Bulwark Update 3: Minor Updates/A little bit about development

I was sat thinking this morning and I realized just how slow progress has been over the last couple of weeks. It’s remarkable how easily time gets away from you. I have been chipping away at bits of Bulwark and whilst I am getting there, I’m worried that I am not spending as much time as I should be trying to finish this up.

When I started this project it was a learning exercise that I aimed to complete in a relatively short time-span. However as I have progress the projects scope has increased greatly to a point where development is proving to be a challenge. I have to implement a new save-load system to accommodate for the player being either in VN state or game state and trying to ensure they can pick up where they left off. Not overly complex;but highly time consuming. This is the top of a never ending list of things to do, I have levels to build, a GUI to tweak a story to write and a whole other crazy load of things to do.

One vital element in developing a game is to stay positive and keep working, push yourself to complete one task every night you sit at your (sometimes dreaded) desk. There is always something to be done and one of the big benefits of being an independent developer is that I can just change roles at the drop of a hat. If some code is causing me to tear out my hair I can switch to the artwork or music, in theory this means I won’t burn out as fast. In reality however it can prove to be an incredibly exhausting experience, especially on days like this where I will be at work eight while eight then have to drive 30 miles home and work on Bulwark.

Developing a game independantly can be a great toll on life in general and it can be easy to question whether it’s worth the effort. I am well aware that I am but one of thousands of other developers, most of which are far more talented than myself. I am well aware that the odds are stacked heavily against me making any money from this endeavor. I know that I am having to sacrifice time with my fiancee, my son and the rest of my family.

So why put myself through it?

Simple really; I love games and I love making games. I guess it’s that childlike dream that I’ve always had of making games in my bedroom. I would love to see my game played by thousands, loved by many, and if it happens it happens and that will be a dream come true. The most important thing for myself, however, is that I have finished something, I will have something to show for my effort.

I guess my point here is simple. I make games because I want to and nothing will ever change that. If I were to offer one piece of advice to others making games alone, only do it while it’s fun. If your not having fun making your game then the chances of someone having fun while playing it are remarkably slim.

I didn’t actually mean to talk so much about this :/, apologies for the slight rambling/ranting tone. I just wanted to get some of these thoughts out of my head and out into the open.

Hopefully the next post will be a lot more to do with Bulwark and where I am with it :).

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced. – Soren Kierkegaard

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