Blog: August 2016
My first game is out! Square Pegs Round Holes is released after four months of development. It’s great to finally get
something out there and finish a whole game, rather than dip my toes into many different projects. Learning to make video
games is a twisty journey that sees you dabble in lots of different ideas as you get your head around different concepts. I
found myself in a cycle of trying different things just to see if I could do them. This is great as you learn a lot of different
techniques and methods to achieve things in code, but my advice to anyone starting to make games is once you have a grasp
of the basics, set yourself some time-scales and finish a full game. Otherwise you end up in a loop of not really
accomplishing anything that you can sit back and assess. There is so much that goes into a game that isn’t the bit where you
make the interesting mechanic. There is all the fiddling with menu options, catering for different screen resolutions, bug
testing, making a trailer, getting developer certificates, etc. etc. etc. These lessons will make the next project a lot easier, as I
will adapt how I start making the game to cater for what comes later.
It’s an interesting journey making a video game and I would definitely recommend to people learning to code, to put down all
the big projects and go through the process of just getting a game to publishing. There are so many little lessons that I
learned that will alter how I approach my next project. One thing that has been surprising is the percentage of time spent
actually coding is a lot smaller than what I thought it would be. All the ‘other’ stuff such as graphics, sound, testing, creating a
manual, generating content to promote the game (screenshots, trailer, description) all take up such a large chunk of time. I
think there is a lot of merit in trying to get together in a small team - finding someone who can do the graphics and another the
sound would be a blessing to me. That would leave me more time to do the bit I love - writing the code!
So what comes next? Well, at the moment, only a few people could ever stumble across Square Pegs, so once I’ve made
sure that the first few players don’t have any problems with it, I’ll slowly try and market it in different places. Alongside that I
will be making some more tutorial videos, optimising the game for a HTML5 version, pushing forward with editing my book
and starting a new game project! I wish I had more spare time…
Elsewhere I have played around with the website a bit and uploaded my first couple of tutorial videos. I hope they’re not too
painful to watch and actually help someone somewhere! I also hope they will improve as I go on.