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And now for something completely different

So I've been up to a lot of things of late, I've made a few short games, learned how 3D works, traveled to San Francisco and had to make a very hard decision over the future of what I'm doing. So let me get started.

Closed Journal

The bad news as many already know is that I have had to shelve Journal indefinitely. The artist I was working on the game with has had to admit she doesn't have time to work on the project anymore. As the project was based on a story idea by her and to me the game is so emotionally linked to her, I couldn't consider bringing in another artist to replace her. So despite the huge amount of work that went into this and how far along the project was I've now stopped all work on it. I would love to tell the Journal story one day, and maybe with time I'll feel different about it all. Right now though I am unwilling to do anything more with it.

Missed Flights

I made a last minute decision to fly out to San Francisco and attend the Game Developer Conference. This was a great decision, in the many years since I last went to a GDC event it seems the indie community has become much more accepted is now a very well represented aspect of game development. I attended some really interesting panels, met a hell of a lot of great people including some personal heroes, I did a lot of quality drinking and even attended a 2 hour game jam in the lobby of the Hilton. Will definitely be going back again next year. Only downer was that I messed up my flight dates and missed my return flight and had drop a rather large chunk of money to get home.

Two Days in Cambridge

I took part in my first Ludum Dare competition. A bunch of us gathered to take part in the competition at the bistro in Cambridge that is becoming our regular indie hang out. Since I've made so many simple 2D gamemaker titles for short jams lately I wanted to use all the extra time to challenge myself. So I decided to make something 3D using a combination of SketchUp and Unity.

Once I found the theme was islands I felt inspired by Myst and wanted to make something that captured the exploration aspects of the game but without all the frustrating puzzles. So I went with the idea of telling a story through the environment as the player explored, specifically a story about a couple that were never meant to be together. So each island in the game would represent a dream of a time in their relationship.

You can download the game on the site now, and while it's certainly a bit rough around the edges in a lot of places, and I had to rely on a bit more text than I'd have preferred I'm actually kind of proud of the game. More so than most of the stuff I make.

John Keats

Next up I made a game for the second game's pageant competition over at www.thegamescollective.org, this time the theme was a concept called "negative capability" which I interpreted to mean creativity thriving with the realisation that you can't solve and understand everything in the world. I decided to make another 3D game with the Unity/SketchUp combo, and try to polish it a bit more this time. Also as I typically always resort to storytelling I decided to see if I can pull off this theme using more game-like mechanics. Again you can download it here on the site.

What do I do now?

So with these short projects out of the way and Journal now dead in the water I need to decide what I'm doing next. I've been speaking with some of my artistic friends to look who's interested in working with me because let's face it, my art sucks. And I've now got three potential projects with three different kinds of artists:

  • One girl I know does really stunning painted style CG art, that while not appropriate for a lot of game types would work really with some kind of interactive visual novel done in Ren'Py. So I'm currently drafting out a story for that.
  • I know a rather talented 3D artist who typically works in creating photo-realistic shots for TV adverts who's looking to do some work in games. So as this fits with my new found love for Unity, I'm planning a small pilot project to try out with him before we move on to do something more substantial in 3D.
  • I contacted the artist for the white chamber, and while sadly he's busy with a very exciting project I probably can't talk about here, he did recommend a friend of his who also looks very talented. If she's up for it I'd like to do a commercial 2D project to replace Journal. There's a lot to say about that so I'll explain more detail in a future post.

So right now my plan is to pursue all three of these projects, especially as the first two are much smaller in scope, and for the third I'm hoping to reuse a lot of the engine tech I made for Journal.

Welcome to the home of Locked Door Puzzle, the independent game development studio of Richard Perrin located in Bristol.

My primary focus is on creating expressive games that explore different forms of interactive storytelling.

For contact details check the about page.