Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Tumbleweed - Winds of Change

On April 5th 2018, I registered due to a project we started for an ARG related to No Man's Sky, called Waking Titan. The ARG tasked us with a contest, creating a fictional development studio, which we did. We got together on the Atlas Citizen Science Division (ETARC) forum and started work with about 40 members total. I soon got the website up and running with lots of creative content from our group. However, what is a development team with an actual product? Well, that's where I decided to launch Unity and give it a try...

The Unity project, Tumbleweed - Winds of Change, was born on April 15th 2018. I decided to try a 'roll-a-ball' game in a procedurally generated world. I was already somewhat familiar with Unity due to messing around in it for a personal hobby project. I had however never really developed a full game, not much coding experience with C# specifically. It amazed me how quickly I learned and got really attached to this project.

Of course the ARG never truly expected us to actually develop a full blown game. It was just a contest to pretend and at least create something to show off. We actually ended up placing third, most likely due to our intriguing website content and creativity from our group of forum users. We were all very proud of this accomplishment of course, and it was likely supposed to end there.

But nope, I was by now not planning to give up on Tumbleweed and decided to continue work. Even though interest in CSD Games and our work had diminished after the contest. I wanted to finish what I started! Of course I would never have been able to, without at least some support from those who remained active in our private group discussions.

So now it's June 2019 and I am still working on the game. A lot of progress has been made, up to a point where I feel it is in its final stages. Several scenes have been added, which are fully playable, but still lacking story to accompany gameplay. Story is what I find to be the toughest part, as all I have is bits and pieces of lore created by some of us. I am trying hard to piece this all together to make sense for the game and be told by your actions in-game. Most of it makes sense in my head, although still lacking an actual 'grande finale'. This is basically what I am currently trying to finish up, and I am struggling ...

I do feel pressured to release soon, because the Waking Titan ARG has long ended and even No Man's Sky is likely to release their final update(s) soon. Once that happens, interest and attention to what I am working on is likely going to die down even further. I try not to worry about it, but I somewhat do, even though this is just a hobby project without ever having had any expectations to begin with. I feel there is still quite a bit of work to do, before I consider it finished enough for release.

I have learned so much working on Tumbleweed and even though I am sure it's full of flaws, I am proud of what I have accomplished thus far. My code is likely a mess, aka spaghetti code. Performance could certainly be a whole lot better. Organisation and structure in my project could be improved. Models I created are certainly not always done right. There never was a road map, or a drawn out plan to begin with. This project started with just a quick attempt at something, whatever it was. It soon started to grow, with more and more being added, changes to be made. I am sure it is far from 'perfect', but at least it works, being reasonably playable, on my computer at least 😊

When released, I don't expect anything other than feedback and an honest opinion on the result. I have so far really enjoyed working on it, but it wouldn't really mean much without others actually playing it and telling me how they liked it or not. This is what I mostly want out of Tumbleweed, whether it takes me another month or a year to be able to say, "I am done!".

Back to work ... 😉

1 comment:

  1. Hi Devilinpixy! I was Superlumina Games last year, we got to the top ten but you clearly had the better concept! It's astonishing to see how much you invested into your game- I feel ashamed in comparison! I frequently start up projects and abandon them..

    Best of luck to you!