Dev Log: Jan. 2020


It’s 2020!

So, it’s 2020.  Unfortunately, this year is off to a semi-rough start for me.  It started with anxiety and sickness, and now, I’m having some dental woes.  Just 2 cavities, but I’ve had cavities turn into a lot more; I’ll be fine regardless, but it’s never fun.  That being said, I wanted to write about what I plan on doing in 2020.

2019 Summary

2019 was pretty much the year of MerFight.  I really hit a stride with the game, creating every character model, implementing 5 characters, and showing the game off in public.  I still have a long way to go though.

Despite my progress, I did, however, experience some burnout in 2019.  For 2020, I made a schedule I want to try and keep up with to get decent work on the game done every week but also use as a reminder to take breaks and limit how much I work to prevent a similar setback.

Burnout is not fun…

2020 Plans

Anyway, here is a rather lofty list of things I’d like to accomplish or start in 2020.  I will NOT get all of these done; heck, I may not even touch some, but I like having a lofty list.

Continue MerFight

There are 7 characters left to finish for MerFight.  Plus a ton of other features, and polish, so the chances of finishing it in 2020 are near impossible, even if I worked intensely on it everyday.  Showing the game off at a convention like Combobreaker would be cool; however, I think in trying to do so, I would burn myself out, so I’m going to, instead, focus on trying to get it in a good state for 2021.

New Game Prototypes

I have some new games I’d like to start prototyping and get to stable enough states that I can pause them.  Most are fighting games — shocker. I started doing an interactive roadmap, but that began feeling cumbersome to update and share, but here is a current list:

Swapping Limb, Uh Cylinder Fighter

A fighting game that takes place on a cylinder or a round arena.  Goal is to create a 2D fighting game without corners. I also want to allow players to create unique characters by swapping limbs, inspired by a line of toys I had growing up in the 90’s called Socket Poppers.

I’m also playing around with frame rate; the game is at 60 FPS but the animations are at 24 FPS.
A very strange toy…

Fighter RPG

I feel there have been fighting games with RPG mechanics, but not one like I’m looking for yet. I experimented with this last year during a jam week, and this may be my fallback game if I find my rollback netcode results are abysmal.

CupKick

CupKick is a 3D fighter I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.  It has 3 unique aspects. It only has two buttons (punch and kick), it has no visible UI (clothing destruction is used to display damage), and all characters are based on different desserts.  Unfortunately, the more I’ve explored the design of this, the more I find that doing all 3 things might be difficult. I’ll continue to explore and contemplate this idea though. Maybe it’ll end up being two different games.

Battle High 2 A+ Update

I’d love to do a Battle High 2 update.  There is still one unfinished character, but I’d also love to see if I can integrate my rollback netcode to the game.  I think I need to release or get more comfortable with said netcode in Merfight or another release first though.

Nadine, an unfinished character.

Dimension Swap

This is lofty, and I don’t even see myself starting this till 2021, but I wanted to do a game where it starts as a 3D fighter, but you can switch to a 2D fighter.  So imagine Bloody Roar, but when in animal form, the gameplay changes entirely for both players. Could it be a disaster? Sure, but I’d like to at least prototype it.

Other Goals

Though many are game development related, there are some other goals I have for 2020.

Rollback Netcode Tutorial

I’m currently working on this, but I’d like to make a tutorial for my rollback netcode approach in Unity and share it.  I may start this with just my patrons though, but we’ll see.

Discord

I want to start a Mattrified Games discord.  I’m hesitant because I know I won’t be able to be on it all the time, and I know there are some issues with hosting a server, but it’s something I’d like to try and have a hub for people who like my work to interact with me and each other.

Rigging Script

In 2019, I did a few gigs using my biped constraint script in 3ds max.  I’d like to continue some work with this. I’ve contemplating cleaning and releasing the script or maybe making it a fiverr gig.  I’m not 100% sure, but having a way to make a few extra bucks with the script from time to time would be nice.

Attend Combobreaker (or some other gaming con)

I’ve been to EVO and Magfest, and both were fun to a degree.  I felt a bit out of place at EVO, and I was showing a game off at Magfest so I didn’t really get to enjoy it entirely.  That being said, I hear good things about Combobreaker and would like to attend this year, but NOT while showing a game.  Though showing MerFight at Combobreaker would be cool — if accepted — trying to get something done by May would be a hassle and probably cause burnout.  I’d rather attend the convention first, see how it is, and then think about showing the game off there.

Overall…

This is a lot of stuff.  Additionally, I also have the usual resolutions like being kinder and healthier.  But from this list, I’d be happy if I could accomplish just a few items. So, though 2020 is off to a rough, uncertain start, I’m hoping the schedule I developed can help make it more productive and positive than 2019.

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