Reflection on 2016
I'm back from a long break in maintaining this blog. After Unite and GCAP in Melbourne I was swamped in projects while preparing for a big move to Europe. That is all said and done now! I'm now temporarily living in Belgium! I'll be spending the next several weeks attending networking events, wrapping up work left undone in Australia, and hunting for full-time work.
There's plenty of time to later to go into the above, but this post is dedicated to reflecting on this past year's efforts. This past year was filled with plenty of opportunities, mistakes, and growth.
Early this year my focus was set on restoring work on TÖKEN, a turn based puzzle game. Unfortunately, most of the team had scattered and employed. Most of the team was still able to work, but after some redesign meet ups lost interest in the project. Without a 3D Artist and programmer the project was still in the water.
I'm still very fond of the game, however it is unlikely to resume progress.
After finishing my level design work the previous year, the first two quarters of this year was preparing and running quality assurance sprints. This was my first time developing a QA data collection system. Overall, I was very proud of the work we managed to accomplish here. Playtesting was put on pause during the Kickstarter and has not yet resumed. (We got funded!) With the additional publisher support, it's possible that future quality assurance will be handled externally.
I officially founded my own studio! This was a big milestone towards doing freelance work and considering myself a professional game developer. Since then I've mostly maintained this blog and posted on social media. I did however learn how time consuming social media could be, so I've taken a step back to focus more on development and blog upkeep.
A really phenomenal opportunity to personally work with Kongregate. The game was coming together nicely but ultimately fell short in the 11th hour. Our team was solid, but we overscoped for the duration we had. The game finished in a good spot but lacked polish. The team's programmer quickly filled up with other work and wasn't able to clean up bugs unfortunately. We did intend to go back and finish things up, but our plans never came to fruition.
My teaching role at Art Intelligence came to a close after 22 months of employment! It was a lot of fun, but I needed a change in pace.
This personal project didn't get the time and attention I intended to put into it. I would still like to work on it again some day, but there's too many collaborative projects going on for me to rationalise selfishly twiddling away on my own games. Especially when Mars would have taken a month or two to fully realize.
This was a major turning point for me in my professional career. I went from Virtual Reality skeptic to advocate during my contract role with Academy Xi. While I focused on teaching UX and UI professionals about Unity development, I learned a lot about VR design. This is a field that I very much hope to explore this year!
This was the last project I accepted before the end of the year. It's actually well on it's way to a soft release on itch.io and Steam Greenlight. I'll likely post more about this in the next few weeks!