Five Months Break – What’s Going On?

Opposite to my plans, I didn’t continue my game development projects the last five months. Instead, my gamedev ambitions almost completely ceased during the course of last year. So with this blog post I want to give some insight on what has been going on and what I’m planning to do this year regarding my gamedev ambitions.

The initial momentum of 2013

After a pretty succesful 2012 with my game development projects, I was quite motivated to contribute to the OneGameAMonth idea. I was convinced that trying to make a game a month would not only amplify my game development skills but also keep me motivated to keep on making games throughout the year.

The opposite was the case.

The first month worked pretty well with me starting rather early due to vacation time. After that it became more an more difficult to stay engaged. I tried a new technology with haxepunk, which led to prototypes I started and finished quite late in the month and didn’t feel like a full success. Hence, developing these recurring short game prototypes each month became more like a duty than a fun exercise. So after 5 entries I decided to quit this attempt. This was an indicator for a full erosion of my 2013 motivation.

Life interferes

Job wise the year was quite successful. After a first job promotion in the beginning of 2013 a second one followed in autumn. Basically a great situation, but this lead to some of my spare time to be put into job stuff. Additionally, me, my wife and children moved from a flat into a house. Definitely an advantage in the long run, this relocation did cost a big amount of time, especially to settle comfortably in the new home.

With two daughters at the age of one and four years, there is an additional impact on every spare time occuring. All these effects combined with another project of mine, writing my Phd thesis,  apparently didn’t leave a big amount of situations to find some time for game development in 2013. Nevertheless, I was able to make five games (not in a strict sense of the word), participated in Ludum Dare and the Experimental Gameplay Project (EGP). Remarkable fact: my last project has been for EGP and that site also stopped their activities afterwards. I hope there is no coincidence. It makes me a bit sad that EGP seems to be no more, because it has been a great challenge to participate and brought some publicity. On the other hand, this situation caused my game prototype to be on the frontpage of EGP since then, which brought a measurable amount of traffic to my blog. After realizing this just recently, it gives me some sort of extra motivation to keep this blog updated. The project itself I made for EGP is the one of 2013 I’m at least happy with, by the way.

Plans for 2014

Will I give up this hobby?

No. Honestly, it is still a lot of fun to find an idea for a game, start designing and implementing and in the end really play it. I will not be able to do a lot of stuff but I’m aiming to at least start and complete one game in 2014. At the moment I’m trying to detail a rough idea I had on my mind for quite some time. Expect to read some more information here soon. For now, this is a mockup of the main view in the game.