Development is so much more than making games


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It has been a while since the last update so I thought I would try to catch up.

The last few months have been busy for us. In October, we gave a presentation in Tampa to a local game development group. We are working with an open source character system for Unity that, while amazing, is difficult to use and not well understood. So when we were asked to talk about UMA to the group, we thought it was a good opportunity to be evangelists for a unique and interesting asset.

We also attended a game development conference in Orlando which gave us a chance to hear from many industry and indie developers in a thriving new game development market. While Florida doesn’t rival California or other areas know for game development, it is growing.  At the conference we heard from people who were starting studios, working in the simulation industry, and those that gave advice on marketing our games. One the most useful talks was on testing and the speakers, from Full Sail University, left us with a lot of great information and sent me a full slide show of the talk.  I look forward to writing more about that later. We came home full of ideas and newly motivated.

The next few months were busy times as we worked on skills and more advanced networking. Outside of game development, we were involved in a local art show, which was fun but very time consuming. I spend weeks printing art for sale and show as well as preparing booths for displays. It was a success and created new contacts in the local art scene, which is always a good thing.

I took on some temporary responsibility for our local Unity User Group when the organizer went out of the country for a few months. This gave me the opportunity to further network with local Unity Users. It is so easy as a developer to live in a bubble, surrounded by those that love your game and those whose ideas parallel your own. Getting out of the bubble and talking to others, getting constructive criticism and advice is a really good thing. It is also a wonderful feeling to talk to people who “get it”.  The connections and friendships formed through all this is so worth it. If you make games, I highly suggest you look for a local group in your area. Even if their games are different from yours, you can learn so much.

Now that the holidays are over, we are back to serious business. I have been struggling with our character system but it seems to have come together in the last few days. I hope to have a video showing you how to design your own character in our game soon, maybe even a build you can play with if possible. Ryan has been working on our amazing cooking skills, tying it into the attributes and modifiers that will make the skill fun and rewarding. I am sure he will have something to show you soon as well.

I am finding out that working as a game developer/designer is about a lot more than making games. It is about reaching out to others in the industry, learning new skills and polishing old ones, reading everything you can…not only about games, but also about psychology and culture and history, all which add more depth to our game setting. It also means testing assets that could add to our game, working with the other developers to see how we can get these assets to work for us.

So, busy, but so much fun. 🙂 I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Hope your holidays have been delightful and full of love, friends, and family. We wish you the best for the New Year!

Teila

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