Archive for the Duet Category
I would like to announce that Duet is officially entered into the 2012 IndieCade festival. IndieCade is a great celebration of independently developed games which has been growing in popularity over the past few years. Since they actively encourage work-in-progress submissions. I decided that Duet would be a good fit.
Wish us luck, and we hope to be back with something new and exciting to show everyone. Things are putting along at a gentle pace. Erik and I are working in our spare time, so it’s a bit of slow going.
So Duet officially has an artist!
He is a strapping young lad from a country whose biggest exports include fear, cold air, and video games.
Yes, that’s right. I’m talking about the one and only Erik Rönnblom.
Keep an eye open at all times so that you might see the juicy and delicious kebab that is his artworks.
As an independent developer, I tend to pride myself on my ability to remain open about the development of my projects, but sometimes it is hard to admit the truth. Either because I blame myself and feel lazy, or because I just don’t want to disappoint anyone. The realities of game development can be a lot less clear cut and pretty as some of the final results. There is honestly no medium that is harder to produce a complete work in.
I submitted Duet to the Independent Games Festival late last year. I was unfortunately not named among the excellent finalists. However, it did bring me some surprising attention, including an article on IndieGames.com. All this excitement from the outside has made it painfully apparent how slow my progress is. I haven’t even touched the code for the game in probably 3 months or so. So I feel that I should be honest with everyone about what I have been doing with the project: Nothing, at the moment.
Am I giving up on Duet? Definitely not. I believe that it is the most important game that I have worked on in my life. However, there are some difficulties which have arisen in the development which have made working on the project tiresome. Tiffany, Duet’s artist, was my fiancé at the time of her entry into the team. Now we are separated, and that makes collaboration difficult to impossible, due to the emotions involved. It is probably never advisable to build a work relationship atop a personal one.
I am doing a ground-up reimplementation of the gameplay from the original Game Maker prototype to my custom C++ and OpenGL engine. The port was envisioned as a way to achieve a more complex and modern art direction than what is possible in Game Maker. Therefore, I find it hard to be motivated when I do not have an artist working with me. I have been putting the project on hold until I could work things out with Tiffany. Now it seems clear that that is not going to happen, so I need to find another artist who is right for the job.
As you all know, life is expensive and game development is equally so. Games take a long time to develop, and progress can be slow enough when you work on it full time. Part-time progress may be enough to get Duet done, but even still, I lack the funds to pay an artist a competitive salary. So really the best I can offer anyone is a share of the final profits, after all the bills are paid of course.
Anyway, all of these factors have conspired to put Duet in a very tenuous position in it’s development. Progress is not happening, but I will inform you all as soon as I have anything new to show.
If you think you are what I’m looking for and are interested in helping make Duet look more like it plays, then you can drop me a line here, @mvandevander on twitter or on the Facebook page for the game. Please have examples of your work.
On the last day before the deadline, after a rush to the bank to deposit the 95 dollar entrance fee into a check card ready account and a 40 minute drive back home to get the thumb drive holding the code for the prototype, following a late arrival for work with a sneaky ftp upload when I was supposed to be retouching, Duet is now officially entered into the 2012 Independent Games Festival.
It is competing alongside 568 other games: a record turnout. Submissions come both from first time developers, as well as seasoned veterans. Unfortunately, the production version was not yet complete enough for a viable submission, so that means no fancy graphics or sound. Here’s hoping Duet wows some judges with it’s intellectually stimulating puzzly goodness!
It’s so easy to get attached to a project when you work on it for a long time. I’ve already been looking at Duet for a year. Despite that, for the past six months or so I haven’t made much progress. This is partly due to laziness and working a full time job. Staring closely at what you are doing can make it seem so much bigger than it really is.
The fact is that Duet is a small game. If I’m being realistic, it probably won’t change the world; it probably won’t change much of anything. But I’ve become so intimately close with the project that it has grown an importance to me that isn’t really due. I’ve created an abstract idea of what Duet is, and it seems imperative that I must create that. I can feel the importance of what I’m doing, and I find that paralyzing.
I suppose it is unrealistic to suggest that performance is never an issue when creating a video game. Since the better a game performs, the more graphical tricks you can cram up your games proverbial sleeves. But with the speed of modern computers, 2D games tend to not require much optimization. And as they primarily use tile-based graphics, it is relatively trivial to determine which tiles in the level are on screen (and therefore should be drawn), and which are not.
However, there are some newer 2D games, such as Braid, or Aquaria which use a entirely different method for their graphics which is not tile-based, but instead uses images which can be repeated positioned, rotated, and scaled arbitrarily to build a level. These images are rendered to the screen using modern 3D graphics hardware, which—being designed for 3D games—is rather fast for this application. Even still, there can be quite a large number of these images building up a level, so it is useful to devise an accurate and speedy method for determining which objects are on screen, and which are not. Continue reading