June 10, 2010

One Pro of Being an Indie Game Dev – Freedom to Switch Tasks #indie #game #dev

I am the artist, the programmer, the designer, the musician, and the tester. One of the best things about being a solo game developer is the freedom to switch jobs instantly without going through a headhunter or asking your boss. Depending on the location of the moon in the sky (or my mood), I could be drawing level concept and character design on paper, creating 3D assets in Blender/Silo, toying with vector graphics in Inkscape, or putting it all together in Unity. Sometimes one activity would last much longer than others. I spent a month when first started learning Unity, a few weeks when exploring the world of 3D modeling.

And for the past few days, I’ve been struggling with pathfinding – the art of going from point A to point B. It seems like a trivial task. After all, it doesn’t take a genius to know how to go around a wall to get to the next room. Unfortunately my little characters in the game don’t agree with me, and teaching them how to find a way around obstacles has been frustrating.

Fortunately I have the freedom to take off my programmer hat for a while and put on my artist hat today so that I can try to get some work done before pathfinding drives me insane. Being creative stopped me from getting too stressed about the programming problems and allowed me to still see progress being made towards finishing the game. Seeing improvements everyday is crucial to keep the morale of the team, or rather, to keep me happy.

I know I’ll eventually have to go back to the programming problem and solve it. But for today, I am putting colors together and nothing more.

Posted via email from Brandon Wu’s Road to Where He Wants to Be

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