I think I managed well, past 2 weeks ;)

Of course, I would have liked to progress much more with the actual game (and I feel like I keep repeating that *rollseyes*), but I’m finally through all the managing stuff for steam and got my steam store page up ๐Ÿ˜€

this also includes the very first trailer I made for the game ๐Ÿ™‚

If anyone is interested in my process for that:
I got Hitfilm for it (since it’s free and has a composing part as well, for text and effects) and watched some very good, tutorials for it. I also applied simple moving on principle to it, which is simply: rough it out and continue moving on, one clip/step at a time.
In this case, I looked for some music that could fit to my game and made some footage of my game with Bandicam and then I imported those files into the project and started shortening and cutting them down ๐Ÿ™‚
With a bit of a system, I was trying to make cuts on noticeable music changes and also some faster moments in the footage match up with some of the music. The same goes for the text I was overlaying later ^^
I also always tried to remind myself, that a trailer shouldn’t exceed 1:30 minutes and that the first 30 seconds are usually deciding, if the trailer hooks (based on lots of stuff I have read over the years)
I probably haven’t done best job with that, but I tried to think of which information is most important for me to convey : the games name, that it’s early access and that it will be on steam and what the game is about, hence why I chose to build in those little text overlays, which are practically naming what I can’t really show from game footage alone, since I’m still working on implementing the variety needed to show it properly (besides colors changing)
I think it’s probably also helpful, if I post the most compressed and best tutorial I was finding for Hitfilm ๐Ÿ˜€ thanks to him, it felt so easy to understand how to use the program ๐Ÿ˜‰ย https://youtu.be/7rXWTJzmbZ8

uhhhh so yeah ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m happy that everything went well, the only thing that bothers me, is that I couldn’t make the release work for 31st of October ๐Ÿ˜ฎ , but therefore I have now time to develop on the game until release into Early Access and then I will likely update it immediately, so it just means more stuff for everyone who gets the game :3

also tried out today on how it would work out for me, to use a physical to-do list, I think it’s going well, helps me to keep my brain a little less scattered :3

*squeeeeks* I’m so excited to get this game out to everyone and to be able to keep working on it ๐Ÿ˜€

Eventful week, in a sense ;)

I feel this week was indeed quite full of things. I started off by meeting someone to get evaluated, if I could maybe get an extension for the grant I have been working with the past 5 months and I hope it goes through, but it for sure makes and made me very nervous, because I have no idea how to evaluate my work and how others might see it and what exactly would be even “good” criteria to getting that extension of the grant through and on monday I’m gonna have a meeting about that again ๐Ÿ˜ฎ .

I know that I’m trying my best to make things work somehow, which is why I try my hardest currently to get the Steam Store page done and then evaluated and hopefully approved, so I can put it up on steam as “coming soon” and then hopefully! at 31st of October I would release my game into Early Access on Steam.

Honestly, I would have liked to wait with that for a bit longer, but my grant is running out at the end of October, I had struggles to deal with, that I really didn’t expect, some that could have been avoidable, but were due to my inexperience on how to work and stand up for myself. It all has drawn everything out and not only did I not feel good about it, I sort of bashed myself for it.
I try not do, but sometimes it’s hard when I think “I could have done better” even if that’s not true, since I really try my best to research and figure out things the best I can…..honestly…who knows what more could have gone wrong, if I wouldn’t be like that ๐Ÿ˜‰
hah….I sidetracked a little bit.

Soooo….I made a bit of a deal with myself, to crunch through work until end of the month (trying to not overdo it though). That includes, setting up steam store page, making materials ready for promotion(videos, art etc.), adjusting my plans, getting my game into a relatively stable and feature complete state. I don’t know honestly, if I will get all the features in, especially the more complex ones, like save functionality….not even sure if I should do it, since I don’t know how to do that yet and I expect it to be quite a lot of work ๐Ÿ™‚

Also…what the hell! I need to make a trailer for my game, from game footage 2 weeks away from the launch o.o and I have never done Video editing like that XD sure I edited some Videos while I studied, but I think I don’t really have a clue ๐Ÿ˜› So that will be a first timer and I hope it’s at least gonna turn out moderate lol……
I really feel like graphically my game isn’t ready for such exposure of it’s graphics…>.< buuuuut that’s the version that is gonna come on steam…and if there are any extras, in case I manage to develop some more when the store page is up, I guess I can just update everything as needed ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe I can make the Video relatively “neutral” as in, it shows current game, shows what’s in it…..hmmm I will see what the results will be o.o
Also I wonder how my german accent would sound like if I would do a voiceover/talk ….could I pull off some sort of scientist explaining the life of critters like a documentation? XD

