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Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Alien invasions and keeping games development fun!

Since Saturdays have been take over by 8-Bit Bots for the moment, I've decided to move the game development update posts to Wednesday.

The game is progressing quite nicely at the moment. It's still a long way from finished, and I've got the rest of the year to get it done (I'm looking at a December release), but I'm currently enjoying the process and my approach to working on it. 

Initially my approach to returning to games development was to treat it like business hours. I'd wake up early, go out to get some shopping for the day, help mum with her care needs, then from 10am until 6pm I'd be doing games development and only taking breaks to do carer stuff like giving mum her tablets, cooking meals, cleaning, and other household chores. This hasn't really been working for me, so I've decided to go back to a more laid back approach similar to the way I used to make games in the past, and that's to only work on the games when I feel like it.

Optimus Prime created in 3DSMax a long time ago.
Back when I was younger I enjoyed the process of making games more because I'd only do it when I wanted to do it, and would split my time up quite naturally between playing games, making games, visiting friends, watching movies, spending time with family, and other fun activities. Some days I wouldn't work on a game at all, other days I could spend a few hours working on a game quite happily. It's very similar to the way I used to work on my 3D models and animations when I used to mess around with software like 3DSMax. I'd start a new model and would spend an hour or two working on it, then go off and do something else, then maybe not work on the model again for a day or two. It's not the most efficient way to get things done, but it's a more natural way for me to work and it stops me from putting unnecessary pressure on myself. It also keeps games development fun, which is the most important thing for me.

So, I've been working on UFO a couple of hours a day in the afternoons and it's been an enjoyable process so far. I'm splitting the development time between UFO and working on the 8-Bit Bots comic and animations, and things are coming together quite nicely. The game now has a few new additions, like difficulty that increases each level, the start of an end-level screen, a front end and a game over event. I've also made the bombs finite, with the player starting off with 10, and you have to pick up little aliens from the ground to replenish them. If you don't keep your bombs topped up, your UFO will retreat, because it's no longer able to destroy the tanks and clear the level, and you'll lose a life. It's a bit sneaky, I know, but it stops the players from using their infinite bombs to kill all tanks and sheep, rather than saving the sheep as you're supposed to do, to complete the level.

The next part of the process for UFO is to complete the end level screen and then start working on some new enemy types, including a homing missile and jet fighter, and work on level progression.

One final thing. I do intend to get back to live streaming the games development, but I'm not sure when this is going to be.

Thanks for reading!

My aim is to make video games and, as much as possible, let people download them for free. I do, however, still need to eat and pay bills, so if you'd like to support me you can do so by buying me a coffee at this will enable me to continue doing what I do and your support is really appreciated!

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