Well once again it seems that I’ve neglected the blogging part of this site again (seeing it’s been about a year since I actually made a post). Of course a lot of stuff has happened over the past year and whilst there were a few good moments, sadly there were a few bad ones as well.
I’ll probably start with the bad stuff first just to get it out of the way. Unfortunately, I’ve been sort of unemployed for the last nine or so months due to a little situation at my current workplace that happened last summer which I’d rather not go into detail for public reasons (I say “sort of” because I’m still working there but on a part-time basis) which means being back on square one in terms of getting a job. To make things a bit worse, despite all the experience I’ve gained over the past two years, I haven’t gotten any interviews yet (only two so far but they weren’t strictly games programming related). The games industry is of course really tough to get into and I’m not going to let all these setbacks completely affect me. With that being said, most of the recruitment agencies I’ve sent my CV to have been really helpful and they do try their hardest to secure interviews for me.
And now for the good stuff, despite only working there part time for the time being, I did manage to release another smartphone game with the company I’m currently working at back in October called Color Teaser (and yes, it’s spelt in American English): A little brainteaser game that plays a bit like one of those click the colour but not the word flash games that were all the rage back in the days. The game is free to download and is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play (for Android devices) and Windows Phone Store (I was mainly involved with the development of the Windows Phone version of the game). You can find out more information about the game by going to http://www.colorteaser.co.uk/.
I’ve also been updating the work section of this website somewhat regularly to make it a bit more presentable instead of it being a whole wall of hyperlinks. Pretty much all of the work I’ve released so far (whether it’s commercial stuff like Smart Q45 and Color Teaser or stuff I’ve done as part of a game jam) has it’s own individual page with screenshots and links so feel free to check it out by clicking here.
Speaking of game jams, I’ve been taking part in quite a lot of these lately. I’ve managed to complete Ludum Dare 30 and 31 last year (I also attempted Ludum Dare 29 but unfortunately didn’t finish on time) and I recently made an entry for Mini Ludum Dare 58 around two weeks ago (You can check out what I’ve done by going to the work page of this website and scrolling down to the Ludum Dare section). I also attempted MeatlyJam on the 27th-29th of March but unfortunately didn’t finish on time for that either (which was a bit of a shame as I made some pretty good progress on my game and was close to releasing something that was playable before deciding to throw in the towel because the submission deadline was already over and there was pretty much no point in finishing the game anyway). However, the one game jam I really want to talk about (because it was such an incredible experience) was the EGX Rezzed Jam.
As part of EGX Rezzed (a small event in London dedicated to indie games that was on the 12th-14th of March), EGX held a game jam in association with Creative Assembly (the folks behind the Total War series) and The Guardian (UK newspaper) where teams of five were tasked to create a game in approximately eight hours and present their finished entries on the final day of the event in front of a prestigious panel of judges from the games industry. Signups for the jam opened roughly two weeks before the event (I decided to sign up purely out of interest ) and apparently quite a lot of people entered but I managed to become one of the lucky few that were selected to take part. Since I entered as an individual, I was placed in a team consisting of (including myself): A designer/coder duo, another programmer and a sound technician. That team would later become known as Brioche And Crackers (aptly named because when we first met, we had brioche and crackers on our table –also I was one that came up with the name-). The theme of the game jam was to take one of four stories from The Guardian and use that as the basis of the game. One of those stories was the unfortunate death of Sir Terry Pratchett and so we decided to make our game to be a tribute to Pratchett himself. The jam itself was very tough as we only had eight hours to make a game (or pretty much one day as we had from the start of the show at 10am to the end of the show at 6pm to create something) but in the end, we managed to create a small 2D platformer in Unity named Pratchett’s Legacy. As for the presentation, not only did we had to show our game in front of a panel of veterans in the games industry, but the presentation itself was streamed live in front of 1000s on EGX’s Twitch channel (along with the 100s that were at the event itself to watch). Whilst it was obvious we weren’t going to win any prizes, we still gave it our best shot and the experience itself wasn’t as nerve-racking as I thought.
Coverage of Team Brioche And Crackers at the jam taken by fellow team member Jack (if you’re wondering where I am in these photos, I’m the token Asian guy :V)
Well I think I’ve rambled on long enough for now (if you’ve managed to make it this far into the post, congratulations I guess). I really want to start making more regular blog posts (and I actually mean it this time) but there’s probably so much to talk about I have no idea where to start (I’m actually more fairly active on Twitter so feel free to follow me on there if you like). One obvious choice might be post-mortems for the games I’ve created (Ludum Dare 32 is actually on next week and I’m already planning to enter so expect a post-mortem if I manage to make a game out of it). Another possible choice of topics to talk about might be more in depth analyses of how I did certain things in some of my games (complete with sample code for people to look at). A third possible choice might be coverage of games industry events I’m attending (I’ll be heading down to Norwich this Saturday for Norwich Gaming Festival so if you see me there, come say hi – I might give you my business card – and I’m also planning to attend this month’s London Unity UserGroup meetup so I’ll try to make posts on those events).