Wow, I am shocked that it has been a whole year(!!!) since my last blog post, but here we are.
Today Apple unveiled some pretty cool stuff… meanwhile, I have not… This is certainly not the way I had planned these last few years to progress.
Let’s back up a bit.
Rogue Touch was developed back in 2008 and released in early 2009, as love-letter to the time I spent playing Rogue in the 1980s on the Atari ST. I knew nothing of Objective-C back then… not a darn thing about OpenGL either (all on-screen drawing was done with clever use of CALayers)… never completed and released a full game before that point in my life, despite wanting to be a game developer since the 1970s!
Later that year when I first came up with the concept for Spirit Hunter Mineko, the iPhone 3GS was the top of the line device from Apple. No high speed, multi core CPUs, no varied resolutions or form-factors, no retina displays! The tech was primitive, the dev tools were weaker. 5+ years ago seems like the dark ages.
Since then, Apple’s devices and developer tools have evolved, and mobile gaming has improved dramatically. There’s also been a sort of Roguelike Renaissance… many people are discovering the roguelike genre and realizing they enjoy games that have consequences!
You may be wondering what’s been happening with ChronoSoft during all this? Why the $@*% hasn’t that guy released any more games?! Well, life has a knack for making things difficult:
First issue- the need for money, a place to live, and food on the table- My very high living expenses have traditionally been covered by my industrial automation consulting business for the last 17 years. This income is also how I’ve been paying artists for their work (rather than crowdfunding). Business volume exploded for me beginning in 2010… normally considered a good problem to have! But not so great for Mineko. After working so many hours each week I couldn’t even think straight, never mind write code for games.
Second issue- life’s challenges- These started with my divorce in 2011 which left me with a financial hole to dig out of, after which I’ve attempted to piece my life together again. This stressful time was followed up with the untimely deaths of a couple of colleagues I’ve worked with for years, and a close friend with serious legal issues in need of help. All of these things affected my day-to-day life significantly.
Here I am several years later, with no new releases. That which has not killed me, has made me stronger? Perhaps! I can say my whole outlook on life has been changed… My ideas of what it takes to be happy… How much “stuff” or money I actually need in my life… I’ve lost 85lbs and am in better shape now in my 40s than I was in High School! (Ugh where did all the time go?!)
All of this life experience has been pointing me toward what was always right in front of me. I was never happier than when I was learning new stuff and making my first game, Rogue Touch. Back in 2008/09 it was only a diversion from my “real work”. But now that my life and the financial dust are settling, I am at a point where it just might be possible to make a modest living at this!
With that in mind, this year I’ve been taking steps to reduce my monthly expenses so that I do not set myself up to fail. An indie game developer with a high cost of living will not be in business for long! Still more to do in this area, but my situation improves every month. Once my desired threshold is reached, I’ll be able to “force-quit” my automation consulting business.
Over the last several years I have also increased my knowledge in many areas of game design, procedural generation, AI, and graphics… which means I’ll be able to produce more beautiful and exciting results than I was ever capable of before. I feel that I am finally equipped with the skills to make very good, or maybe even great games!
I’ve been kicked repeatedly while down, but I’m up again and more agile than ever. Also learned to eat life’s sucker-punches for breakfast!
When I take these steps into the next phase of my life I’m 100% committed, I sincerely hope you will come along on the journey with me to see what happens!