Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bite the bullet in more then one way.

   Well I have been fighting eye strain for the past while, as I posted in my last update. Today I decided to bite the bullet and start up work again on the game. So I worked for about an hour on the game and find two problems, the first being what I knew already. My eyes became sore, irritated, and difficult to focus. OK so that puts me KO for games work today. After realizing that the pain behind my eyes had turned into a full blown migraine, I took two Bufferin (Japanese equivalent of Aspirin). Still got my migraine, but it has been kind to me while I type this.
   My second problem came while I was working on the game. So before I tell you what the problem is I will tell you a little story.
   Back in August when I first starting thinking of building games, with the new found knowledge that I had learned, I stumbled upon the IGF contest and thought "hey I want to try and enter that" so I asked my wife if it would be OK to work night and day on an entry. She said that would be OK. So from the last week of August till October 17th I worked night and day to produce a demo for my entry. During that time I was struggling with the games concepts and mechanics, it was a huge undertaking. I AM BUT ONE MAN, scaling a mountain.
   During production I ran into several problems and coding issues. Sometimes things never worked right and sometimes things got broken when new things were added. Well due to the deadline and my fear that I would never be able to make the cut off date, I cut corners, bypassed code, and cut out important features of the game that would be beneficial now.
   Fast forward back to today, when running some tests and organizing the new content for the game. Those overlooked and bypassed part of the games code have come back to bite me in the ass. After figuring that I need to fix them, and then trying to fix them. Have determined that in my hast to produce the games demo, and bypassing too many things, if I fix those problems, I will create a domino effect with several other systems.
   I have foolishly integrated the problems into the games so much so, that if I fix them it will break the game. The only way to fix this problem without having to spend hours upon hours of code hunting for the new problems. I have decided to do a clean build of the open world elements of the game. (These being the only parts that were having issues during production) I will rewrite all the code for these parts and then integrate the platforming elements and stitch them in so that everything works perfectly. If all goes well I should have access the features and elements that I damaged back in early production, such as controller controls for the game. This just keeps getting better and better.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What's Next?!

  For the past 5 months I've been working hard on the production of the game. But all that has been brought to a grinding halt because of 2 different things. First, I had a computer failure, that I was spending the time to repair, during that time I was not using the PC for no more then 2 hours a day. When I had finished to repair my work station computer, I was so happy and started working on the new content of the game, I also  indulged in some gaming. To my dismay I discovered a new problem.
  Over the course of the last 5 months I had been getting headaches, sharp pains behind my eyes, sore shoulders and back. I didn't know what exactly was causing this, I believed that it was due to over working at the schools and the very dry environment that I'd been working in. This only turned out to be part of the slightly larger problem. I was dragging my eyes through the dirt, I was spending hour upon hour working on a computer, without any rest. I have subsequently developed a sensitivity to the glare and constant shifting from screen to documents and screen to environments. Now I can barely spend 2 hours straight looking at a screen without feeling a headache and or a sharp pain behind my eyes. 
  I noticed this during the time when my computer was offline, and when the computer was back up and running, so was my headaches and problems. So as I said in the beginning of this post I have brought my production to a grinding halt. That is until I get a pair of computer glasses. I am currently searching for the best pair that suits me. I've checked my vision, and I do not have near or far sightedness. I just need glasses to use the computer. I do not wish to get Glaucoma, so I will do everything I can to prevent that from happening. Game production will continue after acquiring my new glasses.
  Game release date will now be moved to TBA(To Be Announced) I can not say exactly when release will be. I am but one man carving away at a mountain. So it will be finished when its finished. For sure in 2012.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hard Start To 2012 and A Long Road Ahead

    Well, on January 10th the nominees were announced for the IGF. Sadly though, Where Are You? was not selected. For me this was OK, as the game is no wheres near ready to be shown to the public as a fully functional game. Also to keep in mind that the games, alpha and IGF demo builders were conceived, and created in under 3 months. That was a big accomplishment me. I will try again next year and see what happens. Developing games is a long, stressful and for the most part enjoyable job. I will continue to develop Where Are You? and work on my secret project on the side.
   I  must also say congratulations to Tom Francis creator of Gunpoint  http://www.gunpointgame.com/ and Kan Gou creator of To The Moon http://freebirdgames.com/to_the_moon/ for their nominations in the IGF. Good Luck to them.
   In other news, I am sorry to report that Where Are You? Episode1 will not be released this month. Development of the game was going along as scheduled, until I hit a wall. A week and a half ago while compiling the games data a total system failure occurred. Apparently the water cooler that was cooling my CPU had a faulty seal on the water cooler block. This seal failed when the CPU heavy task of compiling was started, causing the closed water cooling system to leak onto the CPU and Mobo. This in turn fried the CPU, and Mobo. I then set out to replace the 2 parts. After getting replacement parts and finally changing everything out, another problem presented itself, the computer wont post.... $(^% So now I am in the process of solving this other problem.
You may be wondering what this has to do with the game, well this has everything to do with the game. My latest build of the games continuing levels are saved on the systems hard drives and because of the failure happening during compiling, I am yet to know the damage that may have been done to the games data. So needless to say I am a little worried about the state of the game.
   At the very least the game will be released mid to late February... I hope. Well I must return to my teaching, I carry the weight of 3 jobs plus a family. Until next post.