Recent Blog Posts
  • Greyprints

    By Tom January 31st 2017

    I’m seriously overdue on my blog schedule, sorry about that. I’ll try to post more frequently, lately I’ve not had much material to blog about.
    As any regular reader will probably gleam by my lack of presence, with regards the new Wasted Youth game, things feel increasingly troubled and depressing right now.
    As ever, the list of things to do increases faster than I can progress, and it feels like I’ve been running on the spot for the best part of a season.
    I hate to go on about the negatives in the blog as so often when I read it back to myself it reads like a dreary letter of complaint to myself. I’ll try not to focus on the negatives, but unfortunately, that’s largely the headspace I’m in at this moment.
    Another reason I’ve felt a little shy of returning recently is that I keep flip-flopping on my approach to things and I’m a little embarrassed to keep flaunting my haphazardness.
    For instance, my last post largely was about some of the game-editing tools I was creating for basic room
  • A Change of Tack

    By Tom January 3rd 2017

    Sorry about the blog delay.
    Christmas and New Year’s fell at an awkward time of the week, that’s my excuse anyway.
    Unfortunately, I haven’t got nearly as much done as I’d like since last posting.
    It’s a little dispiriting to think that the short video I made of the character walking around the school was 5 months ago now.
    On the face of it, things don’t look massively different since that video, besides decor.
    I’ve spent most of my time creating editors and panels and whatnot to assist design, instead of, well, designing.
    It’s maddening to think I’ve been working 9 months or so on this now, and I’ve still not gotten round to some of the most basic aspects of the game engine.
    I think that's just the nature of the beast though. When a custom game editor is involved, the engine seems secondary.
    I hope the work I've done up until now pays off. The whole point of creating a game editor is to speed up game-development, but in my case I may have miscalculated the need for such tools. After all I
  • Another Boy

    By Tom December 5th 2016

    Sorry I’ve just eaten a pizza.
    Apparently it’s been three weeks since the last post, it feels longer than that though... that’s a good sign.
    Without going into specifics, I feel like I’ve gained a bit more focus on what I’m aiming for now. The countless decisions and what-ifs are better defined and increasingly answerable.
    It seems the fog has lifted a little and I hope it stays that way.
    That said, as ever I have to remind you that no matter how productive a week or 2 or 3 are, they represent a mere a pixel of the full image, but it’s better than it’s been for a few months now, so that’s something.
    There’s a good reason for this increased productivity, it’s because the majority of my time recently has shifted from the logical side of things (coding, game-engine stuff) back to the aesthetic side (3d modelling, painting, texturing, etc), which I find a lot more enjoyable and easier.
    There’s a sense of finality to graphic design that I don’t get with coding, and it requires little
  • Walls

    By Tom November 14th 2016

    How’s everyone doing?
    On the subject of Wasted Youth, things continue to creep along, but not at anything like the pace I’m aiming for. I’m feeling a bit better than when I wrote the last blog post, but that’s not to say things are going swimmingly.
    Recently I’ve found I have to put a lot more forethought and concentration into coding, which over time induces a lot of mental strain. So often I get foggy-minded whereby a simple task becomes an ordeal.
    I’d love to stick my head in an MRI and see what the hell is going on in there sometimes when I’m struggling. It’s got to be a mess in there.
    Aaanyway… so be it.
    Some of the problems I face are just so damn simple on the face of it that I feel a pang of embarrassment even mentioning them on here. I’ve covered some of the issues in previous blog posts, like the camera conundrum, but there’s one that continues to mock and torment me.
    Yeah, walls.
    As a game developer, constantly seeking answers for my own problems through discussion
  • Fly

    By Tom October 31st 2016

    It’s been a while since I did one of these blog posts… Well, let’s get on with it then.
    I’m not having a very good time.
    It’s practically impossible not to entertain the notion on some level, that the project is heading down a similar route to past efforts - some sort of doom-laden abandonment bucket.
    And it’s stressful. It’s become a genuine source of grief for me recently.
    Lots of sighing, lots of rubbing the side of my head in contemplation.
    Fortunately for you lot, there’s nothing else to avert my attention. This is it. Unlike other difficult periods there’s usually something else I desperately want to do instead. Not this time, for better or worse I’ve locked myself in.
    And as if things couldn't get any worse, an overly excited housefly is currently occupying the strict no-fly zone above my head. It’s driving me crazy. I’ve made several attempts to kill it with a mousemat but it remains unscathed.
    So why are things still shit?
    (I just got that fly, I feel a bit better now)
    The usual
  • Stall Log #1

    By Tom September 27th 2016

    This blog has served a good purpose for me recently, it’s helped me get on with stuff and also functions a bit like a diary. It helps to organize my thoughts.
    Today however, writing this blog feels like honouring a pointless tradition. Frankly I’d rather ignore it and post an excuse on facebook instead.
    Recently I’ve found myself getting stuck in a groove, running in circles, a bit of an old habit of mine unfortunately.
    A system I came up with to synchronize game assets between Unity and my 3D design software allowing for more functionality has become a massive, neverending chore, among other things.
    This has happened to me time and time again with recent projects. I start coding with a vague goal in mind, but I end up digging a hole, a deep hole, and I keep digging, and then I realise I’ve spent 2 weeks digging a hole and I'm not sure why, and now I’m in a massive fucking hole.
    So what’s gone wrong exactly?
    It’s difficult to explain, but essentially I’ve started something that required more
  • Wasted Youth Progress Report #14

