At the end of last summer, I was completely stumped on the game I was working on: The Museum. I decided to just give up on the game, or at least put it aside until I figured out some issues. After that summer I kept thinking about the game in my head, over and over. Then, when this summer arrived, I figured out a lot of the design issues and made even more progress on the game. But, time is a cruel mistress and history loves to repeat itself. As I’m on the last day of my summer, nearing the first day of University classes, I feel the same hopelessness and dread as I did last year; I’m completely and utterly stumped on the game.
Who knows, maybe a year from now I’ll figure out the design problems I’ve been having as I did last year, but it’s looking grim. Thankfully, I’ve been feeling this hopelessness a bit earlier, a month ago to be exact. On that day of dread and despair, I realized that I have one month left before my classes start back up. I could have done two things: A) Realize that this is the last “summer break” I’ll ever have in my life and just relax and enjoy it before I join the cesspool of death that is the job market or B) Prepare myself for the job I want to pursue by practicing some C++ with OpenGL. Well, good news. I didn’t do either.
I instead just started to work on another game! (Commence onslaught of eye rolls) Except this time, I really focused on the missteps I took with The Museum. With every death of a game prototype, I learn a tremendous amount. I scour the grave of the prototype, trying to finding hints of why it went so horribly wrong. After some analyzing, I find some clues about why it died; simply bad (not fun or challenging) core game mechanic, lack of scalability, lack of art, no creative ideas found within the game’s systems. So, for this new game I decided to work in a preexisting genre; 2d grid-based puzzling. I then realized that, hey, I’m not an artist and shouldn’t waste my time on it. So after I completed a short prototype of the game showcasing the puzzles and ideas, I posted it on /r/gamedev and /r/INAT (I need a team) and lo and behold, I got a few responses! To be honest, I was utterly shocked. Who the hell would want to create art for a game made by me? Especially for free? (Also, the game is set to be a free release once it’s finished)
But real talk, the artist that I’m working with, Sara, is seriously talented. Just look at some of the stuff she’s made: https://imgur.com/a/Ek4NI
But alas, the artists I’ve been talking to share the same enthusiasm and passion for the game as I do. And with that, I spent my remaining summer crunching on the game and designing the puzzles. It’s also a short game, containing 5 levels of puzzles with each level taking approximately 25 minutes to beat. I currently have 2 levels completed, and am working on the remaining 3. Here are some screenshots:
Unfortunately as a result of my last year of University classes starting back up on Monday, I won’t have as much time to work on the game. I’ll still try to squeeze in some game dev on the weekends, or If I have any down time during the week. But for now, I’m going to focus on honing my C++ skills and learn to use the OpenSceneGraph library. Thankfully, I have an opportunity to do research this semester on virtual reality, which entails me using C++ and OpenSceneGraph to make cool stuff. Until next time.