Post news RSS The History And Current State Of The Project

In this article, I will try to explain the state of the project, my current plans, as well as talk a bit about my past and the history of this project.

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A bit about my past

First off, I'd like to say that I don't really have a lot of experience with game development. When I started my first Unity project in 2011, I basically jumped in with no prior knowledge. The current project will be my 4th game.

My first project was an FPS survival zombie game, which I made using free models/sounds/textures that I found on the internet. I learned programming through YouTube and by copying other people's code, so a lot of the initial code in that project wasn't really "mine" either. I stopped working on it after a few months, when I couldn't think of what else to add to it anymore. It was a pretty bad game, but people I showed it to on the internet had nice things to say about it, for some reason.

I started my second project immediately after. It was an Amnesia-inspired horror game which I named 'The Devil's Dungeon'. For this one, I tried to rely on other people's code as little as possible, but I did still use other people's models and sounds (I did make a few of my own though). Unlike the first one, I was actually pretty proud of this one, but I soon ended up abandoning it, because it was becoming too much of a dungeon version of a 'haunted house', and I thought I should approach it differently from the start, so I wanted to start it over from scratch. My current project was originally supposed to be the second attempt at it, but it ended up becoming a different game.

The third one was called 'Mystical Space Adventure', which was a 3D 'Space Invaders' type game that I made for a friend. This one took about a week to finish, but I did end up adding a few more things afterwards. It is currently playable on GameJolt, but this one isn't that good either.

Brief history of this project

I started this project sometime in late 2012. Back then, I didn't really know what the game would be about, so I only focused on individual parts like character motion and game's atmosphere. I used a dungeon pack as a placeholder to build my levels with, and only modeled things like monsters and objects.

By mid 2014, I had finally settled on a story, and concluded that it is time to start over, so I decided to get rid of my current levels and most of the code which I considered to be badly written, and did a lot of it again (which actually felt really refreshing). I started drawing the layouts of the first few levels on paper, and then started modeling them in 3D. Among other things, I have been working on my first area until the end of the year. My focus was directed pretty much exclusively towards gameplay code, game systems, and making the game look good again.

My latest screenshot here on IndieDB was posted on August 12th, 2016. At that point, I was starting to feel burned out, so the next year was a bit less productive. In 2017 I decided to start creating a level that would come later in the game because I wanted to work on something more interesting. I did not share anything about that one yet since I wanted it to be a surprise, but I guess it can't hurt if I show it now. Here is a work-in-progress:

Screenshot 2018 03 14 00 46 24

Current plans

The biggest issue with the game in it's current state is lack of content. By now, most of the systems are already done (saving/loading, dynamic soundtrack, gameplay, AI (for the most part), and so on), however, the game is still mostly empty, with very few things actually happening in it, so I'm making a few adjustments to my workflow.

I am currently in the process of creating all of the environments as 3D 'sketch' models (basically 'greyboxing' the levels), which I try to keep at a minimum quality. Because these models are far less detailed, it is much easier to move things around and make adjustments to the overall level layout without worrying about ruining my previous design. That enables me to focus more on the actual content such as events and level scripting, rather than obsess over how my game looks.
The goal is to get those done as soon as possible, and then create them again in higher quality by using the 'sketch' models as a guide.

Here's a list of things that still need to be done:

  • Level design
  • 3D models/textures/animations for the environments, objects, and monsters
  • Level scripting (events, puzzles, environment interactions, etc)
  • Sounds (sound effects, soundtrack, and maybe voice acting if I can afford)
  • UI textures
  • Other potentially unforeseen work that may need to be done

I cannot offer a good estimate as to when the game will be finished at this time. As I stated above, the current plan is to build the game from start to finish as quickly as possible using placeholder assets, and then replace those with better ones. If I had to guess, I'd say this will take me about one to two years, and then another two years to turn the 'sketch' levels and objects into something that looks good. When all that is done, it would probably take me another few months to prepare the game for launch. These estimates are probably inaccurate, however. I'll do my best to make it happen as soon as I can.

The future of this game page

Starting in August, I will be posting a new article at the end of every month, in which I will explain what I've been working on, and share some screenshots and animated gifs where applicable.

I would also like to mention that the game's title and description will both change at some point in the future, however this is not a priority at the moment.
I think the current title is terrible. It sounds amateurish, and doesn't really fit the game very well.
As for the description, it is something I wrote when I was still thinking about the story, which is why it is so inconclusive.

Anyway, hopefully this article answers most of the questions you may have had, but if not, you can ask about it in the comments. I realize that this article was long overdue, and I apologize for that.

Have a nice day!

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