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Micro Blog Ep. 2 - Challenges, Accomplishments, and Blog Schedule

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

One day I want this company to be a large-scale indie dev studio, that can produce multiple indie titles instead of one massive game that either succeeds or fails, which is quite polarizing. Indie studios make one game at a time but I want Slothful Media to have multiple teams of talented people working on multiple projects, across multiple fields. Maybe some games for children, others targeted at young adults, and a hardcore game or two for the more cultured gamer. Maybe even a R&D department that can work on it’s own handheld, or AR setup. I’ve even contemplated making games for big companies that offer training. My brother showed me a VR set up for CNC machining, and has ideas that stem from that. I think that would be a lot of fun to create.


Challenges

Marketing & Social Media

Obviously, my strengths as a programmer come in hand when creating a product, but the other half of the battle is selling the product. My weaknesses in marketing coupled with my vast underestimates of how hard this half of the battle would be have created quite a challenge. I have some experience in digital advertising, print media, and other forms of marketing, with social media being my earlier adoption of community engagement. I’ve used discord, Facebook since it’s inception, and Instagram sparingly over the years. It was until I graduated that I realised a website and a Facebook presence wasn’t going to cut it. Sure if I had a budget I could ring up any Tom, Dick, or Sally advertising company I could get my name in front of lots of people, but even with a budget do I want to pass on my advertising to another company? B2B media 2 media? Personally, and probably egotistically, I don’t want that image in my head. A media company asking an advertising company to post my media? What methods do they use… The same ones that I’m doing without a budget. The only difference is they’re art is about 10x more professional than mine. So, the next best thing is to find someone in that field and surround myself with their talent.

Any takers?


I would admit I need help, being a solo director, I wear a lot of hats. I’m fortunate enough to have a talented artist who is willing to start at the ground floor and rise to the top along side me. Ian will always have a place at this company. His advice thus far as propelled our social media and marketing but he also works a full-time job. I look forward to sharing more about our artist in the next few weeks, when the main blog gets around to his turn.




Accomplishments

Development

As a two-man team my artist and I rarely overlap on the project. For Monster Factory I did all the programmer, testing, level layout and design, while my artist pumped out 80+ assets overnight while I was asleep. Handy if they were finished, but then came a double batch of assets and updates. So I wrote a script for a tool to replace all the assets in the scene while copying their components and values to the new one, before deleting the old asset. Handy when you screw up a prefab, or break an instance of a prefab, then go to change the values on the prefab only to find a handful of the assets don’t change accordingly. Maybe there’s a button to fix that but I’m a coder… I just throw more lines of words at it and smash it with a hammer until it does work.

But I digress, the development process so far has been pretty smooth. Now I know it won’t last forever, and some form of version control is necessary, so I’ve gone ahead and started using Perforce's Helix (and maybe Hansoft I haven’t decided yet). Great company, they actually gave me a call a day after, did their research and we had a nice friendly chat. It’s becoming common for large tech companies to call establishments that use their software and check in. Still a nice touch when someone informed about what you do calls just to check in.

Guns being used in our prototype zombie wave game


Currently I am prototyping a zombie wave game, or basically recreating OG Call of Duty zombies. It's a good place to start and eventually branch out from. As this will be our first multiplayer game I want it to work a certain way before I tweak it. This was one of my all time favourite games and subsequent game modes that showed up in places like Halo's Infection maps from halo 2 and 3. I'd love to relive those days.


The particle cannon was a bit far fetched for this game mode, but I was testing weapons. The ray gun had to come from somewhere, right?

Prototype zombie wave game

Blogging

I have to admit I quite enjoy writing blogs. It’s more of a reason to rant, with the main blog being more informative about the company. These micro blogs are more random than I like to admit. Maybe one micro will be recipes I enjoy cooking while working 15+ hour days. Not a bad idea actually.


I think the format will be one Main Blog every Monday, and 1-2 micro blogs the rest of the week. A good way to waste time on the first day back. I've got a few blobs started and if I get overzealous I might do two main blogs a week.


But for now here's the schedule:

Mondays - Main blog

Wed & Friday - Micro blogs


Post Script

I know I said "challenge(s)", but the one challenge is basically two, and the two accomplishments are roughly the same size as the one challenge. Gotta save something for the next one.


If you have any issues, questions, or comments about this post please let me know, you can reach me at mitchell@slothfulmedia.com and I'd be happy to engage in a conversation with you about any of the above. Your time is appreciated! You can find the game here

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