So, I wasn't sure if I was going to be doing this weekly, but it seems like I am.
Where to start?
I guess we'll start it off with some current events. If you're a loyal Islander, you may recall a post I made a few weeks back about taking Saturdays off from my day job(s) in order to get some big chunks of work done on The Ovate Order.
Well, that backfired.
While I have moved my shift to the morning in an attempt to reclaim the heft of the day for game dev purposes, I am still working Saturdays, and have actually picked up an additional Friday shift. So, I'm back to being really busy 7 days a week.
This isn't all bad, though. Now with a couple extra bucks each month I am thinking about finally moving out of my studio apartment into a full blown 1 bedroom! Woah! I initially moved into this studio as a transitional apartment. I had just moved back from Mexico with my girlfriend at the time, and was looking for a place to rent ASAP. At the time it was almost perfect; cheap, located walking distance to my job, and most importantly, available. However, as I spend more and more time at home working on The Ovate Order, I realize it would be greatly beneficial to have a separate room for sleeping/relaxing. Having my work station looming over me every minute while I am home is bad for the sanity.
We'll see how it goes. Tentacles crossed.
The Ovate Otter
Order? Otter? Whatever.
So, as I said last post I've just been doing art assets... and I think I'm going to stick with that game plan for a while. Since time is a hot commodity right now I need to work fast, and out of all the things I could possibly work on right now, the art is going to be the quickest to get done. I've discussed managing all aspects of development with other solo devs, and it's pretty much the general consensus that switching from art, to sound design, to coding, to writing dialogue/text on a daily or weekly basis only slows down development.
This is one of the areas of development that gets me the most excited. To me it's through the art that I can really start to see the world 'come alive.' So, be sure to check out my Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook in the coming weeks to get the low down on new art assets including environments, spell effects, enemies, etc!
Butt Weight, There's More
Oh you thought it was over? It's never over.
There's one more thing I feel I should talk about, at least a little, and that's working out. That shit is something I do religiously. 4 nights a week, 2(ish) hours a night. Miss one day and I feel like I'm going to revert back into a puddle of ooze. Unhealthy? Naaah. While it may lead to odd eating habits and the fear of 'losing my gains,' physical exercise is one of the best natural mood enhancers ever. Depressed? Work out. Angry? Work out. Anxious? Work out. Your mood will level out in no time.
Now I know what you may be thinking. "IDK Joely, for working out so much you kind of look like a blob of Jello wrapped around Quasimodo . WTF bro. Do you even lift?"
First of all: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OloLS5kTrVs
Second of all: I was like 230lbs of blubber until I was 19. All I did was play video games and eat pizza for like 10 years straight. In that time I lost all my muscle mass, and gained a whole lot of fat. Then in my early 20's I went on this awesome diet called Not Eating and lost even more muscle mass. My lowest weight was around 150lbs, and at 6'0" that's pretty damn low. So, the past 2-ish years of lifting weights has basically been just rebuilding everything I never used. It's been a long ass journey, but I now have around 8 consecutive months of working out under my belt and I almost look like a fully formed human. It's awesome.
One day I will look like Chiaotzu and my quest will be over.
It is I, Joel. The one and only. The multiple and many.
While I hope for the heft of this Blog to be related to game dev, thoughts on the game industry, and developments here on Piko Island, I have created this internet diary in order to give myself a platform to which I can spew nonsense from my brain into a written format.
But Why Tho?
Recently I have been filling my head with psychological whoo-hah, and one thing, which was said to be 'beneficial' to the human being, was writing. So, I figured I'd give it a go. I always liked writing as a youngling.
In addition, I have been introduced to this new idea of 'not being a tyrant to yourself.' The gist of it is that you shouldn't force yourself to always be working, or creating. Your mind/body/subconscious/pitiful little soul needs to be treated kindly, and rewarded for doing good things. I guess there have been studies that show decreases in general happiness, and increases in cortisol levels when humans are put through constant stress. Science and shit. Who's got time for that, tho?
I Am Doom Slayer
So, in an attempt to wring some enjoyment from life, I decided to play Doom (2016), and maybe finally beat it. It has been going well. I killed some demons, some demons killed me. In the end I felt like we came to a mutual understanding. I gave them hugs with my fists, and bullets. Rip and tear.
Perhaps one of my favorite features of the game was collecting those adorable little Doom Guy dolls. Their proportions are just so fantastically crafted. I really felt good about saving them from the hordes of demons on Mars and in Hell. It reminded me of when I was a child and I would try to protect my stuffed animals from the Satan Spawn which dwelled in my closet and outside of my window. I really hope whoever suggested that feature got a promotion.
Doom does a pretty good job at setting itself apart from other FPS these days. While the level design is clearly more structured as 'room to room', I was catching a lot of Halo vibes from some of the larger battles. It almost felt as if The Flood could appear at any moment. However, towards the middle of the campaign it seems as if Doom begins to struggle with it's identity.
1 In the beginning Doom was very upfront about it's 'fuck your bullshit, I'm here to kill' approach. 2 The Doom Slayer did not think twice about destroying computers, comm terminals, etc, in his quest for blood. 3 However, at some point he becomes complacent. 4 As players, we are then forced to wait for unskippable dialogue scenes to finish. 5 Usually this wouldn't bother me, I enjoy plot to my games, but Doom had me gearing up for a slaughter fest, not story time with Wall-E.
Minor grievances aside, I have enjoyed my time with Doom. Hell is, indeed, a nice place to visit.
Piko is Still Here. Say 'Hi' Lil P.
That's Piko saying Hi.
So, on the game dev front I have basically just been doing art for the past few weeks. Following the Rochester Mini Maker Faire, I took a week (ish?) to process some things, and really think about the future of The Ovate Order. I know the future holds great things, but I also know that it's only going to get more difficult as development continues.
So, in order to completely block out all those negative thoughts I've been making lots of new art assets! Mama always said, you can't be sad with a wacom pen in hand!
Happy Land got some sweet new additions (it's punny because they're candy), and I've started planning some reactor stuff, and underground mishaps.
So, yeah. Art. It's fun. I'm struggling to not post every little new thing I make. I want to share it, but I also want to leave some things to, you know, be discovered while playing the game.
I think that's it for this week's episode.
Like, seriously. An episode of mental instability.
Peace out ya'll.