It’s been a little while since my last entry, but I’m still hard at work on my game! Since last time I’ve been continuing to stream, and I’ve found it to be hugely beneficial so far.
I haven’t streamed a lot just yet – maybe 10 streams or so in total – but I’m still finding that it keeps me much more focused than I would ever be if I were just working normally. I’ve also been trying to have specific days when I stream so I can not only have a reliable schedule for any returning viewers, but I can keep making steady progress and even have days where I don’t have to feel bad about not working on the game.
I do wonder if I’ll be able to maintain this level of focus while streaming in the future if I accumulate any sort of following, but after checking out a couple of larger gamedev streams, they don’t seem to have a problem with it. They do seem to focus less on chat though, so as my stream develops I might need to change how much I interact with chat to make sure I stay productive – people probably don’t want to see me not getting work done anyway!
Unfortunately, my graphics card failed recently and I haven’t been streaming while it’s being replaced, though I’m thinking I’ll try to come up with an alternate setup even if I can’t use two monitors for a while. I don’t like working with only one monitor, and I’d probably like streaming even less. Even still, I want to stay on top of it, especially since I just came back from vacation recently and already had a gap in streaming there.
As for the game itself, I’ve gotten quite a lot accomplished in these past few weeks. First, I’ve finally finished all of the mission maps in the game!
Finishing the mission maps took quite a few hours, but streaming really helped me stay focused and grind through it. I also cut a few maps that didn’t add much to the game, and reused parts of some of them in other maps to save some time.
In total there are 23 maps, though one or two of them are almost totally duplicated from one other. There is also still one more map to make – the map the player will encounter the final boss in. I’ve already started on it, but it’ll take a bit longer than any of the others. I wanted the player to have a lot of room to move around, so I’ve made this map larger than all of the other maps. Unfortunately this does mean it’ll take a while to actually fill it up with stuff, but it is at least the last one I have to do!
I also got a lot of work done on the final boss, and it’s nearing completion! It’s already moving around and shooting at the player, and while it could use some tweaking and balancing, it’s very close to done.
The only thing left to do is finish up the map it lives in and implement the game logic to make it actually appear when the player runs out of time. I will need to spend some time tweaking and polishing it though since I’m sure it’s not well balanced just yet.
I want to make sure I don’t spend too much time with it though. When I was testing it earlier, I found that it had the same problem as the smaller enemies where crashing into the wall made it behave very strangely. This isn’t such a big deal for small enemies, but it could be quite jarring to the player if they see it happen with a much larger enemy. I do want to spend time trying to fix this, but I’m prepared to ship the game with it. It is after all just going to be a free online game, so a few rough edges are not such a big deal. The most important thing is that I actually finish the game!
Once the boss is done, the only large tasks left are to implement saved games and create the UI artwork. I also have to find better sound effects and either commission some music or buy some cheap music for the game somewhere.
I briefly tried making music before, and while I like the idea of learning to make music as a hobby, I really don’t think it’s something I can do for my own games. Learning to do it well would take far too long, so it would be better to collaborate with someone to fill in this part of the game I think.
There’s not much left to do, but I’m sure the game will still take at least a couple months more to finish. Being that I’m doing this in my spare time I’m not too worried about how long it’s taking. I’ll be happy as long as I keep pushing to the end!