Captain’s log September 2: Life as a solo indie dev

Star Girls update:

Version 1.0.1 is finished we are just testing it out thoroughly making sure there no weird crashes. I did a lot of memory management stuff and clean up a lot of memory leaks which I believe is the cause of 80% of the issues people have been experiencing. I’ve also added some requested features so keep the feedback coming!

Game Jam this month:

I took a break from memory management /bug fixes to do the “extra credits” game jam. It was a 4-day event over the weekend and I just wanted to see if I still had the game design spark. Turns out I do. It was my first time using GM2 and I watched a shit-ton of youtube tutorial to make this happen. It was a trial by fire for sure but I was able to create the “unknown samurai” (wife named it). Now I have a pretty good grasp on GM2 which I didn’t before. Go play it. It’s free. If enough people like it I’ll add the boss I was working on before the time ran out and a storyline.


I think I’m going to do a game jam once every month or two, just to keep my skill sharp because working on one project for years becomes a mental slog.

Next projects:

I’ve been working on the next game on weekends (weekdays is spent fix Star Girls) so far there is a map editor (“tiled map editor” doesn’t play nice with cocos). So it’s rough right now but I have a character running around in a map. The Unity prototype is coming along but it might be a little too big for one person to work on so I’ve got figure out how to make it smaller or convince people to join me.

Incase you are wondering why I am working on 2 games at once this time. It’s because 1 game doesn’t pay enough to live off of and when you go into full production people don’t deliver their work on time. So having a second game will keep me from losing my shit.

Personal/social life:

Well, in-laws think I am a failure because I didn’t make a 100 grand on Star Girls. I went to CGX in Ottawa (Canadian Gaming Expo) after Star Girl was released and it a pretty mix bag. To sum it up:

  1. Do lots of game jams
  2.  If your game from one of those game jam has an extremely positive reaction then make it a full game.
  3. Get lucky every step of the way and post everywhere early.
  4. Don’t quit your day job because indie mega booth and other game shows are important… Also, that shit is expensive, I have no idea how a solo indie dev pays for it without a publisher.

The best advice I got at CGX Ottawa was to make your art a theme to cut cost. If your game looks like blocks then people that buy your game have already bought into the idea that it will all look like blocks.

The worst advice I got was to add a YouTuber to my game for marketing reason. If I wanted to destroy my game integrity for views I would just add animated sex scenes and set up a patron account.

Making games is my life and soul. I realized that the people around me don’t understand that and they probably never will. So I need a better early feedback structure because the one I have now (apart for my wife) sucks balls. So for future games, I’ll have more public alpha and beta test in hopes to connect with people that are interested in games and want to see the game succeed.

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