Had a rough last few weeks. But before we get to that, here's an update video:
As you can probably tell by the tone of the video, things are at a bit of a low point right now. I had a Unity crash that took out some UI work I'd been doing for about a week, unfortunately my backup wasn't up to restoring that work (I've learnt a valuable lesson about doing backups of Unity projects and what doesn't work there). Luckily the code is all in source control, so its just a bunch of GUI setup and the like, but its fiddly as hell and kind of annoying work to do.
So I was demotivated a bit on working on the game because of that crash, figuring that it could do it again at any point (its not the crashing I mind, its the trashing of the scene file that loses me work I mind). I figured over Easter break I'd give myself a few weeks off and play with the new Unreal Engine 4 release.
I have a couple of what I think are good and compelling ideas for games I could make with Unreal, so I started shifting some assets into a test framework:
Unreal is a really VERY pretty rendering engine. It has some pretty cool features, but also has downsides compared to Unity in terms of gameplay iteration times. So I'm going to experiment with blueprints a bit, see how they hold up performance-wise.
Anyway, getting back to the downers of the last few weeks, the other major down in terms of HOPE is that the money I had hoped to secure for the procedural character system for the game isn't coming (if you recall I entered a "competition" for funding much like a dragons den kind of thing). Which means that I'm basically stuck. Unless I can find a good character artist I'm at a bit of an en-passe because without characters the game isn't going to work. Its about community after all.
So I'm going to step away from HOPE for a month or so. Give some thoughts to working with Unreal, hopefully giving Unity a chance to come out with better licensing terms or source availability, work on releasing my current inventory/crafting system on the Unity asset store and generally do something else before I get back into the swing of things.
Its been a bit of a crushing time, so hopefully a break will do me good, give me back some energy for the project and let me have some fun again. I really should look for an artist in the meantime though :)
I'll keep you posted anyway!