Codemotion 2017 Amsterdam

Tinker Entertainment went to Codemotion! Lot’s of interesting talks about game design, AI, User experience design and some other technical bla bla’s. An old friend of mine, Roel Ezendam (One of the Founders of Ragesquid) had a talk about decisions in game development. This one hit me close to home.

It’s something you really underestimate when you’re an aspiring game designer. The amount of choices you have to make and how much time you spent making them. Beside this he raised another good point. This one is often stated but you only realizes its true once you start creating a game. “Creating a game is 20 percent of the work, finishing it is the other 80”. Well I can have the percentages wrong but it was something like that.

For Walk the Line I created the gameplay mechanics within a couple of weeks. But this is really only the core mechanics. After that you have to create a level editor, level select, scores, shop, introduction, guides, facebook integration, color randomizer, database integration and so much more. In fact I’ve programmed so much that I sometimes forget that I already programmed it.

I consider myself very lucky that I know how to do most of this stuff. If you don’t know how to do this you can get quite far through using Unity3d and the asset-store. It might still be tricky getting all those assets work together but it’s possible! And this is something you have to realize if you want to be an indy. It’s not about being able to think of a fun mechanic, it’s about being able to create a experience.

    

Hello world!

I am a independant game Developer,

in other words I am struggling with life while trying to create an application in which users can press buttons to make magical stuff happen. Well at least in my game anyway. To make things worse I’m doing it alone. I’m trying to create an entire game with about 150 levels. This includes art, programming and design. To be perfectly honest I’m not doing it all alone. I’ve had some help from my girlfriend and other friends. They help me relax during these stressful times. Also they are my go-to-humanoids for when I need something tested or if I need feedback.

Is it hard being an independent developer?

The hardest thing for me is to stay focused. I’ve heard so many people talk about this and read so many blog posts about this subject. Heck, if you go to gamasutra you can find many posts which tell you in detail how to stay focused. I’ve struggled a very long time actually and it only changed quite recently. I just wasn’t motivated enough. I’ve a steady job, enough free-time and good friends. So why would I spend the time that I’ve left on something as stressful as creating a video-game? Because I just don’t want to spend the rest of my life working for some big corporation. And I don’t want to become old and tired while not leaving behind an a legacy. And for me this legacy comes in the form of a small application which hopefully will be playable soon on Android and IOS.

New Zealand: Rain

Here we are in the Coromandel which is so beautifully described as sunshine capital of the world. Yesterday afternoon we had a bit of rain but nothing too unusual. However at night it was a bit of a different story. All of a sudden a storm started above us. Rain started flowing underneath our camper in which we were sleeping. Then the lightning started. Each lightning created an echo which was continuously bouncing between the mountains. This took place during the entire night. In the morning we woke up and stood outside our camper which was now standing in a large pool of water above the grass. Luckily enough we could still drive away without any problems.

After leaving our campsite we decided to grab some coffee at a local place. While ordering we heard some man talking about how the first floor of his entire house flooded. He still had a positive attitude but by the looks of it that might just be him trying to stay strong. After drinking our coffee we decided to go to an I-Site, a place were tourists (like us) can go to get some information. As this was our first time visiting New Zealand we didn’t know if this kind of weather is normal. This was certainly not the case, in fact this was the worst storm that has hit the island in hundred years. The woman at the I-site informed us that many roads had been flooded. Out of 3 roads which you can leave the Coromandel 2 are not save anymore. She told us the best thing to do is to leave as soon as possible as weather only will become worse. So we decided to go to a little village called Raglan which lies to the south of where we were.

We step in our car, turn on the radio and search for a station which talks about the weather. We hear all different kind of story’s.  Cars that drifted away, roads that are blocked, tree’s that fell over, houses that flooded, you name it. And things will only become worse. This is because in a couple of hours it will be high-tide. I’m already in New Zealand for a couple of weeks and I’ve seen how much the difference can be. We keep listening to the radio station while driving next to a river. It’s incredible to see how a river, yesterday so clear and so blue, now is brown through all the dirt and sand.  The tree’s and bushes in the banks were already underwater.

We keep driving and leave the river behind us. Now we are somewhere more south between loads of flooded grasslands. Everywhere are leaves and tree trunks on the road. While driving the wind keeps pushing us with all its force. Often we have to steer to stay on the right side of the road. Even traffic signs are lying on the road. We do notice the further we go south the better the weather is. After driving for a while in these conditions we enter a small village called Aroha.

It was not raining anymore but the wind was still strong. We parked our car in the center of the village and searched for a café. Again we order some coffee and sit down somewhere close to the entrance. Not even a minute later the weather alarm goes off. We see firetrucks and police cars leaving the city in the direction we came from. While sitting in the café we hear from some locals that there is a huge power failure which effected thousand of houses.

Never have I been in these kind of weather. In the Netherlands, were I’m from, we complain a lot about the weather but never is it like this. I’ve heard people say that designers need to travel a lot. This is because you will be introduced to new experiences, cultures and meet different people. It’s was a unique experience and one that will stay with me after the vacation. I would have never been able to design a storm with this much depth, and you never know, maybe someday I can use this experience in a game.