Post news RSS DEC2022 - Dear 2023, please be nice to us

A profane 2022 recap, because I am still alive, ODDLY ENOUGH. (TL;DR: Still doing fine, game's still being made! This is just an extensive, more profane recap of the previous devlog.)

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Hello, indieDB residents!

Yeah, I think it's been long enough since last time I've made a development related post, as lackluster, short and frantic it was, so I think it's about time I finally do a more proper one to get you folks up to speed as to how this game's development has been going.

...Unless if you're new here, then hi! You may call be Colbeala, or shortly, Cole. I am making this thing called "Stramedia: my_MISADVENTURE", and it's a game, and somehow I am still working on it despite everything that's been happening this year.
And what has happened?

Well... strap in. It's gonna be a doozy.

Part 1 - Peter... The Man is Here

Before we actually start, I am just gonna put a fair content warning here (don't worry, I won't display anything graphic on here, but I actually would like you to hear me out):

There will be certain topics brought up that some of you may consider to be "political", but considering how they've been affecting ALL of OUR lives this year, we can never ignore the elephant in the room.
Considering that this post is more or less a more detailed recap of the previous development post on Steam, you may stop here, read that one (again) and confidently know that this game is still in active development, I am still alive and healthy (for now, at least) and that this game is still planned to release on Steam, should it hit gold in the ever-still distant future.

Except this time I don't really have much time to produce a proper video to accompany this post (or at least for now, but I am not gonna jinx it), so only this part sucks.
So yeah, all the topics are brought up in the most legal and respective way possible, and I have made sure to mark this part as a spoiler, in case if you don't feel great reading this kind of text.

Which I can't blame you for.

Shit sucks.
It just genuinely sucks.

Otherwise, hover over!

So, with your discretion being now advised...

I think saying that "2022 has not been a good year" would be a MASSIVE understatement.

Frankly, it sucked literally for everybody, in all sorts of ways that have been only unpleasant, and due to some certain ongoing things that is beyond any of our control, it's very likely to carry out to the following next year, and maybe even the year after that. Yes, the consequences of those things are that much dire.

I know, some of you aren't too fond of political discussions in places like this one, no matter how toned-down they are with certain...laws and community guidelines considered, but considering how political figures tend to make our lives or pretty much break them (or attempt-to-make-us-much-less-alive-no-matter-the-ethnicity-nor-origin-then-make-it-everyone-else's-problem-around-the-globe), even (at times disruptively) impacting development of several stuff you've come to enjoy, such as games - especially since it's been more evident with the events that have occurred, escalated and even some still ongoing to this very day -, any such talks will not stop being brought up. Especially for the sake of transparency.

Now, I am definitely sure that at least some of you have been hearing and monitoring what's been going on on the territories of Ukraine, LPR and DPR throughout this year. I've pretty much been doing the same, and honestly, when this whole thing started I was just as devastated and angry as you were - frankly, still am, also experiencing existential dread, even - though sadly there is not much I can do as of now (though I may have done something sneaky...before certain limits were set up~), or at least not yet. I really want to, but it seems difficult to find a proper time-frame for more sneaky stuff.

The reason I am bringing this up is that considering I am living in Russia...yeahhhh, you can definitely tell that God has not been nice to me. And I certainly won't blame you for getting curious as to how this affected Stramedia's development in any way (which is odd, personally considering there's other greater things to be curious or worrisome about, but okay, I appreciate the thought, though), because it has taken a few hits: some that don't really have much significance to the project's development, except for one that I am really lucky to have gotten covered up, but not quite in a way you'd think (if this is the first thing you're ever reading from me lol).
So, why not take a brief look at some of those things?

  • Stramedia's soundtrack preview EPs have been partially delisted from several streaming platforms - and it's not really the picked distribution service to blame, they've been doing great work! It's kind of my fault I wasn't able to properly future-prove them in time, since currently russian Visa and MasterCard cards pretty much have a limited functionality for now. They're still up on my Bandcamp, but since their previous release on there, certain tracks have undergone some edits, at least one of them has been remixed and the other few gotten updated iterations, it's more likely you could consider them to be outdated (that's just how it normally is with things for games still going through development, so whatever). So I made a 2-in-1 compilation featuring those tracks for you to listen as a thank you for standing by for so long, and I have made sure to include at least one or a few of the newer ones!

  • It won't be available for download directly from Bandcamp, because since the album's name is long and...for some reason Bandcamp liking to apply EVERY SINGLE DETAIL INTO EACH TRACK FILE NAME, you probably wouldn't be able to play them on your device due to potential file pathname character limit issues (yes. that's a thing. the more you know.), so I've put the album in a zip file for you to download in the description of the video visualizer;
  • For the same reason as the OST preview EP being delisted due to me being a forgetful dummy, it seems unlikely for me to continue renewing my Construct 3 subscription in the coming future (another great tool by great people! it's not their fault either, again), and because of that I am rebuilding the game in Unity (and at this point, the formerly planned 2022 release, if you were infact sticking around, is kind of a joke at this point (as if what's been going on wasn't evident of this enough LOL), so, now I definitely will not make any promises until I actually get near completion; plus, I really don't want to jinx anything). Still am as I am writing this, and it's going great so far, actually! More on that later;
  • Some extra work may be required for the Steam release and maybe elsewhere (i.e. Google Play, I reckon), but I definitely know that it's not impossible. Might also look into a few other places for potential release for wider game availability, but it's too early for me to say - that's just dessert, and dinner is not over.

