Summer is over

The summer break is over and I have little to show for it.

I started a game project using Unity3D in May. I did, what I thought, was a quick and simple design and got to work. Progress was very slow at first, learning the Unity engine meant multiple complete start overs. It was very frustrating but thankfully Unity is well documented and has a huge community so with a little persistence I was able to get the hang of it.

Around the end of June I started to get somewhere. I had playable elements of the game and the starts of a menu system and then two things happened, I started testing and my son finished school.

Every test I ran revealed some kind of problem, be it a bug or a design flaw or just a little tweek needed. Most of them were minor, some were less so. I started to work through it but my development time quickly dwindled away. When I did get some time the list continued to grow instead of shrink.

I haven’t touched the game in almost three weeks. I couldn’t bare the thought of embarking on another aspect with so little time left. So there my game sits for now, waiting to be completed. What it all boils down to is that I lost momentum on the project and now the project seems too big for me to pick up again. My schedule is now almost completely filled up and I have  a long way to go before I’ll be happy letting it see the light of day. On the bright side I now consider myself competent with Unity and Javascript. I’ve got a good feel for indie development and game development and how I can better approach it in the future.

I get asked a lot by prospective students if game development is hard and I’ve always just answered yes. It’s really hard, just about as hard as programming gets. One student took it a step further and asked me why. Well now I have a real answer. Even simple games quickly become big projects, there are that many systems, score keeping, artwork and animation, physics, levels, rules, etc… all working together, just keeping a track of it all is a challenge.