The Journey of Life
After a brief hiatus I have returned to blogging. I struggled to keep a good development pace for Odd Jobs and the more I looked at it the more I realized it was a project that would take at least a year, and probably two, to finish. I kept adding features to the “must have” column and admittedly some of them were worthy of that entry, others not so much. I decided to set aside my quest of Odd Jobs for now, and continue on with my journey of developing and publishing games.
Codename: Dungeon Explorer
I needed a smaller, more focused game to grow my Unity skills. Before I started blogging I contemplated developing several smaller idle/incremental games to level up my skills. I started on a Realm Revolutions (Kongregate, Steam) clone, however, I convinced myself that my years of non-gaming developer experience translated to more Unity knowledge than I really had. To learn a new framework takes practice, and therefore I needed to put in the time and grind out (in a good way) the experience.
My wife and I decided to make an adaptation of the idle/incremental game Matter of Scale. Its prestige mechanic is different than most idle/incrementals do, instead of resetting the whole game, you gain research points and build the location (Hamlet, Village, Town, etc.) again, this time just a bit better depending on how you spent your research points. After you completing six locations of one level a new level opened to you. You have managers for each location as well, I think of them as governors. These governors provide bonuses on top of the ones provided by your research. The mechanics of the game aren’t complex and the graphics are straightforward and I enjoy wasting my time on it. However, there are a number of items I don’t enjoy and hence I will create my own version.
Codename: Dungeon Explorer. That’s what my wife and I call our game until we decide on a final title. We’re building a fantasy-steampunk themed RPG-esque version. We both love fantasy, steampunk, and RPG games, and for the past few years we have toyed around with our own world called Topexx Dominions. We even created some 35mm miniatures based on our characters and had a successful Kickstarter for them. In fact, you can still order them.
So how do I stop myself from expanding the game scope to monstrous proportions? I gave myself a time limit. I have roughly 160 development hours to get the game created, packaged, and deployed. I have already spent time to roughly design the game and created a high-level plan. This past week I started developing the game and got the UI blocked out (ignore the colors) and started the working on the core mechanic. I plan to initially deploy the game to itch.io and Kongregate, which means I need to create dev accounts for both of them. I also plan to discuss it on r/incremental_games while developing and when its finished.
Look for more devblogs in the near future.
Journals and Learning New Skills
The longer I have this site the more ways I find to use it. I recently created a Learning page where I started recording the various tutorials, books, articles, and other forms of acquiring new skills. This page compliments my Tips & Tricks page and I intend to keep both updated as I continue my education.
On that note, after several failed attempts I finally acquired a new skill this week. I successfully setup LFS FolderStore for my new git repo so I can store my image files in Dropbox instead of on GitHub. I created a tutorial, Configuring Git LFS To Use Dropbox, describing the steps of what I did.
If you’re interested, let me tell you the backstory. While working on Odd Jobs, I downloaded and installed the Heroic Fantasy Creatures asset, which comes in at a whopping 7.4 GB. I needed git’s large file support (LFS) to help manage all those binaries and whatnot. I setup LFS and pushed my code to GitHub and didn’t think anything of it. A few months went by and I get an email from GitHub telling me I exceeded my LFS limit and I couldn’t push code until I either bought more or deleted the offending repos. Well, I didn’t want to pay $60/year for 50 GB storage, especially when I already have a Dropbox account. With the little I knew of LFS I figured I could point it to a different data store than where the code repo sits. After a little searching I happened upon sinbad‘s LFS FolderStore repo, which did exactly what I wanted.
I fumbled around for a bit, got some clarification from ZeusLT, and then set it aside. Well when I started on my new (smaller) game dev quest I picked it back up and got it setup. Now I have a git repo with LFS installed, the origin points to a private GitHub repo and the LFS points to a local folder in Dropbox. I don’t have to worry about GitHub storage fees for the foreseeable future. Now I need to get it working on my wife’s laptop to make sure I can replicate the whole setup.
For now I leave you with one of my new personal mottos – Achieve! Success and failure are vital to our betterment, and only through action will I achieve my dreams.