I am back in business. My game dev is flowing freely again, from my fingers through the keyboard into the bits that make up the re-envision of Find the Gnome.
Please, enjoy this new writing of mine.
First gameplay on Find the Gnome
Here you see my boy Roan in action (9 years old) experimenting with the new game mechanics. He really likes watching the helicopter taking the gnome away on a successful catch.
So much improvement!
The past 2 weeks I have been inspired by my improved working practices keeping me motivated. The payoff was massive: I was able to get together a working piece of Find the Gnome with quite a few of the new mechanics already in it.
One of my major changes in working is to keep it very very simple. Unity 3D is build to facilitate precisely that, so my workflow has improved a lot. And I don’t make the things nice and tidy if I don’t know if I want to keep it around. Thus it seems like a lot of the animations look like they are ‘missing’ or ‘clunky’, but I don’t see it that way: they are exactly what I want for this stage of development.
This is such an improvement over my old way of working. I always build these massive systems in code without having something to show. And these systems are of course polished and prepared for every outlier that I could think of… but not this time anymore.
Where to take it from here?
My current goal is to get the mechanics down. I already did a short playtest with my kids Roan and Mirthe, and the results look very promising for the tested mechanics. But I have a lot more interaction mechanics envisioned, so there is still a lot to add and fine-tune. Also the user interface and user input needs some serious thought.
I came to discover is that I don’t have to worry about content in my games. I like modelling a lot, so much actually I have myself creating 1 object each day. This will me help to ‘automagically’ add more variation in objects and interactions to the game (and my other upcoming games) over time.
Since we are talking about upcoming stuff anyway, another thing I like to share is what I want to get out of the publication of this game. I want to achieve these: 1) replace the old game but still keep it around for people to play, 2) release late Alpha builds on Steam for my testers for each added level, 3) release the finished and polished game levels incrementally for everyone.
I still don’t know when the first Alpha will be available or when the first finished level can be played by everyone. It is done when it is done, hehe.