SMF - Just Installed!
Started by droqen, November 03, 2021, 11:38:12 PM
Quotehttps://eggplant.show/81-scaling-and-scoping-with-asher-vollmer-beast-breaker[38:00] "Building a life that is sustainable and doing what we love."The framework: from 'zero' to 'basic game' as quickly as possiblePIECES THAT WORK TOGETHER FOR PERSONAL NEEDS. My specific workflow: Pyxel Edit to design a tilesetDesire: I like doing pixel art, I like starting a project with pixel art sometimesGodot with Navdi tools to get it working (should I link the tools?)* Past experiment: I tried writing a template character controller but I enjoy writing that code so I never ended up using the template character controller* Compare: The Navdi tools are for skipping over stuff I hate doing but have to do every time. Turning only a few minutes of "ugh this again" into one second of "ok done" is worth the effort. The turning point, the structureEvery game needed an end point, and I knew this. I didn't always have an idea of what it would be, but I had the technological signal in place, and at a certain point in each project I would look at how long I'd been working on the game and what else I wanted to do that day -- how much time I wanted to hang out with my partner, cook and eat food, chill and relax -- and made the call to switch gears. "This is fine and I've spent 2 hours on this game already, I need to start wrapping it up." The games didn't have title screens or end outros or anything, and it still generally took me an hour to wrap up all the things I'd been putting off. (Bugs, bad-feeling edge cases, testing the level design, sometimes even conceiving of and implementing a win condition. "This needs enemies, it's too easy!" "This goal is terrible! What is more fun?")ADHD and me. 1-day attention span.PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT NEEDS AND STRENGTHS. It's not always the right move to make a game in 1 day! It worked for me because I've always gravitated towards making games in 1 day. TOJam is a 3-day game jam and it's pretty much a constant that I make three games, throwing out the first two and settling on the third... but that's three games in three days, like clockwork.You have to practice the craft to understand your relationship to it. What can you make in 1 day? What can you make in 1 week? What do you want to make, and how long does it normally take? Designing 31 games in 31 days is not a test of making as many games as possible. I could have tried to make 62 games in 31 days! But that wouldn't have worked with my learned rhythms.By all means try making a game every day for a period of time, but if you want to take a week on a game and that feels right to you, do that. If you want to take a month, do that.UNDERSTANDING THE DAY TO DAY PROCESSis very important to meDEADLINESMissed deadlines are not "you did bad" or "now you need to catch up on this" when you're indie, accountable only to yourself. They are feedback. They are information. Yes, you should work to hit your deadlines, but you should also ask why you missed them and how you can design your deadlines to push you better in a way that makes you more comfortable but also more productive.DROQEN WAS HEREDoing this zine every month, building a habit...It's relevant somehow.(I'm late finishing this month's.)How does artmaking fit in to my life? OUTLET FOR SKETCHINGOUTLET FOR NOTETAKINGNote on the style of writing: I'm writing this about myself, for myself, to myself. I write this way because I think this way, and I think this way because it's good for me: I talk to people all the time who have different perspectives on what's good for them, and I know that what's good for one person won't be good for everyone. I think in terms of designing FOR MYSELF, and sometimes it's also good for other people. So there.DEADLINES AGAINPermission to stop.Working on a project that's going to take years, how do I know when to stop working for the day? How much is enough? It's a slippery slope."Why don't I feel like cooking cauliflower soup today? What's wrong with me?"I started thinking about how to better understand my own impulses and design a life around them sometime during lockdown in Toronto. It wasn't even about the work of designing games at first, it was about cooking. I had this expectation that because I was capable of doing something, that my capacity to do it was a resource I should be able to tap anytime.I know I can cook cauliflower soup. I've done it before. And I know I can work with higher resolution sprites (for me that means 16x16 instead of 8x8, lol), I can make passable 3D games, I can write netcode, etc.Big over-scoped projects often place too much emphasis on the end result and not enough on the process. When process is discussed in a productive light, it's often fluffy, fuzzy platitudes, dreams, aspirations: "making games should be sustainable," "we made a committment to no crunch." But nobody really talks about how to prioritize your self in work, only that you should take breaks when it gets to be too much.Why in the hell do we let it get to be too much in the first place?#droqtoberThe topic of this article is #droqtober, my project to make a game every single day for 31 days straight. (It took a little while for people to convince me to use this name, so the first few are hashtagged #gametober or #protober. But they're part of the same project.) On midnight of the final day, I released a compilation of all of them, 31 unmarked games, for $5 on itch.io. You can get it here: https://droqen.itch.io/31-unmarked-gamesWhen I started, I thought it was some absurd undertaking. An epic feat. I thought I was basically capable, but that I was going to put myself through hell to accomplish it. Then a week passed, and it wasn't hard at all. It was an easy, familiar rhythm to me, maybe because of decades spent making small games. More on that later, but right now it's very important to set this stage correctly:I don't consider #droqtober a creative success because it was a struggle over which I triumphed; I consider it a success of identifying, experimenting with, and ultimately committing to a project that deeply suited my skillset, my personality, and my humanity.sustainabilityThis is a word that I hear a lot. Crunch is causing massive burnout, people are dropping out of the games industry, and the solution to all this badness? Sustainability. So far it's felt like a far-off goal. It's not a strategy or a plan in itself so much as it is a cultural ambition. The solution to burnout: don't burn people out! The solution to crunch: don't crunch!It's an important aspiration, but these answers have always felt incomplete.first, godotWhat does my process look like, and why?I moved from Unity to Godot Engine a couple years ago for many reasons. Most of them came down to removing points of practical frustration that I had been accepting for the sake of saving myself future, theoretical frustration.Godot Engine's benefits (mostly practical)Lightweight, runs better on my computerNo seconds of build time after changing a scriptGDScript is like Python, and I love PythonBuilt-in script has very nice autocomplete (I never did get VS Code working well)Engine is easier to understand, and therefore modify* to better suit my needsI like its Nodes better than Unity's Object/ComponI like its Scenes better than Unity's Prefabs (at the time prefabs were very iffy. I don't know if they're fine now. I don't really think about Unity at all!)Unity Engine's benefits (mostly future, theoretical)More people use it so it's easier to collaborate (I wasn't collaborating much)Capable of porting to consoles effortlessly (we'll see if I regret this one)More people produce great resources for it (I don't use the asset store though)
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