Hey everyone, it’s been awhile. A lot has happened in the last few months, and a lot is coming up. I was dealing with a tricky situation for awhile, but things are definitely looking up.
First off, I’m extremely sorry, as well as disappointed in myself for slacking on the wordpress, and I’ll do my best to make sure that doesn’t ever happen again.I was living at my dad’s place for awhile after running into some financial trouble, and to put this lightly, the work environment was horrible. I grabbed myself a part time job at Domino’s Pizza with my friends to earn some cash and get back on my feet, but that plan was moving a bit too slowly, and then there’s that minor detail of me being let go due to upper management cracking down on labor hours, but that’s not too important. Long story short, my game development work environment was horrible, I was stressed to hell with my living situation, and money wasn’t coming in quick enough for me to change things.
I also attempted to make money through a game reviewing service I started up on FGL, and while I received some donations, and a lot of praise, not putting a price on the service left me with little earnings. I made a lot of people happy, increased the value of a lot of games, but ultimately it didn’t benefit me on the financial front as much as I thought it would, so It seemed (more on that later).
I attempted to make money through game development, but there were a few issues there. First off, Gemfruit is a new branding, it’s not known the to the public yet, and when it is known, that has to be done right. I don’t want my first game under this branding to be a “money game”, I want it to be something I’m proud of, something that will represent the direction this branding/company will go in. The reason I was unable to complete the above task, is because of two reasons. First off, I mentioned work conditions were horrible, and they were. I won’t get into the details, just take my word for it. Secondly, I switched frameworks from something I was comfortable with, to something that is awesome, but foreign to me.
I was originally using “ShadowLib”, the leftover framework from when TheVillageBlacksmith and I were together as EpicShadow. This framework wasn’t complete by any means, but it did what I needed it to do, and I was comfortable with it. I’m not a novice programmer, but I’m not an expert either, and having a framework I was comfortable with really helped me produce games faster. Daughters of Pytheus was built on this library, but I ran into issues as I got further into development. I was getting extremely intrigued by everything I was hearing about FlashPunk, and really wanted to switch to it. I eventually attempted to port what I had of Daughters of Pytheus to FlashPunk, but this ended up taking much longer than I anticipated due to my less than optimal programming experience, work environment, and my naturally ability of thinking things take 1/3 the time they actually do when work related. In the end, I had spent too much time learning my way around FlashPunk, attempting to port the code, and trying to get a job for some income to get back on my feet. Before I knew it, the summer was over, Verena was back in classes, and it was time to pick a new project to work on, because she wasn’t able to work on Daughters of Pytheus while having a full class load.
What’s To Come
As I said, I stopped using ShadowLib, and have switched to FlashPunk. I’m really liking FlashPunk, and am finally getting comfortable with it. For the most part, its coding style fits mine pretty well, it’s strict enough that it doesn’t drive me crazy by being sloppy, and it has a lot of tools and classes that are extremely useful. I’ve been slowly programming in it over the last few months, porting old games, moving started games to it, etc. I’m finally comfortable enough with it now, and I’ve begun fully coding my next major game release, which will be revealed soon.
In addition to FlashPunk finally being something I’m comfortable with, I’ve stepped away from my dad’s pad and am now living in a much, much better place. I moved about 25 minutes away from the city, and am now living on Georgia Mountain, Vermont. My friend Ian and I plan on getting an apartment in the next few months, so we’re both staying up at his parents log house on the mountain with them while we save up to make that happen. The family has always been a second family to me, and I’m extremely grateful that they were understanding of my situation and are letting me live here with them. The house is quite the luxury home, it has 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a beautiful kitchen, radiant heating, and a lot of open space, etc. The basement is where we’ve set up our man cave, but I’d hardly call it a basement, it’s more or less the bottom floor to the house. It’s been the grounds for numerous LAN parties since I’ve got here, and I must say, RTS with 4-6 people is a blast. Overall, the living situation is an increase so big I don’t know how to put it into words. I’m playing more games, getting more work done, and I’m far happier and healthier feeling than I was before.
I mentioned doing some in-depth reviews for FGL users on a donation basis, and how I thought it had failed me on the financial front. Turns out, it was not only great for helping other people, but myself too. I’ve now landed myself enough clients to officially call myself a professional game consultant. I’ve worked with some extremely talented developers, and they’ve all been exceptionally happy with the work I’ve provided them. My services range from an idea guy for sequels, to doing in-depth reviews on games that developers feel are near complete, or “complete”. I find that most of these games definitely need some fixing before they hit the wild, sometimes way more than that. I’ll be focusing a bit more on this from now on, so expect a more detailed post on this very soon.
Flash Game Summit 2012 is just a few months away, and I can’t wait to be walking the streets of San Francisco once again. I just received the FGL December 2011 email, and was pleased to see that the Indie Giving Event is now up and running again. This event lets developers purchase a package that includes the FGS ticket, 2 nights in a nice hotel, 2 awesome free shirts, and all meals covered for the day of the indie giving event (includes an amazing dinner, not just bagged lunches or anything of that sort). Basically you get a sweet discount on your entire FGS trip by doing some awesome charity work with other developers, it’s a win-win situation. I’ll have more on this in a post soon, including my experiences from last year, and more details on the event. Needless to say, I’ve already purchased my ticket, which makes Porzdy.com look pretty ridiculous (not that it didn’t make me laugh before, and look ridiculous in the first place).
All in all, everything is starting to look up for me, and I’m definitely going to be a lot more active now that everything has fallen into place. I have a lot of games I want to get done, new-found motivation to back it up, and every other aspect of my life is comfortably in place to allow me to get these things done. I’ve had these sudden bursts of motivation before, but each time I’ve always struggled to get everything else in check. This time, everything is in order, and I’m ready to become the game develop I know I can be.