oh….and there are images to share ๐Ÿ˜€ I finished my promo picture, which btw. took much longer than I wanted it to…with occasional: sitting on my pc without anything happening to it for weeks….>.>
I’m honestly very proud of it ๐Ÿ˜€ only thing I don’t like, is that for some reason I chose this really weird format and never checked on what I actually needed rofl….which kinda bit me, when I tried to use this image on the steam store-page stuff o.o

hihihi first preview of my steam store page :3 I would be lying, if I would say that this wouldn’t make me somewhat excited ๐Ÿ˜€

oh and then I also updated all my EmberSparkz pages with my new image and even started work on a Critters own Sub Webpage on my main domain ๐Ÿ˜€

what’s not so visible, is that I made all the “capsules” or images necessary for steam ready and I also created a unique Logo for Critters ๐Ÿ˜‰
And just yesterday I have implemented food and “dead bodies” decay to the game, as well as fruits regrowing on bushes ๐Ÿ˜€

so yeah….quite lot’s of stuff that happened this week ๐Ÿ˜€

So much! So few time *sighs*

I think it’s about time I start prioritizing the actual game development. I have put much more time in trying to do business related things, than developing and it honestly has annoyed me quite alot. Not to mention, that I also had some personal issues “to deal with” again and those things just keep eating time, if I want to or not….and then on top of that I might have also felt quite depressed about not feeling like I’m progressing properly and feeling as if I ruined everything by not being active enough on social media etc.
Last 2 weeks were stressful to say the least…..
But I’m slowly crawling back out of that hole again and I was even pondering, if I get the time and to gather some experience with making Videos, if I should make a stream of me working on something.
I have no idea how that would go, cause I’m actually a quite shy person and not thinking that I’m very photogenic OR videogenic XD for that matter…..but I am curious about at least giving it a try.
(If someone wants to see it, please tell me so XD cause that could make a difference in how courageous I feel about it ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
On a good note: I got to continue work on the final promo picture for Critters and my discord is still alive ๐Ÿ˜› even though it’s not really “busy” in there XD. Also I might have found a solution for my grass bending/visibility problem with my cubs and have already implemented a first version of it.


sorry, I’m a bit overwhelmed :O


below is the draft of what I actually wanted to publish :O – past 3 days, because I was just so desperately wanting to actually do game development that I got a lot done ingame, but not so much in documenting it (will add it for next week), so all I can give right now are the notes i made through the week and this image of me getting overwhelmed by Critters ๐Ÿ™‚

  • first part of the day was trying to figure out what i need to do for a grant extension application
  • made applications for grant payout
  • then spend rest of the day waiting, for my daughter to be seen by a doc, cause she was coughing for 2 weeks(it was awful btw. that day was just horrible, mostly about the “having to wait for hours for no apparent reason and having to carry consequences for others making mistakes…”)

tuesday: iam too sick to work and my daughter was home with me, also somewhat sick, but luckily she got a lot better

wednesday: husband is out of the house whole day and I’m needing to take care of everything at home alone, luckily i could get her to daycare, but i’m still sick, not feeling very well and I’m anxious of the work I have to do, because it has to do with finances, which I’m not very comfortable with….

A weeks busy business :D

Monday: got my ID, drove bus first time in 3 years in new country, got bus card, felt good

Tuesday: worked on camera controls and character movement, made new game icon, replaced splashscreen with unfinished promo picture, added logo as splashscreen

Wednesday: bank account made,ย register officially as creator on steam

Thursday: separated movement controls from camera controls

Friday: steamworks application went through and I was an emotional wreck for some time due to overwhelming feelings of “OMG I’m officially registered with my company on steam now! OMG ahhhhhhhh!”

Hah okay, so actually that list above was just meant as a reminder for myself what I would write about at the end of the week, but tbh I found it so entertaining to read it summarized like that, that I decided to just keep it ๐Ÿ™‚ Also to give an idea how I’m wanting/had planned to write blog posts, to be able to know what to write about, since I might sometimes forget what exactly happened and this is a good way of reminding myself ๐Ÿ˜€
As you can see, it was a quite eventful week for me and a lot of things, that are not directly “game development”, but had to be done as a business and to be able to release games on steam O.o *tries not to hyperventilate*.
Also for anyone interested: I will try to aim for releasing an Early Access version of my game around mid October, but I don’t have an exact date yet, since there is so much to do and I’m already feeling slightly overwhelmed (and now that I have seen what Steam needs from me for the store page and other “little” things that I took for granted on steam games (lol) I was made aware that I might have to work a lot…. ;_;

