Deja-Vu

14 03 2017

Time for my sorta-yearly post again!

It’s funny, because I feel like I am writing the same post as last year in a lot of ways right now. I had an awesome time at GGJ again and made another great project. Had a 2016 that started pretty decent, but crashed hard at the end… Pretty much the same, lol. Let’s get into it.

This years Global Game Jam theme was “Waves”. We took it pretty literally and made a game about protecting a city from tsunamis. It was actually pretty fun to play again, so I’m very happy with the end result. The visuals weren’t amazing to look at, but we had a cute blocky aesthetic that made the inherent “death and destruction” element of giant tidal waves a lot more appealing to watch. Also the title screen and music was pretty bad-ass 😀 The team this year was just me, and a guy from Airdrie, AB named Joel, who I had never worked with previously. But we got got along really well and he was more than capable with Unity, so it was fun and relaxing to work on. The actual development of the project was smooth like last year. We managed our time well and didn’t get too hung up on anything. I was able to pull a lot of systems from another project which saved a lot of time up front and got us to the point of being able to playtest sooner, which meant better balance and more fun and polish in the end. So all-in-all, another great year at GGJ!

As for what I’ve been up to since my last post… Well, I started my own consulting company and took a long term contract with a studio on Australia. It was a big change, but it was very exciting. I got to work from home and with some really talented developers that I learned a lot from (and became good friends with 🙂 ) Working remotely turned out to be really great and I kind of prefer it now over going to an office. I was worried that I would get stir-crazy or lonely, but I constantly communicate with them via Slack and Skype, so there was actually probably more communication than when I was sitting right next to a person, lol.

The project was pretty cool too. It is a mobile strategy game called Kings Vs. Queens. Basically a clone of other popular games like Clash Of Clans or Boom Beach, but we tried to put a spin on it where you have 2 different factions with different strengths and weaknesses. It is a lot of fun to work on, which was refreshing after my last slog. Most of 2016 was actually pretty great!

But what goes up, must come down. Unfortunately in December, we found out that the companies investor had decided to pull out, and that there was no more money with which to pay us. Just like that… Poof. So I suddenly found myself (effectively) out of work again, with a nearly-completed project in the works. Technically, I still have the job, and they are desperately searching for new investors and sources of funding right now, so if something comes up we will be back in business. But I can’t exactly afford to wait around for months to find out, so I am currently looking for new work. I have a side-gig with a local AR startup company, but it is not for a game, and I am getting equity for it, so it’s not really a short-term solution. Fun and interesting to work on though at least 🙂

So anyway, that’s all there is to really tell for now. I would say that I will post again when I find something, but I highly doubt I will remember until around this time next year, lol.

Until then, lets all just hope 2017 turns around quickly 😉

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