Welcome, with every post I aim to provide transparency when it comes to goals, income, failures and successes as a Game Developer. I will also be sharing my knowledge across multiple topics such as Game Design, Programming in general, GameMaker and Unity3D.
Let’s Get StartedThis is not only just a monthly update, but I will go back on some past events to give some background information of how I came to be. You can skip over to 2018 if you don’t want to read about the past events from 2017. Basically, my journey started in 2012, when I taught myself how to code in GameMaker 8. Since then, I’ve been experimenting, researching, building, falling, creating, rising, prototyping, planning, investigating, learning, being inspired and being motivated by this one process called Game Development. Last year, starting out as Luminous Wizard (previously Pixel Wizard Studio) was a slow and daunting venture. I did some major work on a game called Eternal Wars, a mobile MMO Trading Card Game, for a company called Eternal-Inc Studios. I used Unity3D full time for a period of 10 months, doing server work and client work, creating in-game events and a chat system. This was a thoroughly good experience, I gained some really nice insightful experience as a full time Game Developer, since I had only been doing it part time for 5+ years. Using Unity commercially was a very interesting experience on it’s own, I had only used it in the 2D scope, it was not that bad, I encountered quite a few crashes daily, but other than that I thoroughly enjoyed the IDE and the integration with Visual Studio (sorry Mono, but I prefer Visual Studio for Unity), it made things so easy.
However, apart from working with Unity full time throughout my day, I was still using GameMaker Studio on my own personal projects, hoping to make a success out of a few mobile friendly HTML5 games. My workflow and productivity was just not that great, I suffered big time by creating around 30-50 prototypes and not finishing a single game during this time. I realized that I never followed through till the end to create a polished and finished product, but this is my own fault, I always thought I had time, I didn’t, I was using the never ending one last week to finish my game, then I would lose motivation and move onto the next great idea. The fact that I couldn’t stay focused or motivated on my own personal projects really took it’s toll, and of course it affected me working as a full time Game Developer as well. Then July came around, I was offered an opportunity to get back into the software industry, for a decent salary. I took it, I had lost my motivation and felt I needed a jump back into a corporate environment, specifically to fill gaps in my technical knowledge and find my motivation again. I am still at this same job today, in which I managed to lift my self esteem, while doing Game Development part time. It’s great being surrounded by such experienced and talented people, I can proudly say that whatever gaps I felt I needed to fill, I probably have already. Being in a great environment is encouraging on it’s own, I managed to pull myself together and after being a month at my new job, I managed to create, polish, finish and license a HTML5 game successfully! All in my own personal time of course.
I can now proudly and successfully say that I have changed my mentality, my workflow and my productivity since then. I feel more motivated than ever, more inspired than ever, and I feel that I can achieve anything I set my mind to. This is key, especially when you have goals you would like to smash. Now that I have spoken so freely about my personal life and my career, let us jump back to the present.
So Far In 20185+ years of making games part time and I finally feel like my journey has officially begun. During January I spent majority of my time developing Light Breaker, a mobile friendly HTML5 game with a spaceship theme, based on breaking lights emitted into the game. Light Breaker wasn’t released, I encountered some contradicting thoughts on how I wanted the movement mechanics to function, so I shelved it until I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
Sneak Preview: Light Breaker Death
Then I managed to secure some client work for some of my HTML5 games, this was even more encouraging as a part time Game Developer, I could still make some income on the side. I made a total of $801.09 for January alone. Impressive, I worked really hard to make sure that I could provide my clients with a great product and a great integration. This wasn’t the only surprise that January brought along though, I was cleaning up my Google Analytics towards the end of the month and I found recorded stats for Rolling Acorn. I had been recording the amount of times it was played since it’s initial release and licensing in 2015 and here they are:
Rolling Acorn served over 100 000 sessions over the course of 3 years, I am still ecstatic about this, I honestly didn’t think that my small little physics game would hit this, well maybe eventually, but not this soon! This looks like average stats to what I’ve seen, but this, for me, is still a huge accomplishment, and it has motivated me even more! By the time January had ended, I hadn’t even started programming my HTML5 online game, this is still one of my most ambitious goals for this year. I go into detail about the game and my goals for the game a bit further down. In February I made $0.00, not even close or as impressive as January, but why the inconsistency? During February I started on a mobile friendly HTML5 game called Crazy Dojo, instead of seeking client work for my existing games, I also didn’t have as much free time as I had expected. Luckily though, doing this part time, I don’t have the pressure to make a consistent income every month, but this is also the completely wrong approach to have, I would like to make it consistent and I will carry on working towards this. Crazy Dojo is a strategic game where you play as 1 of 22 different characters, fighting through monsters in different types of dojos, the more monsters you kill the higher your score.
Crazy Dojo is currently in development, I plan to finish development before the end of March so I can start work on my online multiplayer game.
Adventura: The Endless AdventureAdventura is planned to be a realtime adventure platformer game. You will be able to partner up with friends and play through multiple engaging levels, this will be available on a casual and competitive level. There are more features that I have planned to implement into Adventura, but these will be announced as time progresses. They will also be mentioned in the devlog, which I will setup shortly after starting development.
Adventura Title Mock Up
If you’re wondering about a release date, I have a small time frame which should give the slightest idea of when the game will be in a playable state. If you had a look on the home page, you would have noticed I have 3 goals I would like to achieve this year, including getting my online game into alpha before October, here’s why:
I would like to take Adventura to rAge 2018. For any non South African readers, rAge is one of the biggest gaming expos in South Africa, there is a special part of rAge for Indie Developers to showcase their games to anyone attending the expo. This is exciting, and I believe it’s one of my best opportunities to showcase Adventura The Endless Adventure. This is such a huge opportunity and I am more than excited. It’s always been my dream since I started programming games, to showcase one of my larger scale games to an audience! I will be working very hard and diligently to reach this milestone.