August 13th, 2019
Hope everyone is having a great week so far! This will be a blog chocked full of updates and good news! So let's dive right in.
Firstly, I'm excited to announce that I have accepted a position at a new company and will be starting on August 26th. The position is a front-end development role in the eCommerce industry. This is ushering in a huge transition in my life and will eventually bring some additional funds back to Thought Reactor. I have been where I am currently for over six and a half years and the time has come to move into something more specialized.
Most importantly, I need to secure my future. However, once some things have been cleared off my plate, I will be able to start investing some more time and money into the studio. Thought Reactor has always been funded by my personal income and that will continue into 2020. This has been one of the many restraints to bringing in additional talent to our projects, but moving forward I will begin to start saving and allocating money for some help.
I will continue to keep you all posted on how things are going at the new job - I'm excited and eager to start my career in a booming industry for a business that is seeing insane growth and potential in their space!
The Game Maker's Toolkit Game Jam has come to a close!
We participated in the Game Maker's Toolkit Game Jam a little over a week and a half ago. After a week of playing and rating other's titles, the dust has finally settled! With everything said and done - I'm personally pleased with the results. There were over 2,600 entries to the jam and in each category except Originality, we finished in the upper 25%. Our ranking for Adherence to Theme was even better, ranking in the top 200 at #166.
I tend to generally ignore rankings in game jams. They're vastly subjective and are often left to the whims of imperfect sorting algorithms and popularity. However, they're still very good indicators of how well you did. Second to that was the feedback I received from others who left comments on the submission page. Receiving words of praise and constructive feedback from your fellow game developers is one of the most rewarding aspects of doing these little competitions. On that front, we did exceptionally. Those who played the game really enjoyed its simple but challenging mechanic. You can play Recoverdrome in the browser on Itch.
This has really made me excited for Ludum Dare coming up in October. I will be starting the process of building a jam team up for that in the coming month or so.
Still Chuggin' Along with IGEO
The IGEO patch is still coming along. This weekend I made further progress on the updated settings menu, fully implementing post-processing controls and have begun implementing audio levels using Unity's mixer feature. This will allow players to control Master volume, music, and sound effects separately to tune the game's audio to their preferences. Before, I simply had a master slider that would control the volume of the game in total.
Once that feature is complete, I will be rolling the existing animation system over to a new, more performant library. This, amongst some other tweaks, will address some of the game's lingering collision bugs, which can break levels in some cases. After that is implemented the Version 1.1 patch will be ready for launch.
As stated in an earlier blog, this release will mark the end of the product's life cycle on Itch.io as a freely available browser game and usher in a new development cycle in which we bring the game to Steam with more content and enhanced features.
Lastly, I want to talk in brief about some changes coming to the website. Primarily, I want to finish getting the marketing aspects of the site squared away. As things stand, it's basically just the blog on here. I will be changing the About page to better reflect our vision and direction, as well as creating a Press Kit for us to start getting prepared for upcoming releases. Additionally, I'm going to start the process of rolling our site off of a server-side Laravel system and into a more front-end developed JAM stack system. This will create a sleeker site with better performance and it will eliminate server costs by migrating from DigitalOcean's VPSs to Netlify.
With all that - I bid you farewell for now! Hope to have news regarding the IGEO Version 1.1 launch coming to you within a few weeks. Wish me luck with my new job!