November 25th, 2019
Apologies for the lack of updates recently - things have been super busy at work getting ready for the holidays. This time of year is crunch time in eCommerce, to say the least!
I want to take this post - the last of this year - to lay out a bit of a roadmap for what I want to do with Thought Reactor next year. 2020 will mark our 4th year as a legal business and I would love for it to be our best yet! With that being said, my approach to marketing and the direction of this website is going to change.
The Official Site
Just about every year I do a facelift on the site. Sometimes that has come with architecture changes, other times with just design changes. For the second half of this year, I have been wanting to roll the site over to a flat-file architecture, using a VueJS framework called Gridsome. This comes with insane performance upgrades as well as a better price (essentially, free hosting).
This move to the JAMStack will take us away from PHP/Laravel and into a wholly HTML/JS driven website. This will remove our reliance on the Voyager admin system - which despite having a couple of caveats, has been a very useful backend for our purposes.
With the new site, our direction is going to shift away from being a development blog to a more product-centric focus. I can't keep a steady flow of blogs on here and I think it's probably hurting us more than it helps. Thought Reactor has always strived for transparency and honesty with how we do things. These are the realities of being a small part-time game developer.
That being said, the site will still feature a blog that will serve primarily for big announcements and educational content, where the more in-depth development stuff will shift over to respective game sites. So in the next couple of weeks expect to see this site get real pretty and highlight the next announcement...
Development on PARABOLA has resumed...
After over 6 months of deliberation, the design overhaul of PARABOLA has borne fruit. For months I wavered back and forth over whether or not the game really needed a story and should opt for a more arcade-style. Through all of this, the game remained a 3D first-person puzzle game.
Every conclusion remained the same - the game wasn't fun enough. It was tedious and difficult. The concept that really excited me about PARABOLA in its early design phases was the movement and platforming.
So with that, the game is taking a 180° turn - and will become a 2D Metroidvania Puzzle-Platformer. With this shift, I can really hone in on the fast platforming I originally wanted to implement. Additionally, this restricts the game's core mechanic to two axes, making quick shooting way more approachable.
I think the game really lends itself well to a Metroidvania and the introduction of this format will also allow for some interesting combat mechanics to be implemented.
At this stage, the game is being prototyped to the new format. Our player is moving and aiming in 360° and the next order of business is to implement the ever-satisfying bouncing projectiles. While this prototyping is taking place, I am also structuring the updated art, storyline, setting, and characters to better fit the genre shift.
The placeholder site at https://parabolagame.com will be updated in the coming weeks with more information and an official devlog that will chronicle the game's development.
This is a huge change - but one I think will ensure PARABOLA and Thought Reactor's success. No clue on when the game will launch, but I would love to get an alpha in people's hands as soon as humanly possible - preferably early Spring 2020.
That's about all there is to it for 2020. Site changes and PARABOLA 😋. There will be game jams, I'm sure, but I'm honestly really wanting to hone in on PARABOLA. I have this awful knack for running towards too many goals each year - so 2020 will be way more concise!
The majority of these blogs will roll over to the new site for posterity but this will be the last one of the year - so with that, have a wonderful holiday and an even better new year!