"Oh, just those?", you might ask?

...Well, there's also a few stuff I am monitoring, but it's still too early to say if they will add up. (For instance, there is one other platform that, despite everything that's been going on, have managed to successfully update my tax profile. ...It may not look like much, but hey. There's always small things that help keep you hopeful. Not saying I am keeping my hopes up, you genuinely have no idea what else a certain ruling idiot might do next).

Normally this kind of stuff would worry me, but here - somehow I am still managing it and doing great?? What???
I am kind of shocked myself I am even doing great at all right now, but there's no way this is gonna last long, nooo... not that I kind of just... oh wait, I might still be able to get a job in the IT sphere which could be very beneficial to the game's development. And I might live.

Sorry, had to check if I am being watched rn, and made sure this text won't get me in trouble. I think I am still good.

I think we're done with potentially upsetting stuff here!

But in short:

And you know who exactly you can blame.

If there is one positive thing that came out of this shitshow at all, is that I think we can all agree that P████ sucks, and even joke together about it.

Especially since I've also technically gotten away with donating somewhere between 80 to 100 British Pounds to Disasters Emergency Committee's Humanitarian Appeal.

And there's nothing he can do about it. Cos I made sure he cannot prove shit before getting someone to do something about it.

Screw you, P████!

Part 2: Switching Gears 2: Electric Boogaloo

When I originally started development of Stramedia way back in 2016 (before it even was Stramedia), I originally used Clickteam Fusion to play around with ideas as to what I wanted Stramedia to be like. Then as I have gotten closer and closer to the exact idea of how I want this game to turn out, I've started running into several issues, coming across certain limitations, most of 'em were pretty much engine related problems that could have potentially brought several problems to the porting-to-non-Windows-stuff process. And since some solutions seemed sketchy as hell (and some of the each required money, too, in forms of items in a literal asset store), I - feeling a very sore taste in my mouth - decided to go with another engine that solved most of my problems I've had with Fusion: Construct 3.
Really, I've been able to quickly pick up on what to do there, how things work - it's basically Clickteam Fusion on crack. Or coffee. Or steroids. Or caffeine and crack infused steroids.

It's a game engine I've dreamed about! Sure, I have to pay monthly, or annually to keep using it, but pretty sure I can still manage- [stuff from the previous part] oh wait a minute. ...Yeah, maybe in a few years, I could do it again. Still, such a good product. Great Clickteam Fusion substitute for those wanting to make a more legitimate game set to be available on Windows, Linux, iOS, Android and whatnot and still look pretty thanks to WebGL support...and whatever new graphics library is becoming compatible with it. ...I guess I am gonna go with Unity now!

Now, I really don't want to start rambling about all the engine talk here, I don't really think it's a good opportunity to talk about it either, there's always another time and place for that. But since it's my second switch to a completely different engine for whatever reason I might have, I guess I am gonna start talking about my thoughts on Unity so far.

Before actually being able to use it (...stick with me), I've had difficulties understanding it. I've been trying to, trying, though I hardly understood anything before me. And I wasn't much of a code writing geek as I am today (I still love visual scripting, so now I am able to master both that and C#). It's... been something.
First, didn't really like the UI. Then had no idea how to actually script or whatever. Gradually I've been kind of understanding it, only then to forget it all and uninstalling the editor and the hub.
Been like that for several years.

2021 attempt at making Stramedia in Unity

...until I decided to try it again in 2021 after starting college, studying software development. I've pretty much been very lucky to have gotten to meet someone who's truly passionate about programming and whatnot, they even encouraged to come up with solutions to problems with a more creative approach.
Ironically, my time in college really made the whole programming stuff fun for me. The teachers I've personally had at school were either quiet, either expecting for everyone to have the exact same 'perfect' solution or they were absolutely showing that they really don't want to be in that workplace. And that really didn't help the attention span I had before, especially when the other classmates never took a minute to actually shut the fuck up and listen. So, that's an insane change of pace and quite a contrast between school and college.
So I ended up enjoying the hell out of C# as a programming language as of late.

And uh...

Okay, long story short, my first attempt to recreate Stramedia in Unity back in 2021 sucked.

2022-current attempt at making Stramedia in Unity

And as of May 2022, for the second attempt, I've really gotten sucked into it. And I mean really, like... actually, wait. How much shit I've got done for the past 7 months now?

(Decent sized to-do list and list of things already done)

WOW. And that's just stuff for the main framework of the game before I do more visual stuff.

