Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Diary of a Noob Indie Game Dev 01 : You want me to decide? Wee! Let's Ride Bikes.

Who? Me?
This past year and a half has been an interesting learning experience since I decided to hop on board and start doing art development for an indie game. It's a very small team and without any personal experience in this area it's been a road of ups, downs, and trying many different methods to get the work done. It's been built from the ground up with all original assets created by my hand and coffee induced work hours. I'm not sure I could do it without the caffeine honestly.




I've been playing video games since I was a little kid and in the past decade it's become a deeper passion. I never thought I'd find myself actually creating a game and seeing my own artwork in action. It's quite incredible the amount of evolution one can go through when they push themselves hard enough to try something new. While most of the art I've created throughout my life has been for expression, learning new techniques, and fun; I never thought I'd be making a game with my concepts. Combining two passions of mine made sense; I only wish I'd made the choice sooner. I was probably too busy playing video games honestly. Go figures.

The evolution of my concept work has come far, even while dab-smack in the middle of the development process. I've played with various different styles to try and find designs that get across what I'm trying to portray. Since the studio is very small, I've also been involved in the level design and story. To say that it's been an easy undertaking would be a lie. (The hardest part has been the cut into my hours of being able to actually play games, oh the suffering.) 

There has been various pitfalls as to how creative the game is or if it's too derivative. For any developer and avid gamer, they know there are various aspects to a game that make it successful or can potentially break it in half. Some of these involve the system you choose, whether it has a feature people love, controls, design, genre, story, levels,...the list could go on forever. There's a lot that I've learned about and laughed hysterically about that I've made choices on. But I quickly learned that the more I question, the harder it is to actually get something into the game. With such a small studio working on it, I've had to go with my gut on a lot of artistic choices. (Or is that gamer gut? No, I don't mean fat.) That's when the fun (work) actually started. 

 It's very deprecating if you just keep being indecisive and indecision is something I'm very good at. Really, I'm like level 90+ at it. Sometimes I can't even decide which color to use for an asset, which can lead to me suggesting the idea of color schemes being a feature. See where I'm going with this? Haha, not good. I think in some aspects that can be good but not everything. 

So, if you are developing a game and can't make a choice (like me), I highly suggest someone that can keep you grounded in reality. I needed one of those. It really helps to have one of those. Get one and they can even make the choices for you. Seriously, some of my ideas were nuts and sometimes it just takes that one eyebrow raise to see what you've suggested is completely ridiculous. No matter how much you've wanted to see your dream game of cotton candy platypus space warriors from the planet Carnivalus come to life.

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