At the very end of 2021, I posted a status update, and at the very end announced that there would be two status updates a year going forward. Well, it’s been half a year since then (already!), which means it’s time for the mid-2022 status update! This year wasn’t as busy, but there’s still plenty to talk about.
A Promise Fulfilled
Without a doubt, my biggest project of 2022 was Shattered 2 – The Promise. This was originally planned for 2021, but I had decided to pursue other projects first, and instead made it my priority going into 2022. The development process was tumultuous, and project scope started spiralling out of control, but I was able to recover it and release a game that while not perfect, I’m pretty happy with. It was a relief to finally get this one out the door, because it’s been a long time coming, since maybe even before the first Shattered. I wrote a devlog talking about project, where it came from, and how it went off the rails.
A Common Core
I had a lot of momentum on CommonCore going into 2022, but that faded away as I shifted focus to Shattered 2 and only the features I desperately needed for that project got worked on. I’m now back on track, with a slightly different focus than before. The general cleanup, rationalization, and removal of hardcoded game-specific RPG stuff is still the focus, but I’ve dropped the new input mapper and a few other planned features, and added WebGL support to the roadmap. That’s all progressing slowly, but steadily.
For the past year or so I’ve been deciding on what to add to CommonCore by looking ahead at upcoming projects and ideas, and thinking about what I need to make those happen. This has worked well so far, resulting in a lot of useful features and improvements and a reasonable scope.
CommonCore 5.x Edgewater was originally planned to be mostly sandbox improvements: better weapons handling, better actor AI, et cetera. However, looking ahead, I want to move beyond my typical first-person-thing formula and build much different kinds of games. To that end, I think CommonCore 5.x will end up being more like 4.x, continued. More rationalization, more quality of life, more flexibility.
But that’s probably going to be a story for 2023. I don’t necessarily plan these as yearly releases, but they seem to end up that way.
The Halfway Point
So far, I’ve done pretty well in sticking to my plan for 2022. I resisted the urge to join Magical Girl Game Jam 5, instead focusing on Shattered 2. Although that project did start to spiral out of control, I was able to shift gears, wrangle it into something manageable, and release it on time. CommonCore has been a bit up and down, but for the most part is on track, and I don’t have a zillion projects going on at once stressing me out.
The first half of the year was dominated by Shattered 2, which was more or less the plan. Now that that’s out of the way, I’m taking a bit of a break and definitely not starting any big projects right away, but I do have a few things planned for the second half of the year.
I’m planning to do some long-deferred cleaning up of this website. That includes adding some missing pages, cleaning up the categories a bit, and finally getting a vector logo. I know I’ve been saying this almost every status update, but I think there’s a much better chance of it happening since I don’t have a ton of other irons in the fire right now.
I don’t think the archive site will be moving off MediaFire this year. I still haven’t found a good solution for this, although I haven’t had a chance to really investigate it yet either.
I’m trying to open-source more of my stuff so that others may get some use out of it. I’ve started with the original Shattered, and I’m tentatively planning to release the source for Bang Ouch Infinite as well. A major obstacle is the amount of third-party resources that I tend to incorporate, some of them nonfree. Sometimes stripping those out badly breaks the project, and of course I have to spend the time to comb through the source and document where these resources were used. Still, I think it’s worthwhile. Separately from this, I’m planning to package up and release some more assets from my games to OpenGameArt.
There are a few game jams coming up that I am planning to participate in. So Bad It’s Good Jam 2022 might be the first, though no dates have been confirmed yet. Though I skipped Magical Girl Game Jam 5, I’m planning to make something for MGGJ6. Finally, I’m not sure if there will be a BC Game Jam this fall, and if it will be in-person or online, but I’ll probably be there as well.
I did a lot of game jams in 2020 and 2021, and it was great for sharing ideas and meeting people, but it was also massively stressful since I was in jam mode almost all the time.
I’m reluctant to take on another big project this year, because honestly Shattered 2 really took it out of me. I’d still like to do more non-game stuff (maybe more videos, maybe not), but I think that’s going to be very much as I feel like it and as time allows. At this point there isn’t anything far enough along, or even that I’ve committed to doing, to bring up here.
I’ve mentioned doing some smaller, more experimental projects in the past. Some of the more complicated ones are definitely off the table, but some of the others might happen. Right now I’m feeling like doing a turn-based battle of some sort, but we’ll see what I actually put out.
As mentioned earlier, CommonCore continues slowly and steadily. I’ll probably put out an update to The Crystal Tower for this holiday season, though the scope of changes will probably be pretty small. Maybe just some quality of life, a few tweaks, and a missing scene or two.
I do want to do a Shattered 3, and another Magical Girl Gina game, and something completely different, but don’t expect to see any of these until 2023. I may talk about these more in the end of year update, we’ll see.
The second half of the year is going to be a lot different than the first, moving from focusing on a single project to dabbling here and there with game jams and smaller projects. So far, I’ve been mostly successful keeping to a relaxed pace and balancing my projects with the rest of my life, and keeping that going will remain a priority going forward. I don’t have anything to announce at the moment, but I’m hoping to come out with some interesting stuff in the next six months, do some general housekeeping, and head into 2023 with some fresh ideas!