Maintaining Things On The Road To Boston FIG

Skipping Last Week’s Post

I ended up skipping last weeks post  because I’d had so many smaller posts about Road Defender going on.  None of them quite felt big enough to merit them being a stand alone blog post the various blog places I normally post too.  After two weeks of work it felt like a good time to check in and offer some updates.

 

Good Work Outside of Road Defender

Roger has been working hard on a project for a client unrelated to Road Defender and I’ve had to put a good amount of effort into that as well as a project manager.  We’re really excited about the project and getting it launched in the next week or so!  It’s been a challenging project but it’s a great concept and we’re happy to be a part of it.  I think it will be something special.  It’s a stealth mode project so I can’t share much about it, but it’s going to be on our plate throughout the month of September for sure.

 

Boston FIG, The Press and Radio/Podcasting

The Boston Festival of Indie Games is coming up September 13th.  We’re getting the demo together.  We’ve been iterating the game.  We’ve made good progress.  I’ve been wearing a lot of hats, but mostly working on collecting footage of demo examples and generally gathering video footage together for the trailer.

The big push for Road Defender has been to get the demo together and then reach out to various press/media folks who will be at the Boston Festival of Indie Games on the 13th of September.  We’re pushing hard to get things together by then, but as we progress I’m also feeling that we definitely will not launch the kickstarter till we know the game’s fun can be clearly illustrated through videos and possibly a playable demo, though that isn’t a priority at this point.

Regarding playable demos, I’ve heard mixed opinions on playable demos.  On the one hand you’re showing something real, something tangible and interactive which is great.  On the other hand though, you then have a risk of leaving a user with a less than ideal user experience causing some people to be left with a bad impression of the game.  So I think for now we’re working to make something playable, but its not an assumption that we’ll make it public till we feel the time is right.

I’m going to give the demo another week to gel a little more before I reach out to the attend press at FIG.  We’ve made great progress in the last few weeks, but I want the first impressions to be solid, but the iteration is slow between Allen with our fairly fluid schedules cross paths with other obligations we have going on.  With these new hours over the next two weeks it will be much easier to properly schedule things.

I have a couple of radio/podcast shows to do on the 7th and the 8th of September which I think are going to help kick things off.  I’ll announce more about these shows as they get closer.  I’m really excited and thankful that we have local media folks who really do care enough about indie games to offer us a chance to share our stories with the gaming community.  I hope that these interviews (besides being a ton of fun in and of themselves) will help give our story some extra weight.  “Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd”

 

Breaking Out Tools New and Old

I’m doing my best to carve out some UV mapping and texturing time.  I recently purchased Cheetah3D on sale.  It seems like a well rated and broad 3D package for Mac.  I’ve been a long time fan of Milkshape3D and lithunwrap, but they being PC only and all but dead in terms of any user base, I wanted to learn something modern.

I’ve worked with these classic apps because I know them fairly well from my earlier projects back in the early to mid 00’s and for Road Defender I’m using it still today, but I realize that one of my weaknesses has been my inability to really model.  I can texture and animate with some proficiency but I’ve never really had a tool that makes 3d modeling something I could do efficiently.

I tried Blender before, but for all of the amazing things people have been able to do with it, I just couldn’t get past the interface.  It just felt strange and not something I could easily pick up without really devoting myself to being a Blender animator.  So Cheetah3D seems like a good solution to give me much of the features I had in Milkshape, but with a stronger 3D modeling capability.

Milkshape required that you model in the x y and z views and the 3d view was just for reference.  This was ok for some things, but at the end of the day was not the best way to create models.  That said, its still going to take some time to leave the Milkshape3D nest and spend some time really getting to know Cheetah3D but I’ve seen some great tutorials out there that explain many things about it so I feel like it will be something I can figure out as time permits and ideally be able to finally sculpt things from scratch or easily modify existing models more effectively than what I could do with milkshape.

 

It’s Good to be Mac, I Mean Back… Um.. yea

Also I just have to say that while I LOVE working in Construct 2 and I really do enjoy windows for all it can do.  I even bought a program called Hyperdock which gives my Mac the snap too / full screen stuff Windows 8 has.  I’ve had to spend a lot of time on my Windows 8 bootcamp partition this summer and this hasn’t been a bad thing, but I just gotta say it’s been really nice to just be running OSX on this macbook pro where the delete key is treated like a delete key and not a backspace..  It just has felt great running OSX and of course being an iPhone users it’s nice to have reminders, notes and calendar stuff all be native apps I can get / pass info to-from on my desktop.

I really wish Construct 2 would make a Mac version, but I know in the scheme of things, the Mac market would still be pretty small compared to Windows, so I don’t blame them for not.  I have Parallels which runs XP blazingly fast (like a boot time of 3 seconds) as my quick fix for windows needs and I even have a Win 8 image as well I call on when I need to run something modern, but regardless, when it’s time (and I do miss C2) to get back to doing something awesome in Windows.

 

Time Management and Children

It’s been difficult lately with time management as I’ve just found that balancing watching the boys this summer and my wife’s changing schedule just makes routine off the menu.  Often being pulled away from the computer, but much of that will change over the next two weeks as my oldest son just started 1st grade and I will be putting my younger son in daycare during the day for at least the next two weeks will will give me some much needed dev and management time.  I would like it to go beyond that, but we’ll just have to play it by ear.

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About Caleb

Game Producer at Part12 Studios here in greater Boston area. Caleb loves game design and the execution of game development. He is also a semi-serious old school skater and a married father of two wonderful boys.