Jump to content
  • entries
    91
  • comments
    340
  • views
    123262

More Contract Work

Sign in to follow this  
slayemin

621 views

It almost feels like it hasn't been worth writing an update for the last month because so little "progress" has been made on Spellbound. But I suppose such is life, and it too must be captured and noted as a part of the journey of an indie developer. I have still been doing various contract projects for both corporate clients and small game studios. On the contracting side, I've decided that it would be a good idea to subcontract work I can't do to other people and then add my management fee to their rates. I currently have my former artist working on a small contract project, so it is a viable business idea. He charges me $35/hour and I charge the client $50/hour for his work and I keep the difference. It's not much, but its a good start. In the future, I will raise his rates and pay him more when there is more work and larger projects, but I don't want to make public promises I can't keep. The hard part will be finding enough work to keep everyone busy.

I've also been playing a light support role to my girlfriend. Her business is taking off and she's easily become the primary bread winner of the household and that relieves financial pressure from me, allowing me to continue working with minimal income. I can't stress enough how grateful I am and what an impact it has on my creative pursuits.

A few days ago, she had a senator from China come and visit her company and our ranch. He was really interested in seeing my VR game, so I gave him a demo in my office. My roommates are all sales people as well, so they got to try out the game at the same time. One of them was instantly motion sick, but the other really enjoyed it. Probably the best takeaway from this was just how bad my user interfaces actually are -- they are not intuitive enough at all for completely new people to use. Also, the pacing of the action is also too rapid for novices, so I'll need to redesign my tutorial level to be more "tutorial" focused than story/immersion. Anyways, the Chinese senator was very impressed with what I'd been working on. I have a feeling that I may have a trip out to China in my eventual future. I think the Chinese market for VR is thirstier for content than the North American market, so it would be great for me to see first hand what the market landscape looks like.

A fellow VR game dev told me the other night that he's been wanting to show my game to other people, but the trailer for the game is so out of date that it doesn't do the game proper justice. I completely agree, it's two years old and features old technology which I don't support anymore. Here's the stupidest objection in the whole world: I don't know how to produce a good game trailer. This is extra stupid because... I work in an office filled with film people who could help me. What's wrong with me? I'm a bit afraid to ask for help knowing I have no money to offer.

I have been doing a lot of reading of epic fantasy books on the bus ride too and from work. I'm currently reading through the "Legend of Drizzt" series by R.A. Salvatore. Every time I read one of these epic fantasy books, I feel totally inadequate as a writer. I have a lot of self doubt that I could produce anything as good. Despite that, I'm going to have to push hard and write out a story for Spellbound. The writing is going much slower than I would have liked due to various distractions (ahem, contract work and lack of funding). I also feel a bit daunted/overwhelmed by the size of the writing project and what it's going to take. I should just shut up, stop whining, and start writing.
"Yeah, Eric! Quit yer moanin', bitchin' and belly aching and get back to writing!"
*whip crack*

I have been entertaining the idea of producing another type of nature VR travel experience using 360 videos. It would be much easier and faster to produce and could turn into a new revenue source to fund my development of Spellbound and build my brand a teeny bit more. I must find some time to produce a rough prototype and see if its technologically viable. I've written out a 2 page business plan and it seems pretty good (but all of our own ideas sound good!). This idea has passed through my feasibility filters and its time to start figuring out what it would take to produce. Anyways, it doesn't hurt to give it a try and see what happens.

