Summer 2021 Progress Update

by | 2021-07-02

It’s now past the halfway point of 2021, which is a weird feeling. Sometimes it still feels like spring 2020. Nonetheless, that means it’s time for another status update post!

This year has been a bit of an odd year. I’d gone in planning to make one or two big games, plus something small for So Bad It’s Good Jam, and that was about it. So far, I’ve released four games this year, only one of them being one I’d expected. I talked about A Dream Of Valhalla and how it relates to Shattered 2 in my last update. Since then, I’ve put out GPU Buying Simulator as an April Fools frustration venting project, Iam Ajn Donita (a game that borders on malware) for Game Breaker’s Toolkit Jam #5, and Safety and Security at the Liberty Macvonden Building (ITC-1141-A) for So Bad It’s Good Jam.

I think this came somewhat at the expense of Shattered 2, but I enjoyed these projects. It’s fun to do something different once in a while, and it’s easy to get bogged down as a developer.

Ascension III

Ascension III is formally cancelled. You can read more in the devlog, but in short, I’d lost interest in the project over a year ago and have moved on to other projects, with no plans or desire to return for the foreseeable future. I’ve learned a lot from it, and the technical underpinnings have powered almost every one of my games since 2019.

Taking Ascension III out of the equation has streamlined CommonCore development a lot more than I expected. I’m now working on the main branch, not having to worry about merging in and out of Ascension III, and as a bonus, since features are tested on that branch it’ll be more functional as a demo. It was tough to close the book on Ascension III, but I absolutely believe it was the right choice.

Project Takagi

Project Takagi is now the priority, as it has a hard deadline of December 25. It’s not a huge project, but given the scope creep and schedule slips with Shattered 2 (see below), I think it’s a good idea to start it as soon as possible. If it’s done early, I can either release it early or sit on it, then move back to some of the projects that I’d planned to do first but put off.

Takagi is still a somewhat secret project (something I don’t do very often!). So far I’ve revealed that:

  • It is a game
  • It’s a Christmas-themed project
  • It has Magical Girl Gina in it
  • Its plot will be very familiar to some

I’ll add to that a few things that I’ve revealed elsewhere but not on this site:

  • It is a first-person shooter
  • It has a strong emphasis on level design

This is my first holiday-themed project in years and I’m super excited for it!

Shattered 2

Delayed, but not forgotten. Shattered 2 has scope crept and bogged down a bit, slipping repeatedly from a May release date and encroaching on the time I’d set aside for Takagi. I’m still very enthusiastic for this project, and I’d like to get back to it as soon as possible. It’s still in its early stages, though, so I think an early 2022 launch date is more realistic than any time this year.

Fire With Fire

A project I’ve been thinking about for but not committing to is a sequel to In The Middle Of The Night, tentatively named Fire With Fire. As it ties into Takagi to an extent and is a short project that can reuse a lot of assets, I may get this one put together and out the door immediately after Takagi. It may also be my MGGJ4 game, depending on how that goes. On a side note, that series now has a tentative name: Outliers and Outsiders. I’ve set up a collection on itch for it, though it only has one game in it.


I’m not expecting these to be the games of 2022. Even if they’re not completed by the end of 2021, they (hopefully) won’t extend that far into 2021. A lot of work for Shattered 2 is done, even at the time of writing, and Fire With Fire has a pretty limited scope.

I have two big projects in mind for 2022. One is a 3D JRPG with turn-based battles (Skylake). The other (Aurora) is a multiplayer first-person shooter. I don’t know which one will happen, or both, or neither, but both are quite different from my usual fare. I’m excited to do something different, but there’s also a lot of technical work involved in both, so that may hold things back. There are lots of projects I have in mind like that, and it’s always the time investment that keeps me back, but I’m making a point to take on at least one next year. When we get closer to the new year, I’ll probably talk about these a bit more.

Odds and Ends

Yes, I’m still planning on doing Inktober. I haven’t done a lot of drawing lately and that’s something I hope to rectify.

I’ve been working on some housekeeping, and have some minor site updates planned. Most likely, though, it’ll just be cleanup and nothing too exciting. I’d like to finally have a crisp vector logo, but I’m not planning on replacing the venerable Iconic One theme any time soon.

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