Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The First Tree - Breakout PC Game!


David Wehle is an indie game developer who is about to release his first completed game project on Steam. While it only takes 30 minutes to learn and play, The First Tree was a project that took Wehle 2 years to complete, with each step of the way having its own bumps and bruises in game development.

The link above highlights Wehle's adventures through creating and programming the game, what exactly went into this game's development and how he had to go through a bunch of trial and error episodes to get to where he wanted to go. The First Tree is a Third Person exploration game where the player takes on the role of a mother fox looking for her family. However, intersecting with this is a young couple dealing with a pressing tragedy.

The environment of this game looks amazing as the visuals will immediately grab your attention. I wouldn't say that these visuals are cel-shaded, but the colors and animations would remind you of a beautiful "semi-anime" kind of feeling. The First Tree from an appearance standpoint will remind you of games like Journey, Gone Home and Firewatch.

Wehle at one point lost his motivation for making a game, but then he kept working on the menu screen for The First Tree, and the funniest thing happened to him. His joy for making the game returned to him and he was having fun working on his project. It goes to show you how amazing a turnaround can be in the world of game development.

The First Tree is set to be released tomorrow, September 14, 2017, so if you're interested in playing this game you might want to jump in and find out what makes this game so interesting!

Monday, September 4, 2017

GDEX 2017: Not Going

Me at OGDE 2015
I will make this brief in explanation, but I want to announce that I will not be attending GDEX 2017 in Columbus, Ohio. The reasons are few and simple as to why I'm not going to Ohio's own gaming convention this year. First off my economic resources are lacking, which is an obvious reason. Secondly my schedule for the month of September, which includes issues my family has to address and can't put them off, isn't going to jive with GDEX this year.

Last but probably most importantly I don't feel like I have earned the opportunity of going out to Downtown Columbus to check out new game projects and meet up with game devs. The fact of the matter is I'm well behind in learning enough things about current game development technology (example: Unity), and I feel like whatever values I have to give to a game dev team aren't going to be enough at this point.

I am a freelance writer, and I do this job very well. However, in terms of game development I can feel that game devs look down on me. Being just a writer is difficult enough to get noticed in the Video Game Industry, and having to navigate through the game development process as just a writer is a challenge. Sometimes I get the feeling through conversations with game devs that I'm seen as an "idea guy" and nothing more, which I don't believe is true about me, but that's the perception.

Tipsy Raccoons at GDEX 2016
I'm spending the rest of my time in 2017 studying more about game development and actually diving into stuff. Unity is something that I have explored playing around with, and honestly when it comes to making graphics, designing and programming I have had a pretty bad past history with it. I have often felt confused about what object goes where, what command to use, which button to click, etc. I'm thankful that there are at least some tutorial videos on the internet I can watch.

I'm currently at the age of 28, and to this day I still haven't gotten a real break in the world of game development. I have been pushing for an opportunity in this field for about a decade. Yes, at least 10 years. I have submitted remote job applications to game companies in vain, and never to hear back from them. I have reached out to some indie companies, and these avenues are still up in the air.

Something has to change with my approach because whatever I have been doing just isn't working. If that means I develop a better understanding of software like Unity, as much as I cringe about code language, then so be it. I never expect to become an expert in graphic design or programming, because that has never been my strength anyway, but if it means I crack that door a little more open to a position on a game dev team, then I'm going to at least try.

So yeah, it would have been fun to experience GDEX 2017, but it's just not meant to be.