It’s okay….I can do it….I want to do that, it was my wish to get where I am now and I will accept that I have to do those things, if I want to see this company and my dreams going anywhere XD just breathe…..slowly and steadily and make it work! ๐Ÿ˜€

Sorry for not really having any visuals this time ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope I have something for next week. I will concentrate more on finishing my games banner and wrapping up the controls for now and likely will work on animations and such, probably should also add at least some sort of sounds. Anything graphical would be great to add atm I think, to be able to create some footage/screenshots for the steam storepage. Which also means I want to work on some feedback systems aswell since they are inevitably connected to some visual elements. As example I already have particle effects for overheating and poisoned, but I never implemented the mechanics for it, which shouldn’t be that hard, since it’s practically just a variation to the hunger and temperature system ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh right I forgot, there is this ๐Ÿ˜€

I don’t like stress

Yeah I really don’t. It makes me grumpy and adding to that “too few sleep” I’m having struggles to keep myself motivated to work on stuff and if I’m choosing the wrong tasks to work on, I might end up even more frustrated, because it’s not working the way I want right away…..not to mention slightly feeling judged for not always working on the core of the game ;_;
The last week was very mixed. Monday and Tuesday I spent time on working through bills (meh) and getting a table at “Vaasa Game Days” :O ย (I’m at spot I6 btw. ๐Ÿ™‚ )
which is 22nd – 23rd November this year and I think it’s likely a good deadline for getting an almost finished game to show ….but….I actually wanted to release an EA version end of september/beginning of october and now I’m not so certain anymore that it will work out, because I still need to get my new ID to be able to make a bank account for my company to then be able to register my game on steam….since one needs to wait 30 days after registration before I can upload a game *sighs* I didn’t think it would be a problem, because I had ordered the new ID end of june/beginning july I think, but I did not get the message that i could go and get it….so months passed and at some point I find out they didn’t send me a message….not sure if i get my number wrong afterall but MEH….so now it’s stressful to think about going there, because it already took so long and I don’t like such things happening…>.<
Tiiiiimeeeee give me more time dang it!
I released an updated version of my demo yesterday, but i didn’t really want to, considering I had just implemented some new camera controls and they were not in a satisfactory state :/ but what’s done is done…I had to do changes afteral, cause the camera controls were interfering with character physics, making it slide weirdly and jitter when not pressing any keys :/
I will figure it out eventually but it’s quite frustrating that sometimes progress can be so slow -.-

Also I noticed that with tall grass and animals, there is a problem….visibility…so now I’m trying to figure out a few things on how to solve that problem, cause I really don’t want to give up beautiful high grass, because I think it’s so so important for a natural landscape that was never touched by humans and I’m thinking about a mixture of using shaders to show cubs as “shadows” in the grass, while grass is wiggling a little bit and later on grass piece particles flying up when cubs are running through it ๐Ÿ™‚
Additionally, making sure that grass has lots of spots with shorter height, where cubs are visible and spots for large rocks and tree stumps, to be able to get a vantage point, like cats do in real life ๐Ÿ™‚

Also I played around with post processing effects and changed the game to linear space, because I think in longterm it might be wise to use that, graphically. But I have to say that some exposure in the snow as example is too extreme atm.



If you ever want to be a game dev with a company…

…be prepared that you won’t be able to work on your game all the time.
There are days when you have to nurture and take care of your companies needs, those are things like sending receipts to your accountant, talk and socialize with people to make new contacts and to become more visible, to support those that follow you, to get new followers (I try to tell one person a day about my game and even if it doesn’t always happen, I keep it always in the back of my mind, that one person a day is managable for me and that it doesn’t matter if I gain a fan or follower through it, all that matters is, that I talk about it, because you never know whom you might tell about it who then starts spreading it like wildfire or at the very least you can work your way through “becoming known” by plain persistence, it matters a lot).
Then there are things like marketing, paying bills, making content that you can post on social media, learning and organizing your workflow, making plans for events, maybe even buying a new tool. There are lots of things that will come up when having a company, things that are important for the company to exist and sustain and when working alone, it’s you who has to wear all those shoes.
I do and sometimes it’s frustrating to me, because I want to work on my game, but there are situations when it’s not reasonable to work on it.
I know this blog entry is probably not the most interesting, but I think it has to be said, since we usually only get that image from everywhere, that game devs, especially indie’s are those people who work from a basement, shut off from light and life and all they do is coding and deving away at their game.
While there are probably cases where that’s somewhat true, we all need to eat and sleep, drink and *coughs* shit XD and occasionally leave our house to get groceries or fulfill any other kind of duties that are part of our lifes.