Saturday, March 14, 2015

Winter Games (not the Olympics)

This Winter has been long, cold, productive and tumultuous here in Brooklyn. I released an arcade game, Filthy Chickens, on the App Store and an original interactive comic adventure called Skizzy & Poof in the Jungle on iOS and Android. These projects were designed to teach me the process of adding in app purchases, social media integration, Admob (and a lesser extent, iAd) and the submission processes to the platforms. A more formal “release” of these projects will happen when Filthy Chickens appears on Google Play. I’ve also been working on a secret augmented reality hyper local adventure game. More on that in a smidge. 

Now, some complaints from a one man band game designer who has been trying to teach himself Unity software with zero training in computer science. It's a stressful venture sifting through infinite forum threads of people talking in circles about outdated, deprecated code.

Learning how long I should stress over a problem before reaching out for help was an epic lesson. By reaching out to experts on and I'm buying valuable time.

A recent problem is the Unity 5 transition. After upgrading the software, all your projects will break until everyone updates their 3rd party APIs. 

I had to put my ambitious AR hyper local game on hold until I figure out the tools. I was using Vuforia for the AR. When they updated to 4.0, they introduced a new monthly pricing structure. As an indie taking the financial risk of a hobbiest, I can’t afford such a plan. And the MapNav I was using for the GPS tracking doesn't work in Unity 5 (yet). So this project is on the back burner until these technicalities work themselves out.

Which brings me to choosing my next project out of a few rapid prototypes: a physics based pinball-esque mobile game. It’s a lot of fun already and I’m implementing some complicated touch controls.

So, some good has come out of these technical upheavals. As I surf these virtual plate tectonics, I learn how to balance and recognize more focused (and hopefully prosperous) avenues to pursue.