I always struggle with beginning a blog post, so I consulted Google.
Sorry as usual for the lack of updates, I’ve been pretty busy the last few weeks.
Unusually I’m writing this blog in an uncharacteristically positive frame of mind. I think I’m at the point now where I'm almost ready to get stuck into the real meat and bones of the game, and I’m really looking forward to it.
Up until now, most of my time has been spent on things besides the game engine or interface. It’s strange to consider that a year into this project, it still feels like I'm in the preparation stages. That’s not entirely true, but that’s often how it feels.
This is due to the fact that I am still, relatively speaking, a bit new to this. Not just Unity, but game-development practices outside of Flash in general.
All considered, it has been a massive learning curve, there still remains plenty to learn (namely anything to do with graphics and rendering), but otherwise I feel significantly more at ease with this design environment than I did just a few months ago.
As I’ve now passed the one year mark, it seems as good a time as any to restate the aims of this project, as I often get asked the same questions and I keep reeling off the same answers.
I know the majority of visitors to this blog understand what's going on but nevertheless I think it would be good to remind everyone what it is I'm aiming for.
The upcoming Wasted Youth game is not a sequel, strictly speaking. ie - it is wrong to simply call it Wasted Youth 2.
It is a remake of Part 1 and the as yet unseen Part 2.
I don’t like to describe it as a reboot, as the term personally brings to mind soulless money-making schemes from Hollywood, but for lack of a better term it’s probably the most apt way to describe it (by which I mean the word ‘reboot’, not ‘soulless money making scheme’ 💰)
On the subject of money, unlike Part 1 it will not be a free-to-play browser game, it'll be something you download and install, probably through a service like Steam or GOG. There may possibly be a free-trial version with limited features, but I'm not sure. When it comes to deciding a price I promise not to be a money-grubbing bastard.
There are many reasons why I chose to remake it instead of just delivering Part 2 in Flash, here’s just a few:
The original ‘Part 1’ was designed on a nearly extinct platform. While a simple port to something similar would have been easier, I saw an opportunity to rework the original into something wholly new and fresh.
My biggest motivation to make this game is not just to please you folks. It's a factor, nay a responsibility! but the larger aim here from my point of view is to create a successful, marketable game for newcomers too, and something with greater appeal and reach than WYP1.
Most of the core plot/character elements of Part 1 that are essentially set in stone, but there are some which I think are worthy of a makeover/rewrite.
To clarify, I don’t want to change anything substantial, but any dedicated fan will likely notice a few important differences here and there.
The original Flash version of WYP1 is not long for this world, sadly. Which ever website you played it on, you downloaded a file hosted on TwoTowersGames.com, our sponsor.
Since releasing the game, TwoTowersGames has died a silent death. We don’t know when but at some point the servers will go offline and most versions of WYP1 will become unplayable without getting in contact with individual websites and asking them to upload a patched version. Unfortunately, due to the nature of how Flash games used to spread, this would be an impossible task, and besides, these old web game sites are likely to die off soon as well.
As for why I chose to remake it in 3D - I don’t have much of a reason besides that’s where the wind took me. It just worked out that way.
Also, I feel I make clear my ambitions, as they are considerably higher than they were for the original Wasted Youth.
I would like to make a successful living out of this one day. Back in 2009/11 I thought I was on the way, but obviously that didn’t work out.
My competition is no longer fellow Flash game devs from 6 years ago. Nowadays, the venues have merged and now it’s essentially just one massive battleground - from colossal big-name publishers down to shrimp like me. That’s how it seems from my point of view anyway.
To make any dent at all requires a bloody good idea and excellent execution. And considering this is just a 1 man team + a script-writer (Rich), it’ll require an huge amount of time and effort.
There was much talk of Kickstarter and Patreon around this time a year ago as a way to gauge interest in reviving Wasted Youth, but I soon realised that that discussion was totally premature, considering I had barely begun development.
I will consider these options later down the road, when it's at least 50% complete and I have something presentable.
As for the game itself, you can expect to see a greatly improved and expanded version of WYP1, plot resolvement and a great big fucking load of missions and extras AND STUFF!
Perhaps I’ll go over some of the new and possible features in the next blog post, to save this one from becoming bloated.
Let's put a line under that. Right, ONTO THE REST OF THE POST!
In recent weeks I’ve dedicated a fraction of my time to developing something completely unrelated to Wasted Youth that may be of interest to fans of my other work (maybe not).
My intention originally was to work a particular muscle which has atrophied over the years, basically that of developing an idea quickly and fearlessly.
Also, as anyone who's published anything know, it’s very satisfying to put something out there, even the smallest thing.
Strangely this all sparked from a Facebook post I made a couple months ago, where I made a really basic little animation of Mr Frost walking onto the screen, rudely calling one of my facebook followers a twat before traipsing off again. It took me no longer than 10 minutes, but evenso I got such a kick out of it, I’ve fancied doing more little creative works since.
I hoped to demonstrate that it was possible to produce something in a period of a few days, but unfortunately my original idea was so rubbish and unclear that it proved difficult to motivate myself.
I started by just doing the first thing that popped into my head, with no forethought or preparation.
A Flappy Bird homage, starring Mr Frost.
The reasoning behind such an uninspired idea was simple - because it’s simple! Flappy Bird is so bloody simple!
However it didn't take long before I lost interest. I spent no more than a few afternoons on it (10-12 hours cumulatively) over the last couple of weeks.
The exercise - which failed in one respect - has succeeded in another.
I’ve returned to the old OpenFl framework that I began using when I started the new Wasted Youth game, before scrapping the lot and going fully 3D in Unity.
With this framework, I can export the game to many different formats - HTML5, Flash, as a standalone Windows / Mac / Linux / iOS / Android app, freely, without having to pay Unity (or some equivalent entity) a penny just for the mere privilege of publishing my work freely.
Back then I never really got on with the language the framework was written in, but since spending some time away in Unity, on returning a lot of it makes perfect sense to me now.
All round it's been a bit of a confidence booster.
Just to quell any fears, if anyone’s concerned this is the first sign that I’ve lost interest in Wasted Youth and this is eating into time I would’ve otherwise spent developing Wasted Youth, I can assure you that it hasn’t, and I’m enthused as ever about Wasted Youth.
This is an exercise of self-improvement first and foremost. If I can produce a few amusing little games, that’s a bonus.
I’ve got a few ideas for some other mini-projects, but if anyone has any of their own ideas that you’d like to see made into a simple game, send them over in the comments. I could do with a little inspiration.
Right, I don’t know what’s going on with my computer right now but it’s going mental. I’ll take that as a sign to stop writing.
As a parting gift, here's a few moody screenshots of Blue boy being a devious little shit.
I don’t know what he’s up to but you just know he’s done something terrible in the woods.
I didn't realise what a creepy little bastard he was until I started taking snaps of him.
He's clearly looking for his next victim to rape/eat.