In terms of game dev, for the rest of July I will attempt to get back into improving my skills in programming, art, music and design. After a bunch of aborted game designs I've got a pretty good idea of both what kind of games I'd like to make and what I can possibly make, so my goal will be to focus on developing the skills to match that. In particular, I'd like to work on the following special features:
- Robust 2D gaming engine modules, with communication with message passing!
- Playing with scalable vector graphics with animation and programming techniques!
- Dynamic and synchronised music system!
- Game scripting with Lua!
- Writing tools to speed up development!
- And much, much more!
I think I'll try to develop the "Mad Scientist" game, at the very least as a design exercise. There's a slim chance I can get that finished before the 4E5 competition ends, but if not then it will make a good game for 2007. Otherwise I have a few backup plans for 4E5, the simplest being to throw all four elements together in a fashion that deliberately does not make any sense whatsoever.
Brief comments on other things slightly related to game development:
Yesterday I checked out the contents of a local game software store to see if anything interesting had been released, but I couldn't spot anything that caught my eye. While I'm not that interested in buying anything right now, how can I be away for two months and there not being anything even remotely good released in that time?
Did I miss anything?
As a family activity we decided to see the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie (Dead Man's Chest). I thought it was okay, but not as good as the first one (didn't have the same cartoonish edge the first one did). There are a few game related comments with this film.
- Ron Gilbert was right: this is the Monkey Island movie series (except only about a ninth as good as a real one would be, which I still consider a compliment). Once the protagonists decided to head into a swamp to see a certain person, I knew exactly what that person would be...
- I noticed during the end credits they boast that they've released associated video games for all handheld platforms. Given the film seems geared for an adult audience, I guess this means marketing considers the adult market for handheld platforms is viable (although I'd avoid film tie-ins like the plague)
- Pretty much the only things my other family members asked me about the film, apart from the general "Did you like the film?", was "Can you explain how to play that dice game to me?" (might have to see the film to understand this one fully; I think it was a form of Liar's Dice). I'm not sure whether I should be pleased or worried that my family sees me as a game expert.
I've also joined the Xpert Eleven GameDev League as a fantasy football manager (of the Lamington Lemmings). Thinking it through, it is also a bit scary to realise that if you don't count forum thread games or competitions I think this might be the first actual online game I have ever played.