Another year is at an end, so its time for a wrap-up of my game development year and my plans for 2021. This year completes my 9th year developing mobile apps and games… and what a year it was. The pandemic took center stage, and lots of my development plans took a back seat. Even though I was home a lot more this past year, time and motivation to work on my games was lacking.
My 2020 Accomplishments
I Participated in Two Ludum Dare Game Jams
I created and published games for 2 Ludum Dare events, Insect Infestation and The Pongs. With both events, I had a lot of difficulty early on, and decided that in order to complete Ludum Dare I submitted to the Compo. The Compo event allows pre-made assets and that helped tremendously. For Insect Infestation, I had to enter the Compo in order to use pre-made graphics, and for The Pongs, I entered the Compo due to lack of time to complete the Jam.
I Updated All My Existing Games for App Store Compatibility
All my existing apps required some changes in order to meet the new requirements of the Apple and Google stores.
I Started Development on a Complete Rewrite of Spell Them Out
I’m using Unity for the rewrite and I made a lot of progress. This version will have an improved UI, more bells and whistles, particle effects, and… the much requested save game feature! I hope to go into extended testing some time in early 2021.
I Am Completing an Update to My Object Pooling Library
I added some updates to the Editor scripts, and fixed a big earlier in the year. This upcoming update will create constants that can be used in all pool calls instead of the actual pool name as a string. GBC Object Pool is a free, open source pooling library, so feel free to grab a copy to use or to add some features!
Looking at last year’s blog post I see there are a lot of things I wanted to complete, but just could not get to.
Incomplete Goal: Re-write All My Apps
Well, Spell Them Out is quite far into development, but all the other games remain the same (other than the updates I mentioned above). I don’t expect to rewrite everything within 1 year, but I thought I would be further into it.
Incomplete Goal: Finish Johnny’s Flipbook Adventure
Not complete, not even touched in 2020. Between this game and the Space Mission Survival rewrite, I just don’t know what to do with these. I’ve rewritten each one several times, and it seems like both games can be combined into a single new game, but I haven’t put the killer game together in my mind.
January 1, 2021 starts my 10th year in game development. I enjoy most of the game development process, but I have not released a new game in a while. I hope to release something new, in addition to keeping me existing games up to date.
Motivation seems to be the deciding factor in my case. Development takes a lot of time and effort and feedback from users is minimal (I’m totally to blame, since I do not market myself). There’s probably a lot of game devs like me and a bit of feedback or encouragement really helps a lot. I am going to attempt to provide more encouragement to other lesser-known developers this year.
I am also learning Flutter for some apps (non games) I want to develop as well. Flutter looks interesting, and I hope to get an app or two out in 2021.