Friday, May 30, 2014

What happened?

People are still looking at this? Oh boy. 

Er, I haven't just been replaced by Sam Beckett there, although that would have been a tremendous excuse. Seven PhDs, he claims to have, but I bet none of them involve ridiculously ambitious football games. Just physics and stuff. Anyone can do that.

Anyway, I got an email because someone posted a comment on the last post wondering what happened. It's been over four years since I posted anything here, which is frightening because it means I'm four years older than I was without having made any real progress. Oh well, I've got an excuse now. Even better, I've got a reason...

The reason is... I kinda gave up. More specifically, I lost confidence that I could actually pull it off, given what I knew at the time. I'd been battering up against a brick wall for ages and although the underlying competition stuff was working, I was no closer to having a decent game of football. I'd managed to get people half-heartedly running around a pitch, a spaghetti codebase littered with bugs, and sometimes you could kick the ball out of play and never see it again.

Which is quite realistic, if my regular Friday games are anything to go by.

So I shelved it, and decided that if I actually wanted to make any games, they had to be smaller, more sensible, and hopefully more doable. My well of infinite wisdom having not yet run dry, I decided to make a platform game. Because sure, that's not complicated.

The curious thing is, I finished it. And released it, as both an Xbox Live Indie title, and an even better PC version. It's called Rasternauts and it's got lots of running, jumping and shooting in it, with glowing vectors and the very best pixel art that I've ever been able to do. I set up a little website, also named Mostly Fictional, and from there you can head off to Desura and both try and (if I'm lucky) buy it. It's pretty good, but I'm biased as hell.

Since finishing that up, I've been preoccupied with studying and things like that, but I still like the idea of a football game, and it's one of the things I'm toying with at the minute while I decide what to do next. What I do know is that if I opt to return to that world, it'll be pared down from the behemoth it used to be, focusing on the core gameplay and forgetting everything about cramming in this amazingly expansive world around it.

For now at least. If the experience of making Rasternauts and a burgeoning addiction to clichés have taught me anything, there's not much point in trying to run before you can walk. Any game is worthless if it's not fun and it took a long time for Rasternauts to get anywhere near there. I do still believe it would be rather an amazing game, and I do still have an inordinate amount of love for the genre and its inner workings. The passion is still there, I've just got older and and wiser.

I'll be posting stuff every now and then to that new site, so it'll be the best place to find out if I do start to make real progress. For now though, I'm gonna just enjoy the World Cup, fiddle about with some AI, and try not to commit to anything too drastic. 

Cheers for the interest, Anonymous Person, I hope your own projects bear fruit, and I hope one day I can deliver something you'll enjoy.

If you don't like Rasternauts, that is... :P


Anonymous said...

Liam, thank you for the update - I am the anonymous person who left the last comment yesterday, so it's nice to hear off you :)

Is there an email address or IM program that you use where you can be contacted for a chat?

I'd like to propose something to you.

Thanks again for the reply :)

Liam said...

Aye, you can reach me at liam at mostlyfictional dot com.

Writing it like that to stop spam. I got a lot of spam. This probably changes nothing. :P