My 2020 Wrap-up and 2021 Plans

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.

Items In-Progress

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!

Unfinished Goals

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.

Conclusion

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.

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