My game development was pretty minimal this week but I do still feel like there are a couple things that I would like to talk about.
First, backing up data. There was a situation recently where I cleared out some temporary files and accidentally got rid of important Game Maker files that kept the program up and running. Luckily, I made a backup a week ago and was able to recover the program to a workable state. The only issue with the backup is that it did not have the save file that I wanted to work on. I did still have the save on the computer though, so I created an extra copy of my Game Business folder before restoring the previous image. After freaking out a bit due to my poor naming conventions for the latest file, I found everything that I needed and was able to make revisions relatively quick.
I actually had a dream about that app last night. It wouldn't load correctly. :P
Second, I think Doom Ninja Podcast has about run its course. I've been thinking about this for a while and it's even more frontal now that I'm getting serious about starting a business. Doom Ninja Podcast was created to help promote my game development. Unfortunately growth on the podcast is pretty much non-existent. I don't feel that the amount of time and money that I put into the podcast is worth what I get out of it. The combined amount of money that Nate and I spend each month for the podcast is around $50 (3x Humble subscriptions and Soundcloud hosting fees). This doesn't count the gas it takes me to get to and from Nate's house. The podcast requires 5-7 hours of my time each week as well (3 hours driving and recording, 1 hour editing and making posts, 1-3 hours playing the game that we're talking about). The way that I have things projected for my future store, Mondays will be my only days off for a bit. I don't want to have to spend most of my Monday working more. Sadly, the podcast does feel like work.
The physical business. Word is that the lease for the building that I'm currently working in ends at the end of August. I'm hoping that I can have an opportunity to purchase the business and move it to a higher foot traffic area. I took a bit of time yesterday to look at some retail spaces and get an idea of how pricing runs. It ended up being pretty close to what I estimated. I also found places to trim costs since the beginning of the shop will likely be slow. Worst case scenario, I have to finish out the lease, cut my losses after a year, and find another job. I feel that I can make a successful business out of it though.
While playing through Undertale yesterday (was very underwhelmed), I tried to figure out what all the hype was about. I think I figured it out. Undertale felt like a longer Ludum Dare game to me. The art is 90% poop. The parts that weren't poop looked very out of place. The dialogue feels about 80% forced (the other 20% likely being after the developer had more experience making the game). The core gameplay elements were 50/50 (moving around the world and being stopped every 30 seconds was annoying but the shoot-em-up combat system was decent). The music was good. That's where I think it grabbed people. If the music was crappy and did not help evoke emotion, this could have easily been ignored like so many other games. There was also a mix of humor and seriousness that probably felt profound to people. When so much of the game is happy-go-lucky and full of corny jokes, then you get closer to the end and the tone gets more serious and tries to make you think about what you've done while playing, combined with the right music it likely made players have an emotional response. I get it. It's just not for me.
This made me confident about Response. Music and emotion is frontal in Response. It is also meant to make people feel like they have come across profound knowledge by their natural exploration and recognizing cause and effect. I know that Response could be successful because I saw similarities in Undertale and feel that the art and music in Response is an improvement. The story is also mainly in the imagination of the player in Response. It's as good or as bad as you make it.
I'm kind of hype about getting cracking on Response again. I'll have to try to do another jam weekend with Kale where we knock out another big chunk. I feel like most of the game could be made in this fashion over the course of a few jam sessions.
I'm off to go list more cards on the internet.
Until next time.