On another note, I think some of my best ideas come to me while I'm walking to work. There's just something creatively magical about the act of walking and thinking. It really gets the juices going. I remember this one time I was working in Iraq on a tough problem with relational databases. Somehow, I had to get multiple records from one table to match multiple records from another table. I couldn't figure it out for days while sitting at my desk, but then I went for a long walk on base and solved it in my head. I came back, implemented it, and it worked perfectly -- it required an intermediary table to store lookups. Two days ago, I was walking a mile to my bus stop (in the rain) thinking about "stuff". The night before, I had been tutoring my girlfriends son on math homework. I have also given lectures at my former university and local meetups on game development and design. I have worked in Iraq and Afghanistan to rebuild war torn societies, and through my experience, I have concluded that the underlying foundation for a peaceful and prosperous society is an educated society. So, if you want to bring peace, prosperity and compassion to the world, start by educating people. I happen to love the acquisition of wisdom and the feeling of enlightenment it brings, so my way of sharing that is by teaching people what I know and hoping they too can share my passion. On my walk, I got to thinking: What if I give lectures in VR where people can learn something? It would be done within the universe of Spellbound, so the learning experience would be within a classroom of budding wizards, being taught be an old, gray bearded wizard (me). The character animations could be driven by a mocap suit and the voice could be recorded easily enough. The instructional material would be framed in the context of things wizards care about, so I'd be giving an hour long class on the intricacies of alchemy and brewing a witches pot, and it would be about selecting the right proportion of herbs, spices, ingredients, and cantrips. On the surface, it would be a lesson on magical brews, but in truth, it's a lesson on fractions and ratios. It would be a great fake out, where people come into a classroom expecting an hour of entertainment (which it is!) but they'd really get an hour of education. But, the lesson would be framed and presented in such a way that the audience doesn't realize its learning something else which is valuable in the real world too! I could produce a dozen lectures on various topics of interest, framed in the context of advanced wizardry, and people could attend my lectures in VR. If I can convey my enthusiasm for the subject, it'll be infectious and people will want to see all of the other lectures. What seemed like a action role playing game on the surface, had a lot of secret surprises on the back end. Some people may not be interested in this academic part of the game and prefer action and adventure, but others may be only interested in the academic side -- There's nothing wrong with wizards who spend most of their time in the academy advancing their own knowledge. After all, that's what wizards are predominantly known for! I think if I embed secret rune combinations within the lessons, students can get unique magical rewards by paying attention in class and it can be just as rewarding as exploring an ancient dungeon. I like this idea; I'll have to think about it more and let it ruminate.

Lastly, I've been continuing my work with the Leap Motion and integrating it with 360 video. Check it out here:

I heard from my partner that some sales guy saw our work and liked it so much that he said if we finish this app, he'd be willing to sell our services to other companies. If that brings in more work and it pays well, I'd be all for it. I'd eventually want to hire someone else to work for me and take over the production and I'd move myself into more of a creative managerial role, but for now, I have to keep building out the tech and envisioning how this will work. I've been trying to unite the film industry and the gaming industry for over a year, so this sort of represents a culmination of my efforts and helps create a sort of new type of media. I'm excited to see where other creatives can take this. Anyways, I still have a lot more work to do here and this is still evolving quickly, but I think what we're building here may be the first of its kind in the world. I'm excited.

Sign in to follow this  


0 Comments


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Advertisement
  • Advertisement
  • Blog Entries

  • Similar Content

    • By Masterbuiler64
      Good Morning, Afternoon, or Evening,
      My name is Dalton Potter and I am a budding game developer looking to learn skills and develop a beautiful project me and my friend came up with a year ago or so and have refined ever since. The idea is a basically a mix of Final Fantasy and Zelda in terms of exploration and battle, but will throw in its own unique features to switch things up a bit. What we have in place so far is the main story and many connecting character back stories, a map of the over world (still not 100% confirmed however), how some of the main characters look (also not 100% confirmed), a few battle and puzzle mechanic ideas, general story progression, locations, a few beta music tracks, and lore. What we lack however is any solid assets or work done on it as neither of us have any expertise in game development, but have both unanimously agreed that this idea is too good to forget and pass up.
      We are currently looking for people to help us work on the project as time goes on and maybe, just maybe, it may grow into a full blown team of people working on a game and eventually sell it on Steam or other client services. Any replies to this topic will be read as soon as possible depending on my schedule. I have also attached a couple photos and sound files of some design concepts we have. I also have a Pastebin made of the entire story and main character back stories, as well as history into how the idea came to be, though I'll let the Pastebin be requested as needed in the future.
      Hopefully this project turns from being just an idea into something amazingly beautiful and playable......it just needs to be created that's all.....
      Thank you in advance,
      Dalton Potter
      P.S. The sound file, "Power and Prestige" is a song that sounds as though it could be used as a trailer theme, and "Curiosity" sounds as though it could be used on a farm at sunrise.
      Source of music was from YouTube, but the groups official site is as follows: http://floatingcloud.net/
       
      EDIT: I am adding in a link to the pastebin so those that view this can get look at the story for the game. Link: https://pastebin.com/U7dKp8PS

