my thoughts on gamedev (not that I matter or anything)

2022-01-21 14:38:42

I took a few months off from working on game projects. For a few reasons of being exhausted with life and frustrated with my work.

So last year I started my first big solo project called Rubble and Rust. I worked on it consistently and hard for half a year, until "mania" hit me and I ended up in a psych ward and experienced a mind-bending reality. What changed was my interest in making a story about "mental health" aka. voyages into the unknown not even victims understand. Basically, I can't keep working enthusiastically on something I didn't even believe in fully anymore. I'll call it done as soon as I have music from the musician I'm working with. It'll be up on lickity split and blam, it's called done.

I had a big vision with Rubble and Rust. It was incredibly personal, and that is why the ending isn't quite sitting right with me. I just needed to shelf it for now. Fuck anyone that guilt trips creators for taking breaks, they haven't been in a psych ward.

Writing narrative is one skill I honed this last year, but this year I want to focus on programming with GameMakerStudio2. My focus changes around a bit on whims, but I want to break through the walls of 'not understanding code' and finally get my head around the basics. Man it's a steep learning curve.

I did the tutorial "Little Town" last November-ish, which was a pain in the ass, but at least I did some advanced things and got a bit of a high out of doing it. I've now started a schmup on my own, so I understand (basically) all the code and am not just copying and pasting without understanding.

I started with learning basic programming practices in Ren'Py, but wasn't prepared for the real world of programming in GML.

I feel stupid.

I found that my local game dev community wants to make pew pew shooty 3G big buckos games. I tried to do an Meetup but made it too specific, since I called it visual novel meetup lol. I hoped maybe writers and programmers would mingle and have fun. Instead people ended up confused and turned off by how niche it is, and hardly anyone went.

It seems like everyone in my local Adelaide community has funding for some big project or another. It makes me feel like I'll never reach making a 'commercially successful' or at least 'people pay attention to it' game.

Yet, I don't want to be a fulltime anything, I have accepted and desired this for awhile. Maybe someday I'll break back into 'the industry(s)' but am focusing on starting a TAFE course in Disability right now.

I don't feel like a game dev when I see floods of Discord messages in the lounge going on about things I don't understand. What is a data structure? I can barely get my sprites changing on key press.

new game i've been making. shooty pew pew

I feel stupid. I want to rant. I want to make games for my sensibilities. Fuck not feeling good enough. Fuck feeling stupid and useless. Fuck knowing nobody will hire me on what I've done alone, even if I've done years of work.

I want to make this GameMaker game awesome as a vertical slice (an example level that's completely finished), but hit walls. Then I give up and go back to bad drawings and hitting my head against other walls.

The coding uses a different part of my brain that gives me a different high. It is a hard journey though, because GML goes from beginner to independent creators tutorials where they are doing all sorts of things I don't understand. It's like learning Japanese except smattering of kanji flung at you and you're expected to talk fluently to someone right in front of you.

I don't really know what else have to say. I've been doing this game dev independently. I shy away from criticism because I am going through a rough patch, slowly getting out of the PTSD. Even now I get negative feelings that pull me back down into depression. :(

Struggling with this shooting game gives me depression, that's why I'm taking a break writing this. This is the first post I've done talking about GameMaker, I hope I can keep it up and show actual progress. My programmer dad thinks I'm improving.