How I've been spending my time
6 March 2017
WARNING: this post is a bit of a brain dump of everything I've been working on and dabbling with. Consider yourself warned!
I've been working on a culmination of various projects since Justin and I released Astervoid 2000 a few months ago, and I wanted to put it all in one place to share what I've been up to as well as create some sort of organized record of just what the heck has been eating my time.
2016 was huge. I decided to focus the entire 2nd half of it on making Astervoid the best damn game I could make. Needless to say, I learned a ton. Business and marketing, Unity (C#) / graphics programming, sound design ... On top of that, I composed around 15 tunes for the Astervoid 2000 soundtrack, and we worked with memorecks to add his terrific styling to the OST. You can listen to it on bandcamp.
Time for a change
Switching to the vast world of videogames has been challenging. Respecializing has proven more difficult than anything I've done over the past five years. It's pushed me to to learn a boatload of new skills. I realized quickly that having only one successfully launched 2D title under my belt makes it tricky to land work in this more competitive landscape.
I started 2016 with the idea of making a psychological thriller VR title. After meditating on it some, I realized the amount of story I'd have to write, 3D artwork and animations and scripted content I'd have to create would be a tremendous amount of work for something players may only get a couple of hours of gameplay out of. After hearing Ryan Clark preaching about doing market research prior to starting projects, I've shelfed that idea with plans to come back to it later. I have a new concept for an awesome VR title that will be more easily shippable in a reasonable timeframe, and will provide players with more replayabilty. I'm aiming to complete this project in the next year or two.
On 3D modeling and animation, I realized I was quite in the dark about this necessary component of creating VR games. I had dabbled in Blender and MagicaVoxel in 2016, but went hard on learning those skills earlier this year. I felt compelled to take a really rather gaudy 1970's scene and re-create with a modern realism feel in Blender. Here's the end result:
Around the same time, I felt compelled to learn low poly character creation. I set out to create a fox I could add a skeletal rig to and easily create animations for. This creature has found itself playing an interesting role in a VR music video I am nearing the end of crafting for the HTC Vive (and time permitting, Oculus Rift).
In graphic design, I pushed myself to design multiple logos to better my design skills. However, this project got cut short when I accepted a full-time contract. I realized how beautiful the symbiosis of logo design with 3D rendering is, and am lackadaisically creating some animated 3D logos to level-up and have fun.
10 of us from IndiePod created Shatter Stomp in 48 hours for the 2017 Global Game Jam. One player straps the HTC Vive VR controllers to their feet while the other player attacks them with a laser-equipped satellite from the comfort of their remote satellite laptop computer.
Also, I wrote and recorded a metal tune for a client in Calgary creating a space-themed real-time strategy game. I'll share that track when it's possible.
Up and coming works
I've started working with Mythical City Games on a new VR title which is coming along superb. It's looking as though it will provide both a unique and relaxing experience to those seeking something in VR other than another zombie shooter. I'll make sure to share details on it when it's further along and we've announced it properly.
My friend Candice shared that she creates some of her own jewelry through a 3D printing SaaS called Shapeways. I'm exploring various options of creating figurines, jewelry and memorabilia using their services.
Lastly, Justin and I recently received our Xbox One dev kits and are starting a new quest of releasing Astervoid 2000 on the Xbox platform. Accompanying that, we aim to release the game in different regions by supporting a few new languages.
A bit more personal
I'm getting married in September to an illustrious woman. On top of that, she landed the placement she was hoping for which means we're not being shipped off to some third world city such as Toronto or Ottawa. (jokes, jokes! I love Toronto) 😉