Thursday, December 31, 2015

The End of 2015: A Review

So at the end of each year, I usually write a short review of 2015, its highs and lows and my goals for 2016.



Releasing Battle High 2 A+ on Xbox One may have been the highlight of my independent game development career in 2015.  Though the game wasn't accepted to showcase at EVO 2015, I fought with a lot of self doubt concerning the game, and the launch did not go without a few hiccups, I'm still happy I was able to get the game launched and released before 2016.

A Battle High 2-themed holiday greeting!

Also, I helped Schell Games launch Orion Trail, which I'm pretty proud of too!  Another professional highlight was going to Unite 2015; it was a great converse and energized me more creatively than the last two GDCs combined, which is why I have decided to not attend GDC 2016, but instead attend Unite 2016.



I could write about lowlights, but I would rather not dwell on them as we approach a new year, but I would like to write about resolutions.  My idea with resolutions is that it's okay to make a lot, but keeping in mind that you probably won't be able to achieve all of them.  Anyway, here is a short list of mine:


Continue Battle High 2 A+

Again, the launch of the game could have gone more smoothly, but I'm still happy with the results.  That being said, I want to update the game next year.  There's a minor bug I need to fix, many have commented that the achievements are too difficult, and the 3D backgrounds need some work.  There are also 2 unfinished characters I would like to add; in addition, I'd like to get the OUYA and PC versions as close as possible before 2017.  I also want to get the fightstick issue resolved as well as experiment with online, but I know those are stretch goals.


Start (and maybe finish) a new original game idea

I have a game I've been working on a bit, a tactics RPG similar to Namco X Capcom, that I'd love to finish before 2017.  Now that's rather ambitious but I think instead of finishing before 2017, I'd love to publish a playable prototype similar to what Indivisible did, even if it's just on  Overall, I'd love to release another Xbox One game, but maybe that'll happen in 2017.

An early 3D character / shader concept


Knowledge Share & Interact with Communities More

Admittedly, I'm a rather introverted person and don't really put myself out there much.  I put my work out, but I don't make a lot of tutorials or streams or anything like that -- though I did write a GameMaker book.  This is something I'd like to change in 2016.  I'm not sure I'll do game streaming, but I'd like to do a few dev streams in the future; one night aspect of this, is that it'll archive on Twitch so even if no one comes, I can watch it later to make sure I don't forget things.

This is a face you can trust, right?  Also I swear I'm not that creepy; I was just being silly in a wedding photo!


Do my art!

I used to draw and 3D model a lot, but I haven't had the time lately.  Battle High 2 A+ didn't require a ton -- besides the 3D backgrounds, which my texturing skills were a bit lackluster on.  I have a Substance license for both Painter and Designer but I haven't really used either.  I want to change that in 2016; hopefully the previously mentioned game idea will require and allow me to focus on improving these skills.


Focus on ME

This sounds stupid and selfish, but here's the issue:  I work a full time job at Schell Games, and then I come home and work on my side projects for Mattrified Games, and the last few months of 2015, I sorta stopped focusing on me outside of game development.  I haven't been exercising as much as I should or eating healthy.  Personally the health resolutions so many people make every year are really life commitments and they aren't easy to keep up with, but I think it's important to remind ourselves of them every year and to try and improve, if even by a little.
Personally, I need to reschedule my time better.  I need some days where, instead of trying to cram in work, personal work, and me time, I just say "screw it, today I'm not working on Battle High 2 A+ or any games.  I'm going to exercise or play a game," and at the same time, I need some days where I focus on a side project and don't worry about anything else.  I just need a better work-life balance, a goal for 2016.

Anyway, that's what's on my radar for 2016.  I hope everyone has a healthy and happy 2016!