Finally, An Update! [June 21st 2016]

After being away from my website | blog for nearly 2 months, this is the part where I stumble in with a bunch of excuses and crack some crummy joke like "Oh hey, I'm still alive by the way!", but in actuality, I've been quite busy!

So as much as I'd like to give the usual song and dance that most bloggers | websites do when they disappear for a while, I can't actually poke much fun at my situation, because when I look back at the last 2 months since my April update, a lot has happened. Rather than try to convince you of my work ethic, I'd rather just refer to the bullet point list I made in another blog entry, where I list my goals | objectives for the year, and talk about which ones I've completed, or am in-progress with:

  • I hope to finish a few games in the next year. My intention is to release something on Steam Greenlight and other marketplaces by the end of the year.

This is well into being in-progress, I'm feeling very confident about this. I've had a few new Unity plug-ins downloaded to help things move along faster with Kooler World. I'm still trying to work out gameplay wise what the game is trying to be when it's polished, because I'd like it to be a little more interesting than just navigating simple environments and collecting gems. Experimenting with obstacles, both static and dynamic, and trying to think of other gameplay mechanics to bring in. Basically researching at this point for more ideas beyond what I have made already. Why am I not showing anything? Because it's just the same gameplay that's in the prototype, just in different environments, which aren't all completed yet and still have some whiteboxing in them. I'll show work when it looks more interesting than just a "behind the scenes" kind of presentation. This is a year long endeavour, so this won't be 'completed' as such for a while, at least not in a polished form.

  • I aim to finish my Light Novel | Manga.

This is a more recent in-progress report. I actually only started this last month, but I have characters written out and designed visually, also the plot is completed. Everything is written in detail, and planned meticulously. I'm open to changing things as I write it out, and if I find better | different ways of doing something to make it more interesting or effective, I will. The foundations however, are very much laid. All I need to do now, is decide whether it will be written with occasional pictures [Light Novel], or if it'll be all pictures [Manga], and then obviously I can start making it.

  • Help the industry explore VR. I actually have a project planned. More info soon...

I've joined a VR project called 'Virtual Novel Game', which is an Anime | Manga styled VR game in Unreal Engine 4, that places you in a 3D virtual novel style game, using VR to immerse you in the world and present the genre in a way it hasn't been shown before. Currently I'm not officially on-board, I'm still in talks with the 2 creators, but they're very interested in having me contribute to the project in a few ways, mostly design and 3D environment modelling. They have to sort their monthly newsletter out first and get a few things finished on their end, and when they have some spare time, we're going to discuss where I fit into the project, and what exact tasks I'll be doing. More info here: http://virtualnovelgame.com/

  • Release some music.

I've written some stuff, going to be pitching a few songs for the virtual novel game I mentioned above, as they're also writing their own music for the game. This'll mean if they like what they hear, I'll be producing proper tracks that you'll be able to download and listen to yourself!

  • Learn more C# with Unity. I'm competent enough to make basic games, and I'm comfortable with programming foundational concepts.

I've learnt quite a bit more of C# in the last 2 months. Not as much new stuff as I would have liked, but I've been reinforcing what I've read through before, and the new books I've had go over things which I wasn't too confident about before, and again, helps reinforce them for me.

  • Make more Machinima | Videos for YouTube. GTA V is likely, as the game already contains a Director Mode to get me started. Maybe Sims 4 too.

Rory keeps on my back about starting our GTA V 'The Buddies' at every possible moment. This is something I just haven't had the energy | time to dedicate to properly. I don't want our first Machinima in a while to be boring or rushed. I'd like to really push ourselves, and see how far we've come as professional creators since our earlier attempts. I know from experience though, how long the process of finishing something takes. Because everything else is more important to me [my own originally made content], this takes place on the backburner until we have the proper time to invest in creating something good. YouTube in general in regards to videos, I've not even thought about yet at all.

  • Get back into more frequent Journalism.

This is something I achieved. I now write for GameSpew, we're metacritic approved, and I've sunk my feet in quite comfortably over the last 2 months since I announced my trial was over. I helped cover E3, and I've written quite a few articles at this point. Click the 'articles' button at the top of the page to be taken to my writer's profile | bio on their website. I've taken down the articles I ported over from my Blog, as I have enough work displayed on GameSpew to represent myself professionally now, and don't need to recycle my old content from other sources.

So as you can see, I've successfully become a Journalist once more, and gotten very active in that scene again [what I've spent most of my time doing if I'm honest]. I've gotten involved with a VR project, started work on my Manga | Visual Novel, and started writing some music, read to be produced/recorded. Kooler World is coming along nicely, when I feel it's worth showing off again, and I work out some new gameplay mechanics, I will. Finally, Machinima has been discussed, and I've just been reinforcing my programming knowledge, keeping it from going rusty.

I've changed the website a bit once more. Coming away for 2 months has really given me a fresh look at it as someone coming into it for the first time. I saw a few things I didn't like, or thought were good ideas at the time and removed them. I have one more day to my holiday after I wake up today to sort things out, and then I begin all my work again. Will update more regularly, even if it's just small things, but generally most of my time is spent with GameSpew now, as well as reading my game development books and working on my Manga | Visual Novel.

Thanks for reading this far, this was a long one!