      Floating Cloud - Power and Prestige.mp3

      Floating Cloud - Curiosity.mp3

    • By dandoherty94
      Hi all,
      I'm looking for a career change as the job that i currently do is neither a passion or something that i really want to be doing for the rest of my life. I would ideally like to begin a career in the gaming industry as like most others i have a strong passion for gaming and all things related. I have been looking into a junior test analyst QA job and was wondering if this is the correct place to start. I'm a dedicated worker so don't mind working my way up and I love being hands on with things. I was wondering if anyone had any advice regarding this or how i can go about gaining experience in this field to give myself the best chance. I'm more than willing to do either weekend work or free work to get my foot in the door so if there is any advice or help anyone could give me that would be great. 
      Thanks for reading,
      Dan 
    • By Aileen Chen
      2019 Asia VR&AR Fair&Summit (VR&AR Fair 2019)
      Date: May 9-11, 2019
      Venue: China Import&Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou, China
      Address: No. 382, Yuejiang Zhong Road, Guangzhou, China
      Website: http://www.vrarfair.com/index.php?lang=en
      Hosted by: Guangdong Grandeur International Exhibition Group
      Co-organized by: Guangzhou Virtual Reality Industry Association, Guangdong VR Industry Alliance, Shenzhen Virtual Reality Industry Federation, Shenzhen Virtual Reality Industry Association
       
      Overview
      As a thematic exhibition of China Guangzhou International Leisure & Recreation Expo (GILE),VR&AR Fair has been successfully held for two consecutive years (Twice a year, Guangzhou and Wuhan), becoming the One and Only Professional Demonstration and Trade Platform of the VR&AR Industry in Guangzhou. Over the years, we has gathered numbers of famous companies at home and abroad to display their latest products and technologies at VR&AR Fair, including JD.COM, 3Glassess, DP VR, Leke VR, PiXYZ Software (France), ICAROS(Germany), Ai6tech (Taiwan), VRway, Hirain, Royole, Super Captain, TPCAST VR, Shenlinqijing, Foldspace, NineD, TPcast, etc. 
       
      VR&AR Fair 2019 is estimated to host over 250 exhibitors and co-located with 2019 Asia Amusement&Attractions Expo (AAA 2019) on a show floor of 10,0000 sq.m, which are going to cover sectors like VR helmet accessories, VR all-in-one machine, interactive multimedia products, immersive games and devices, immersive digital cinemas, virtual walk-through products, auto stereoscopic (glasses-free), 3D-9D cinema devices, multi-touch devices, AR equipment, AR game, environment modeling technology, realistic sensor (real-time) rendering technology, amusement equipment, Theme Park Facilities,etc. 
       
      Concurrent event:
      2019 Asia Science Museum & Exhibition Hall Facilities Expo
      2019 Asia Multimedia Technology & Interactive Projection Expo
      The 10th Asia Theater & Filming Equipment Fair 2019
      2019 Asia Amusement & Attraction Expo
       
      Why VR&AR Fair 2019?
      1. Win face-to-face business opportunities
      2. Seek professional buyers
      3. Come into contact with business decision makers
      4. Maintain existing clients and find new clients
      5. Effectively improve brand image & awareness
      6. Accurately position your company and brand
      7. Grab market shares
      8. Get access to the latest industrial development
      9. Vigorously expand product and service scope
      10. Establish extensive agent and investment attraction network
       
       
      Discover Your Opportunity at VR&AR Fair 2019!
      Aileen Chen
      Director of Guangdong Grandeur International Exhibition Group
      Tel: 82-20-29806525  
      Fax: 86-20-82579220 
      Mobile/Wechant: 15089702986
      E-mail: grand.fi@grahw.com 
       
       
       
    • By Liam Weston
      Greetings fellow gaming enthusiasts!
      I am the Product Manager for a VR game called Funny Farm VR.
      https://www.funnyfarmvr.com/
      We have already have a proof of concept build of the game that is published on iOS, Android, Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, GearVR, Pico and Niburu platforms. Not a bad start eh? 
      It's a 3D VR game built on the Unity platform. We are now looking to further develop the game concept and build on what we have to achieve the following:
      Introduce a game economy (power ups / rewards / currency) Add more levels We need 1 or 2 developers with experience in developing on the Unity 3D platform as well as a 3D artist and animator.
      This is a great opportunity to work on a fun game and inject your own ideas / personality into it.
      If you're interested in getting involved drop me a message and I'll get in touch.
      Looking forward to putting a team together!
      Liam
       
    • By Fast Arrows
      So im starting to build game for me and my friend to play but if it ends up good then i want it to be easily expandable. My question is ... Where do i learn how to set up a server? how to run code on my server? how do you open your server to the outside world. Not only your home/pc. I want to program my server in java because i'm fairly comfortable with java. I've decided i want a tcp server. Do i need separate server to handle log-ins, registers etc.? I've done a lot of googling and i still can't find any decent tutorials.
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!