike how it actually operates when it comes to running the game. I feel like if I were to start using Unity my first year of using it would be just trying to shoe horn my own way of thinking into it so I could actually start being productive with it, and if that's the case then why not just continue down the path of Otter?

Doodle Post

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Doodle Post

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Stuck on my laptop while traveling so can't do much.

Unraveling Some Thoughts

Unraveling Some Thoughts
I'm currently in the midst of a bunch of traveling before I eventually find my way to San Francisco next week for the big ole Game Developers Conference. I've had a lot of time to just think about stuff, and while I'm not really programming right now I'm going to try to organize some of my thoughts here.

I've been trying to figure out what exactly happened to me after I shipped Offspring Fling, and was part of the team that shipped Snapshot. During the year after those two titles I ended up putting out a bunch more games that I had basically laying around on my hard drives. Then after that I kinda faded away. I retreated to go work on my own game making framework, Otter, which I used to make a bunch of prototypes and released a few more small game jam sized games. Otter gained a small following and there's a small community of really talented people using it, but I haven't really made any solid efforts toward releasing another game on the same scale of Offspring Fling or Snapshot since.

If you've read my general thoughts posts before (the ones around the start of the year) you probably already know that anxiety is a pretty constant aspect of my existence. Along with that I've struggled with depression since I was really young, so I already have those factors working against me, but how do they actually work into this equation that is my current state of mind?