In The Year 2516

It all began around a year ago when I had a dry writing spell and thus nothing to offer on my Patreon. I searched online for a platform game engine that I had played about with many years ago but this time I wanted to make something substantial.

After reinstalling Arcade Game Studio I created a really thin platformer that was part Ghouls & Ghosts and part Mario; That wasn’t my original intention but looking back that’s pretty much what it was. My original idea was to make something more early Amiga-like. Something like Rick Dangerous with the graphical style of The Secret of Monkey Island.

I think I made quite an endearing little prototype to be honest. I made a character select that let you chose one of three characters, all with different abilities, to quest through the level I made. I had a lock and key system in place for doors and to promote exploration. Yeah I was proud of what I had achieved. However it wasn’t enough. It never is.

I dreamed of creating more robust characters that each had their own arsenal; Characters so drastically different with special abilities that would affect how they moved through the level; Scripted events that would tell an almost cinematic story. I moved to Paper2D in the Unreal Engine hoping to manage these wishes.

UDK was my first choice for an advanced engine. I had played about with it since it was UnrealEd back when I was still using Wadauthor to make Doom levels. It was tedious back then and would consistently crash but it was still easier for me to use than any Quake editor. I admit though that this was down to bias. I loved the original Unreal game to the point that I still play through it once or twice a year.

With a new engine came new limitations and with them my confidence took a big knock. I lost my patience and with that my art. My inspiration had turned into resentment. There was so much I could do in Unreal to make something truly beautiful, but I was getting stuck on drawing 16×16 sprites and animations. I wanted to be better but I was scared that I couldn’t do better. I disabled myself because I stopped believing in having fun. I was scared to enjoy my work.

A year is a long time to anguish over disbelief. It’s completely self-indulgent. I’ve learned about myself by buidling up and crumbling down methods and processes. My only problem now is that I realize that I’ve wrote an essay on game development when the questions’ format was multiple choice.

Utilities And Other Oddities.

Here is a list of the tools that I’m using:

I use both a Laptop and a Desktop. I find it easier to use my Wacom tablet and write with the Laptop. However due to computing constraints my Desktop is more suited to compiling and rendering objects and materials, and also running the engine!

Software:

Aseprite [2D image manipulation]
Blender [3D image manipulation]
Crunchbangplusplus
[Laptop … … manipulation]
FLStudio
[Desktop Audio Workstation]
Inkscape [Vector graphics tool]
Krita [2D image tool]
Libre Office [Data processing suite]
Magicavoxel [3D “voxel” imaging.]
Pro Motion NG [2D image tool]
Unreal Engine 4 [Integrated Development Environment and game engine]
Windows 10 x86_64
[Desktop OS]

Hardware:

AMD FX-9370 [CPU]
Cheap-ass guitars [Bass and *cough* a few *cough* six-strings (acoustic and two E.)]
GeForce 1050ti [Graphics card]
M-Audio Oxygen-8 [MIDI Controller]
Wacom Intuous Tablet [Graphics Pen and Tablet combo]
Senheiser HD 215 [Headphones]

Now with all these ingredients in my magical Juju bag I’ll give it a shake and a tumble, and … …