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Switching into holiday mode

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Trapper Zoid

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Last week ended on a frantic note. A late warning reminded everyone that a lot of admin needed to be finished at my research school (academics are never very good at doing admin [smile]), and this was nicely timed with a complete server meltdown that lasted all weekend, cancelling my plans to finish up work to make this week a bit more relaxed. Canberra is now slowly shutting down for the holidays (apart from the shops which are bustling), and things are extremely quiet at university. Given the summer weather and a general "end of year" exhaustion I'm finding it hard to muster up the energy to do anything too productive - it's hard to get work done when that bit of your subconscious that masquerades as your work ethic has metaphorically donned a paper party hat.

As such my weekend wasn't nearly as productive as it should have been. I should have finished off some graduate research I want done before the end of the year, worked a bit more on Ice Slider, polished off that pirate music for Stompy and actually prepared for Christmas. Instead I spent most of my time idly surfing the GameDev forums, read random crap on Wikipedia, read through some of my books on game development, and drew an army of cartoon midgets wearing a wide variety of helments. Not the most productive use of my time. Christmas is now bearing down on me like ArchWizard's current avatar in an episode of A Very Christmassy Jurassic Park.

The one productive thing as regarding game development I did (apart from reading the books, which wasn't so bad I guess) was work on my general plan for 2007. It's still woefully underdone, but I'm starting to realise that there's way too many things I'm interested in to be reasonably achievable. I'm going to have to priorise exactly which elements I want to master and which I can do without. This will require more brainstorming to figure out exactly what I consider core, but one thing I'm strongly warming to is the notion of graphical style. When it comes down to it I'm not really that interested in learning advanced graphical techniques - shaders and whatnot. It'd be a far better use of my time if I embraced the simple 2D cartoon style that I've loved to doodle as a method to relax for the last decade as my own signature style and get really good at making it work. In a sense that's what I've been doing for 2006, but some of the art I've been drawing is a bit too complicated to replicate for a full game. I should get comfortable with what I can draw now and learn to make it work as I suspect it can work well.

The other thing I'm a bit concerned about is after playing Mop of Destiny I have a very strong urge to at least plan my own Metroidvania game. There's an idea I've had for a game in this mould that I formed shortly after playing Cave Story last year (great free game by the way, check it out if you haven't already played it), and I suspect now I'd have a possible chance of actually completing it if I spent a few months working on smaller games and building up the skill set required to complete it. My main concern is that I'm not exactly in the right frame of mind to be making a decision on planning a game like that, and more worryingly this is the classic start of how I end up ditching games to chase pipe dreams. I'm not going to scrap Ice Slider - it's something I've pledged to finish - but given it's practically the holiday season I'm not sure if there's any harm in just writing a plan for a detailed game. That all being said, I'm going to force myself to work a bit on Ice Slider for the few remaining days I have before my holiday, and then ensure I finish it off first thing in January.
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Quote:
Original post by Trapper Zoid
Christmas is now bearing down on me like ArchWizard's current avatar in an episode of A Very Christmassy Jurassic Park.


Gasp! A pop-culture reference that involves me!

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