three years of gamedev
I just finished my tenth game, which was also my first done outside the confines of a game jam. It has over 10,000 views right now (thanks to Newgrounds), which is higher than all of my other games combined. sling 2, my favorite and what I think is my best, has under 1000 views on Itch and Newgrounds. All of my projects have been small, and while I'm going to keep doing jams, I am looking forward to some larger projects this year and next.
play panic here
Three years ago on November 1st I started my first game jam which led to my first finished game; rise. It is pretty hard and not very good, but I was able to finish a game in a month with multiple levels, multiple features and did all of the art, music and gameplay coding myself. I've done that jam a few years in a row now, and it starts on Monday. I'm not sure if I will be participating. On one hand it is good exposure and I can polish a small game pretty well in a month, but I am also devoting a month to a game that could be spent working on something larger.
my favorite, sling 2
I made a game called current for my first Ludum Dare. I finished in the top 1%! A couple people put it on their blogs, some of which were in Japanese. Very cool. I started making rhythm prototypes around this time. Bobby Burt of High School Bathroom Simulator fame suggested I put my games on Newgrounds as they would get more views and appreciation there. The success of Friday Night Funkin' encouraged me to finish some rhythm games. I made burgerline in two days and panic lazily over two months.
my first Ludum Dare game, current
three years later
I am much more comfortable making games than I was three years ago. My design sense is stronger, I understand better what players want, and my games are becoming more cohesive. Haxeflixel now feels like a creative extension of my body rather than an obtrusive tool. However, I am forever learning. My design, code, music and especially my graphics can greatly improve. I want and need to focus more on playtesting, accessibility and marketing myself along with my games and skills.
In honor of three years making games, here's some advice to myself when I started:
- Don't worry too much about which tools you are using, your first jam game is not gonna end up on the Nintendo Switch.
- While good practice, you aren't going to make a better Stardew Valley than Stardew Valley.
- Watch your friends play your games.
- One good feature is leagues better than multiple half-baked features.
- If you take time during a jam to hang with friends, partner, cook a good meal, etc. your game will come out way better.
- Stop focusing on your results and reactions to your games, put that energy back into your projects.
- If it's too hard to implement, don't implement it.
- You can literally make anything, but how much time are you willing to spend?
I'm finally in a place with my skills where I can start making the things I really want. Here's to 3 more.
Tags: dev gamedev blog