    By Tom September 13th 2016

    Gather round, children, I’ve got an extraordinary, wonderful, fantastical tale to tell!
    Come along... There we are, are you sitting comfortably?
    Ahem… Three Moons ago, I was sitting at my desktop writing untold amounts of COMPUTER CODE !!
    But then I noticed a terrible problem, children... My computer code WOULDN’T COMPILE !!1!
    It turned out I had made a grave and frightful mistake! It was... a SYNTAX ERROR !!!1!!1!
    Sorry I can't just write a load of stale techy guff without showing on my part bit of self-awareness. I know some of you like to insist in the comments that it's not dull but I beg to differ!
    Right then, let's get on with it. In the last 2 weeks I’ve achieved some things which are pretty cool from my point of view, but they’re mostly conceptual and possibly hard to describe. I feel I’m going to struggle to put it to words, but I’ll try.
    Firstly, I’ve devised a way of cutting the
  • Wasted Youth Progress Report #13

    By Tom August 30th 2016

    Oh cock. It’s that time again.
    an example of a slow news day
    Slow news week I’m afraid.
    Here’s the problem: I’ve spent most of my time recently working on some pretty ethereal stuff which is hard to write anything interesting about.
    Just to clarify, this isn’t bad news, I've been productive but there's very little evidence which I can present here.
    As I approach the 6 month mark (gulp) I can finally sense that I’m getting somewhere.
    To make a pointless analogy for just a moment, it’s like I’ve been lifting weights for so many weeks with no noticeable results, and I'm just like 'what the fuck!?', but recently I’ve noticed a difference in my … uh, triceps? Nevermind.
    Especially in the last 2 weeks I feel I’ve really got to grips with coding for Unity’s engine.
    It’s quite an enjoyable process now since I’ve overcome the basics, I no longer need to resort to online documentation every 5 minutes.
    I have to say the inbuilt Unity game engine is pretty excellent. Having spent years with Flash
  • Wasted Youth Progress Report #12

    By Tom August 15th 2016

    Time for another update!!
    I’m in a slightly better mood for it this time. Had a bit of a powercut earlier and lost a couple hours of work, which was pretty annoying. Also I’m still a little anxious with the pace of things (as is my tendency). As I go deeper into the project it feels like I’m getting slower and slower, and these posts get harder and harder to write. Oh well, better just carry on regardless, right?
    So I mentioned I was going to finally start work on the game engine last time… well, that’s not happened to any large degree.
    What I have managed though is to establish more of a workflow, easing the process of designing the world.
    It used to take a lot of manual work just to import a few 3D models into the project. I’ve sorted that out now so I can simply export it from the 3D editor right into Unity without any problems.
    I’ve also worked out a system for object grouping which speeds up placing repeated objects. Generally I’ve worked to streamline the process so it all goes a bit
  • Wasted Youth Progress Report #11

    By Tom August 2nd 2016

    Number 11 already, Christ. Have I been working on this for 22+ weeks already? That doesn’t fill me with much hope I have to admit.
    Sorry guys, if you haven’t guessed already this is going to be a bit of a moaner.
    While I haven’t slowed down in terms of work and effort towards this project, it’s just not been looking very dynamic recently. Considering the vast amount of stuff I’ve yet to work on, I’m starting to have that apprehensive feeling again, what I’ve previously referred to as my ‘wobbles’.
    Being realistic, if I carry on at this pace it’ll take considerably longer than a year.
    That’s not being glib, it’s just what it is.
    The problem with writing these updates every 2 weeks is it often lands when I’m feeling pretty unenthused by the whole thing - and then you get one of these whiny blog posts.
    It’s not ideal is it?
    To get back to the game itself, it’s not looking quite right at the moment. Let me explain:
    For the last 2 weeks I’ve carried on creating yet more objects.
    I’ve got
  • Wasted Youth Progress Report #10

    By Tom July 18th 2016

    It feels like these updates are getting harder and harder to write. I’ll try my best but I can’t imagine this'll be a good one. Got some pics if you’re interested.
    Since I got my little blue guy running about the place I’ve avoided that side of things. There’s all sorts of gamey stuff that I’ve yet to delve into (clearly). My recent time has entirely consisted on design.
    It’s probably a good thing I’m not rushing to do the gamey stuff at this moment. As a commenter stated from the last blog:
    On a serious note, I think that if you need to spend that time learning about unity and such, do it. I'd much rather see the game being high quality - delayed - even for a year instead of you just rushing it through while completely ignoring the learning process and ending with a bad product.
    Wise words.
    I’m sure I’m repeating myself, but it can’t be stated enough what a total novice I’ve become now that I’m using Unity. Many aspects of it are very simple and easy to learn for a beginner as
  • WY Gameplay Video

    By Tom July 5th 2016

    This is fresh from the oven. I literally just finished what I needed to before I could write this update.
    I’ve managed to record and upload some gameplay footage too. As usual I must stress that this is nowhere near complete.
    To be honest I feel a bit embarrassed to have to show you the game in such an early state, but if I’m writing updates every 2 weeks this is all you can expect.
    Here's a piccy to get you in the mood.
    Blue Boy stands an iconic pose between some shittily placed low-poly trees
    If I visualize a progress bar for this project I’d estimate I’m at around 10%, probably less. The reason it's going so slowly is not my perfectionism getting the better of me, far from it, it’s simply that I’m still learning. Also it was my birthday last week so I had a short break and spent some time playing computer games.
    This is as fast as I can go right now without resorting to amphetamines.
    Before the video, just a brief description of what I’ve been doing since the last post.
    It’s been a
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