Over the last few weeks I’ve been ramping up my efforts to get my teeth into all these prototypes I’ve got milling around, most of which are linked from my homepage. They work but they’re not really manageable or agile from a development perspective.
All of the prototypes exist in one form or another, most are in a playable form but none of them are what I’d consider publishable so they need quite a bit of work on them yet. They certainly don’t have good artwork that will come by me joining with a great artist nor the design finesse that comes from playing the game and working with smart game designers.
I’m focusing on my tech & tools right now and I’ve tidied up lots of the legacy bits & bobs, things I threw in just to test out if I liked an idea once it was translated into something you could play. More formal class structures, tidied up the interfaces and generally moved everything towards C++ to enable me to move prototypes to other platforms relatively quickly. I’ve also unified the common bits of code into something that’s more usable across titles, which was the aim going forwards.
Hardware I code everything on a Mac Mini now and my PC hasn’t been on for many months. My PC is faster and I prefer W7 to OSX but it’s also true that it’s a damn sight noisier, consumes more power and I can’t make iOS apps on it *but* I can do everything on a Mac. I never thought I’d be in the Apple camp but needs must.
I did buy a cool bit of kit in the form of a Synology DS210j Disk Station NAS with 4Tb of storage. It’s cool because it’s a little server; not only does doe the usual file serving, media serving it also has an inbuilt downloader (NNTP/Torrent/file) but I’ve also got it running a SVN server too! How cool is that!
My intent is to bring out a series of games, all of which build on the experience and tech of the previous one. This not only shortens the development cycle but it also means that core elements get thorough field testing by real people like you as there’s only so much I can test myself.
So, I sit here feeling a bit happier that everything is consolidating and I’ve chosen which project I’m going to bring out next so it’s all hands focused on that one for now.
Oh, I’m not too struck on the name ‘Ring Alpha’ either so I may change the name at some point. The name was thrust upon me when I needed to setup a UK legal entity for my work, which includes things beyond game development so it needed to be something techy and unique, not strictly games, not strictly IT, not strictly consultant like so I plumbed for this. I do think I need a new name for the Game Dev bit though.
I’ll keep you all updated on progress.