Developer Diary #8 — Exploring New Themes

Art’s a Business
This has been a great month. I’ve been doing a bit less game development than I thought I would be doing, but the time not spent coding has been poured directly into email writing, API hooking, and translating. Getting in contact with portals before May was plain painful, so the change in pace has been welcome.

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Fishin’ Ruth is the product of my thoughts on making more inclusive games, using non-typical characters, and experimenting with light and perspective.

Endurance Training
I’m making the most of my time and have been trying to increase my output. Lately the difficulty of “finishing” games has been on my mind. Sometimes it feels like wrapping up a project takes more time than everything else combined. With this in mind, I’ve been making small projects for game portals with more planned than a paycheck (though that sure is welcome!) I see this rapid cycle of idea to prototype to finished product like endurance training. After a while, the skills needed to finalize a project should come more naturally. I have a long way to go, but the progress is encouraging.

I have also been using the time to grow in the themes I use in my games. It is so easy to use old, tired tropes when putting a game together. I have been finding that deep and/or meaningful ideas do not need complicated mechanics or esoteric systems–just attention. A bit of text, a visual style, or a specific character or setting can dramatically impact a game’s theme in profound ways. At least that is what I am learning. We’ll see where things go from here.

You can play my current experiment in exploring these themes here: Fishin’ Ruth

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-Ryan

Developer Diary #7

Progress on the game I started designing a few days ago is going well. It’s a rather interesting take on minesweeper, with different enough rules/goals to make it unique. I’ve had a great time learning how to play my own game. My little brother came by and walked me through the logic I had accidentally created.

The game is pretty complete, but I am running into some major snags connecting Construct 2 to ad networks. The simple solution is to export the game with a fixed canvas size and just stick the ad on the bottom of the page. I cannot communicate how ugly this looks. Another solution is to put the ad code in an iframe which I can load in-game, but this is a direct violation of the TOS for my ad network. I’m currently working out a way to call the script from within Construct 2 without using an iframe.

I cannot communicate how ugly this looks.

I cannot communicate how ugly this looks.

All of this will probably result in a forum post/plea for help. Until then, I’ve got a test ad on PolyPong’s page to see how effective it is. Looks like I’ll have another thing to neurotically check over the next week!

-Ryan

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