Building a studio from scratch: Week 6

Not the best of weeks as funding concerns begin to bite, while asset work needs a bit of a rethink
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[Go here to find all entries in Gahan’s diary]

Week 6

I started to get in touch with other indie developers through Twitter this week as I thought it might be good for some contacts. It’ll also be interesting to see what’s happening in the indie development scene.

I’ve been working ‘head down’ for the past 20 years or so in triple-A development, so it’ll be good to make some new friends and maybe get a little bit of help and advice along the way.

As a result of this endeavour, I’ve stumbled across the possibility of some outsource work – nothing for certain, but it could be good to get a bit of cash in the business as there’s currently none!

Thinking about cash flow, almost everyone I’ve spoken to so far has made a real point of cash flow being the most important thing for a small business, so I should probably do a lot more about getting some cash in the business in the short term before we need it, rather than panicking about it when we actually do need it.

Looking at the underwater characters that have been designed so far, they look too illustrative and lack ‘character’ so I’m going to rework them a bit. They need to look more fun for this art style so I’ll have a look at giving them bigger eyes and little smiley mouths and stuff. It’ll mean extra work on the plan, but it’s got to be done.

To take a break from the re-work, I designed a new simple graffiti style font to be used for the game. It didn’t take too long and was a nice break from the character work too.

Along with getting the art style down, I spent some time getting some ideas for backgrounds together. I set it to the iPhone 4 resolution at 1024x768, it’s a fairly simple gradient with a little bit of interest in it – it looks ok.

We’re looking into the way that the enemies get spawned. At the moment it is random and sometimes large gaps are created making it far too easy. We’ll need to look into improving this.

We’re also going to need a game mechanic where an action triggers when the player gets close, an enemy attack so to speak, once we’ve sorted out the spawning, maybe that should be the next work we do to prove the gameplay.

Both myself and our programmer are dogged a little bit from non-project commitments we need to finish off along with developing the game and getting the company going.

Unfortunately he has a contract to complete and I have some deliverables for a book that I’m writing. It’s a pity that just as we seem to be getting started, we’ve hit a speed bump – it’s no disaster though. I could try to get out of the book deal, but I’ve completed a lot of work so far, and the coding contract needs to be completed, so he can be paid for the work. We’ll just have to work around the distractions, and work hard.

Total money spent so far: £292.63

Negatives
We each have prior commitments that are distracting us from the game

The enemy spawning needs refinement

No cash in the business at the moment

Positives
We’ve started to make progress and are getting a feel for how the game will look and play.

The Pixel Bullies
andy@thepixelbullies.com
www.thepixelbullies.com
Twitter - @AndyGahan

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