So, yeah! Still got stuff to do, will have even more things to do - and this might be awesome!
...that is, if I don't end up spending three hours playing around with the stuff I've programmed in about 3 to 20 minutes every single time - but hey, so far, I've come to enjoy this. Like, a lot! You have no idea, and it's tough to put it into words, too. Still tough to put things into words, but imagine creating an absolute Frankenstein-like hybrid creature with all the stuff available at your own disposal. That's how I am feeling for these past 7 months, and that genuinely is awesome!

Though, with this engine change, there's quite a few stuff that needs to be noted:

  • The game's visual direction ended up changing, but there is a 2D perspective mode I am working on (it works, but it needs a bit more enhancements, in my personal opinion): Stramedia's visuals seem more like they'd appear in a sequel game of some sorts, but for once, I couldn't wait for that, so I am gonna make Stramedia like it's my last (but not really, I still have ideas for more, regardless of scale);
  • There's a high possiblity that you would require a 64-bit computer to play the game, but I will be investigating and looking into a possibility to push out a 32-bit/x86 version out anyway;
  • I might have to optimize the hell out of this game if I want it to run on a wider range of systems (and since the game is gonna be using the Universal Render Pipeline, it might as well be more easier than ever, but some more manual input wouldn't hurt aswell);
  • Due to a few certain valid concerns (because of Johnny Ravioli being a complete "fucking idiot" himself), I will be making sure that no malware slips into the game. But for real, I am actually studying to work with this kind of shit, so you bet your ass I am gonna go as far as actually extracting potential malware shit out of the system myself!

So, in short: the development's been going well, despite everything. But I ain't gonna stop there, oh no! I don't ever plan on stopping! And probably won't.

Part 3: Am I scared or am I looking forward to 2023?

The short answer would be that I certainly don't know. I am a bit more scared of not being able to tell what's going to happen in the coming months or so, but yet at the same time as 2023 would begin with everything already being (and still) on fire, I am honestly more hyped to actually keep working on this game, like, at all?

More or less, I absolutely have some plans for the future, still preparing plans that might help me survive, just maybe, but even then I am not gonna keep my hopes super high up, knowing just how well they can be easily shattered, just as much as some hopes I've had for 2022 been violently destroyed, like being able to properly get my hands on a few games I've looked forward to playing.

But I am not too super bummed out about it, though. I am a bit of a busy person anyway, and my focus always ends up going back to making Stramedia.

...You know what? May I personally recommend you a few games to check out while you continue to stick around and wait for further updates on the game's development?
...Because I do have some games you could possibly check out!

  • Will You Snail? by Jonas Tyroller - Normally, I am not the kind of person to enjoy rage games, but since I found out about this game through a YouTube video about making an entertaining game about pushing a button by the same dude who made the game, I pretty much got hooked and waited around for it's release.
    This game features AI that attempts to predict the player's next move and puts obstacles in their way, but if you fear that this is all there is to it - just know that there is a good range of variety of things to dodge around, so it won't get stale super quick.
    Hell, if you get frustrated, you can literally pause the game, readjust the difficulty setting or even hop into a gamemode made specifically for you to cool off before hopping back into action! Ain't that nice? So, if that's your thing (and also into being mocked by a floating face), I can absolutely recommend this game to you!
  • Super Lone Survivor by Jasper Byrne - Okay, this one might be a little bit biased because the original game (or at least the Director's Cut) has been one of the main sources of inspiration for development of Stramedia. Why is this one called "Super"? Because it's the same legendary indie horror game, but pretty much enhanced for future generations, and it's super! (basically, it's a literal remake of the original game, but there are quite a few new extra content for you to find without the original charm or vision of the original 2012 release getting sacrificed, and aswell as extra quality of life enhancements, like proper gamepad controls, 4K display support if you're into that, and so on).
    If you've never played Lone Survivor before, Super Lone Survivor is a must have for those who never got to experience the game before - or if you still look back at it fondly, it's a great way to re-experience it, especially since the game is also available on Nintendo Switch as we speak!
  • Gloomwood by Dillon Rogers + New Blood Interactive - I played the 2020 demo of it, and I thought it was pretty cool. Still think it's pretty cool, and this Dillon Rogers game is currently in early access. I mean, it's a game from the New Blood line of games, and even David Szymanski, the creator of DUSK, is involved with it's development.

    ...and I guess Ultrakill and Iron Lung, but i am sure you already know those games exist.

Yeah, I don't think I will be making long posts like this one very often, but however, I tend to make occasional short posts featuring some random recent stuff on some social medias, so, yeah, since Twitter is kind of on a brink of dying, I definitely can plug a few in here.

So, that's all I've got to say here this time around. I'll probably get back to tending to my own things and continue work on this game. In the meantime, take care of yourselves, take good care of each other, be nice to each other and please stay safe this Holiday season.
That's all I am ever going to ask for this Christmas.
God speed to you all. Thank you once again for putting up with my another session of rambles. I hope to see you again very soon.

☮ Make love and videogames for the better tomorrow, not war and NFTs.
-Colbeala Moghes

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