Post Mortem : 2011

Well, since I seem to have escaped being raptured for the third time in 2011 (really, what’s going on there? You wait 2000 years for the Rapture and three come along at once) and Piku over at Error Success already beat me to the punch with his review of the year, it’s probably time I had a look back over the last solar orbit and contemplate the next phase…

So what happened there then? Well, I finally managed to finish mucking about and release Sheep Snaggers 2 at Retrovision back in May. Unfortunately, the initial release had a sneaky, if stupid bug that only reared its head when I dropped the build on the laptop at RV, so the planned high score contest didn’t go off quite as well as I’d hoped.

Once that was out of the way, it was time to put into action the next phase of my plan. I’d been increasingly unhappy with the whole regular employment deal for a while so when events lined up such that money wasn’t going to be a major issue for a while it seemed like the ideal time to see if I could strike out on my own.

With that in mind, I handed in my 3 months’ notice at the beginning of August, and the country promptly burst into flames.

London : Frenzied Beercave fans demand the release of Gun Bastard

More fortuitously, I more-or-less immediately picked up a gig coding the PC conversion of Playing Gods, coming soon to various platforms near you.

As a test run for Unity, the platform I’m building PG in, I took a stab at my first Ludum Dare 48 hour game dev contest at the end of August. The result, GET TO THE CHOPPAH!!!, isn’t exactly a great game but it made for a good exercise and the enforced deadline kept me from slacking off.

The next Ludum Dare in December went a little more smoothly (despite a rubbish theme) and produced the slightly more polished Lonely Robot’s Kitten Quest. I should really get around to writing that one up at some point.

So, heading into 2012 I’ve got a fair few ongoing projects to keep me occupied: First up, obviously, is finishing off Playing Gods. All being well a reasonable amount of success there should lead to some other interesting projects down the line.

Aside from that, based on the two LD games and the current state of both Gun Bastard and Droidy Shooty Thing, the main area I really need to work on is content generation. Both of them have the mechanics pretty much in place and just need fleshing out with more enemies and level design. It’s probably worth me investing a decent chunk of my time looking into procedural content generation and some decent world-building tools, which should make things a little easier on me when it comes to building something more game and less tech-demo.