"SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT"
That's what my brain was shouting when I noticed something, all the levels I made were not even close to being ready for the convention, they were either too dark, too empty or too confusing with no back story what so ever.
I was lost in what i call "the developer vision", it's where my brain fills the darkness of the level with the information it gathered while I was designing every little corner of the god forsaken cave I was making.
HOW EVER, I tried a new approach, listed down all the problems I had when I designed all the other levels, took note of the performance issues I had and set my standards to fit my poor abused laptop.
And that's when things started to get interesting, I was making progress in no time, every day I moved the level a bit forward than the day before, after the MANY mistakes I made, things started to make sense once I had a fresh start.
I have always loved the world of giant creatures that make you feel tiny compared to them, shadow of colossus instantly comes to mind as fighting giant bosses has always been my favorite, thinking about it again it kind of makes sense, the challenges I like to face are not the average ones, I want to slay giants instead, like making a progressive death metal album or developing this game on my own, I want to face greatness and come out triumphed, that's where this level had it's inspiration.
The time has come, about 2 weeks left until the convention!
it's a dangerous move, showing the game when it's not fully ready, but what other options do I have? staying invisible isn't going to do me much, so what I can do is make the game as shiny as possible, and do what i do best at, IMPROVISE!
If there is anything I learnt from play a few concerts and small gigs is that the audience won't notice your mistakes unless you point them out, they don't care if you built the game in a year or a decade, they care about what's in front of them at that single moment of time, so brush your mistakes under the rug (for now), focus on making the game FUN, from what I saw at game con last week is that the attention span of the visitor is hardly 2 minutes, that's why I changed my approach from showing the story of the game, into an arcade level where you jump straight into smacking monsters left and right and going against a boss at the end of the level, I removed the complicated spells and the items, replaced them with a straight forward fire ball combo, and implemented a score system so that the person with the highest score can win a prize at the end of the day.
People, and gamers specifically like competition, they want to be the best!
When they are playing on the large screen I'm going to set up with a crowd watching over their shoulders, they want something to show off with, dodge the monster's attack, jump, slow down time and smack a monster in the head with an ice lance!
I am no expert as this is my first convention, I did the best I can do by researching and learning from other developer's experiences, and the plan is set, what I can do now is work hard and hope for the best!
SO! some things happened lately...
Don't worry, I'm still alive and well and they didn't take my wallet (not that there is much in it).
So! a lot of things happened in the past few weeks but i'll try to make it short, I found out that there is an IGN convention happening in Dubai on the 15th of December, so I took a breath, and went ahead with signing up for an artist ally table to show case the Shadow Dreams game for the FIRST TIME ever!
The game is FAR from finished, would hardly call it an Alpha build, but if there is one thing I know about my self, is that I become very productive under pressure, which is the case here, I had to create a polished, playable and fun demo in a month! now we are at week 2 and SHIT it's difficult.
I use my lunch break hour to go work on the game in the car and write my codes on paper when I don't have a computer around, and when I think that my game looks good I post a video on an Indie game group and it gets bashed to pieces, *Sigh*.....
I put on my tough skin suit and take the criticism, fix the problems and move forward, there is no other way to success!
Lately my journey has been basically nothing but little thoughts, afraid of the of light so they hid in the corners of my head, but not afraid to raise their voices to be heard, they know if one of them makes a convincing discussion and gets chosen, it will be the star of the show, it will get my full devotion and have every gear in body working to make it true.
a few of them walked that path, they were the chosen ones, we worked day and night to make them a reality but they didn't last in the endless battle, for that one chosen thought needs to be strong from the start,it needs the weapon of passion, it needs to evolve and grow stronger with time as the enemies of reality become more vicious to the idea, and it needs to stay on top of the dwelling monsters of the mind.
My previous chosen ones have survived the start of the journey, they usually do, as they are not chosen ones for nothing, but the road is tough, we strapped our gear and made our plans, read and learnt from the books written by the elder thoughts, the toughest ones who survived the longest, and started our journey again, from the start.
I still believe in my chosen ones, they have not died in vain, from every one that fell i gained a new weapon that slays the beast that killed it!
Yet this time it's different, this time the beast is strong, and the battle is long, years long, I'm running out of the elder's weapons and I feel anxious and distressed, but here is the thing, IF i lose this battle or even give up, sure i will go back to my resting place, have a moment of peace and quiet, a few days or weeks will pass and the dark thoughts of rotting in my place and losing all the powers I gained through the years will creep up and turn the resting place into ruins, and before i know it I will be on the road again with another chosen one, fighting the same beast I did before, but at that time it's strength would have doubled, and the burden will be heavier.
So maybe the road is too rough, maybe I'm not that tough, but to me, I have no other choice but to keep fighting the endless fight in hopes of a peaceful resting place where the darkest parts of my mind rest happily.......... But is there such place ?
"Thank you for applying, but we have too many people with the same talents as you"
It has been almost 2 months since my last update, the one where my decision was to focus all my powers to learning 3D design and modeling instead of working on the game, just like a farmer planting the seeds of some unknown plant, waiting to harvest gold but got apples instead, the apples I got were not so bad, they taste good and some were impressed by them, but here is the problem, the town is filled with apple farmers who have much more experience and cheaper, better apples.
The skills I gained are amazing I can create what's in my mind with clarity now, wither it's a demon from hell or a summer house with a lovely garden, BUT my expectations have let me down, thinking that as soon as I build my first house I will be an essential part of any company I apply to, ignorance is actually bless in such case, as if i didn't have this excitement in me i wouldn't have mustered the power to learn these skills in such short duration.
I do not regret my decisions to learn and improve, but this path is starting to be just too rough, maybe I'm not that tough.