Week 101 + 102 – Throttle down

Other

This is a weekly recap of what has been going on in my professional life. It’s to keep track of what I’m up to and to give you a peek at what it’s like being an independent creator. For illustrated depictions of these events, visit my daily comics page.

Welp looks like I forgot to write a blogpost last week, so here’s a combo platter for you.

Two weeks ago we started polishing up the latest Home Rule beta so we could playtest with it last wednesday. I wasn’t present myself because I had an aquisition meeting with another client but I hear it went really well! Just a few things to work on now before we have a version of the game that can launch in the museum. And two more museums have expressed interest to join the pilot program, so good times.

After that my slate was pretty much clean for a week or two so I mostly spent that time setting up my new laptop which finally arrived and subsequently playing the Witcher 3 on it. It was a glorious time.

I also confirmed my appearance on the dutch radio show Opium in two weeks, so today I’ve been brainstorming ideas for the game I will be making during that week. It’s gonna be exciting!

Next week: probably not a lot going on seeing as it will be above 30 degrees celsius all week…

Week 100 – milestones for all

Freelancing

This is a weekly recap of what has been going on in my professional life. It’s to keep track of what I’m up to and to give you a peek at what it’s like being an independent creator. For illustrated depictions of these events, visit my daily comics page.

Last week marked the end of a few running tasks, which thankfully cleared the board a little bit.

On monday we submitted the grant application for our literary game idea. Somewhere next month we’ll receive word on whether the judges think it’s cool enough (and thus receive the first batch of funding for a prototype), so for now we sit tight and await the result. It was weird to submit something based on an idea without any kind of prototype or concept art, but I think even in this form it already sounds pretty cool.

The rest of the week was mostly spent on the last bits of art for the current sprint of the Hubbub game. We had some trouble contacting the client because of changes in their management etc, so we didn’t quite end up where we wanted to be, but we still made huge progress and have a version you can play through from beginning to end. Next week we’ll probably kick off one more polishing sprint and then get ready to deploy it in the first museum. I’m looking forward to sharing what we’ve been working on.

Halfway through the week I also got the input I needed to start working on a few illustrations for returning client Hoog+Diep. I only had until today to work on them, but the scope was exactly right for me to work on comfortably, and I delivered the final bits this morning pending any final feedback. Little assignments like that are great to fill up the empty space in your planning, easy and fun to work on and done quickly, allowing me to enjoy the great weather on friday.

Over the weekend I did some work on Deck 5, a small scifi game I’ve had lying around for a while – you may remember it from weeknotes past. I went back and forth on its design a lot, going from 2D adventure game to firstperson exploration game to isometric 2.5D puzzle game. I think I finally hit the look and feel that I envisioned when I drew the first mockup back in 2010, and I’m excited to start making content for it once I finish Home Rule and Reconquista.

Below you can see the progression of the game since 2010. I’m particularly excited by the billboarding-shadowcasting-sprites in the latest prototype.

Bonus: the doors from the 2014 early early Unity prototype.

Next week: Home Rule polish sprint kickoff.

Week 99 – clients coming out of the woodwork

Freelancing

This is a weekly recap of what has been going on in my professional life. It’s to keep track of what I’m up to and to give you a peek at what it’s like being an independent creator. For illustrated depictions of these events, visit my daily comics page.

Last week started off with a promising meeting with Sytze Schalk, a writer/designer who is working on a grant application for a multi-year transmedia experience including theatre, graphic novels and games. He was looking for someone to develop his adventure game idea and ended up on my portfolio, so we met to discuss ideas and possibilities and decided to go ahead with the application together. He wrote it during the week and I checked it from a game designer point of view. We’re submitting it today.

Besides that I kept working on Home Rule for Hubbub, filling in the various placeholders with final artwork. It was a lot to slog through and it went slower than I anticipated, but the game is starting to look really good. On friday I was in the Hubbub studio to work on some things, but man it was hot. I hope we don’t get a tropical summer like that or productivity is going to suffer.

Halfway through the week I also got a call from Hoog+Diep, for whom I did some artwork a while back. They had a new project that needed some illustrations. And a friend of mine wanted to schedule a meeting about some artwork for her new project, so all of a sudden assignments are coming in from all over the place. The question will be which ones actually end up going through, but I feel a lot better about the next few months now.

Inbetween all that I spent a morning writing out the rest of the storyline for Offstage chapter 2, and I hope to start drawing it in a few weeks time.

Over the weekend I enjoyed the sunny weather, meeting family and friends, and some Witcher 3.

Next week: finishing up the third Home Rule sprint and more gamedev.

Week 97 + 98 – Keep on truckin’

Freelancing

This is a weekly recap of what has been going on in my professional life. It’s to keep track of what I’m up to and to give you a peek at what it’s like being an independent creator. For illustrated depictions of these events, visit my daily comics page.

Week 97 was mostly spent truckin’ forward on the artwork for Home Rule. We tried coming up with a better name for the project but nothing really jumped out just yet. It was tough to have everyone scattered all over the place and working on the project at different times, but this week things are coming together.

Over the weekend I saw some movies and spent time with friends, something I had been neglecting a bit due to all the work lately.

Week 98 started off with me helping another creator, namely my girlfriend, in selling her artwork at a market on the second Pentecost day (yeah in holland we pretty much double down on every national holiday). She sold a ton and we had fun, the very direct contact with customers is always nice. The rest of that week was more of the same.

Inbetween I sowed the seeds for some new projects in the latter half of this year and early next year. If even one of them goes through it’s going to be a good year. But they’re largely dependent on subsidies so we’ll see how it goes. Just the fact that I’m being asked for these things more and more is a calming thought in the black void of freelance work.

At the end of the week I decided to make work of upgrading my legacy hosting account. I’ve been displeased with the speed of my websites for a while now and considered switching to a different provider, but then I decided to call Godaddy support and see what I could accomplish. And I came out with an upgrade to their latest server technology, locked in for 5 years for the price it would normally cost for 2 years, and a free file and database migration worth another 150 bucks. Plus a fun conversation about art with the tech support guy, an amateur artist living in Dublin.
I was surprised that nothing broke in the process; the only thing I had to do over the weekend was re-hook-up the posts database to the off-stage wordpress. So now all my sites are back online and working spiffy.

I’m going to stop doing dailies for a while, or at least discard the backlog when I pick it up again.

Next week: Home Rule beta 2 wrapup.