[Cross-posted from the Deep Plaid Games blog.]
It's been a long road but I'm finally there! I've continually ignored the siren song of recruiters trying to pull me back into professional games development... instead I’ve been slowly preparing to make a go of doing game creation independently, working full-time from home. I have the savings, I have the support system... I'm finally doing this for real. All I have to do now is... actually make some games!
I'm fortunate to already be part of one incredible project and team. Adam Saltsman and I spent the beginning of the year prototyping a game we call Overland... it's gone so well that it's kinda scary. Adam is currently fleshing out the team and preparing for us to finish that game, which I'm very excited for.
But I felt I could use a break from Overland before we dive in to finish it... then some plans fell through, leaving me with about a month-sized hole in my schedule (and making me a "full-time indie" before I was quite planning to be one)! But if I'm going indie, why not do it in dramatic fashion? Why not quickly finish and put out a small game project? Why not challenge myself to make the best game I can, (almost) completely by myself, with a hard deadline of May 15th?
I've already started doing it. I'm calling it “Angry Henry and the Escape from the Helicopter Lords, Part 17: The Re-Reckoning".
You can find out more about it at this easy-to-remember URL: http://www.angryhenryandtheescapefromthehelicopterlordspart17.com
(I should mention that I'm not making the game "completely by myself"; the music is being done by the wonderful Francisco Cerda, known for his work on Gunpoint and Jamestown.)
"Angry Henry" (or "AHatEfrHLXVII:tRR" as I like to call it), was a promising game prototype I had messed with for a while... a brutal 2-button game that works on any platform, but feels like a natural for smartphones. I plan to submit it to the iOS App Store on or before May 15th (after which I'll also do some work on the Android build and then release both versions simultaneously). But the big deadline for me is that App Store submission... it's do-or-die.
Here’s the part I think is exciting. Starting today, I’m going to be livestreaming myself developing this game, for at least an hour each day, every single day until my deadline of May 15th. I'll also take questions from the chat and try to help other game developers with their code, their development processes, and anything else I can.
I've been making games for 20 years, and coding professionally for half that time. Over time, I've done a little bit of everything... so why not share my experience? If you're making a game (or want to try), and have questions (especially a coding question), maybe I can help... please come and pick my brain! Or, come make suggestions about my game! I want people to be involved, and I want to help folks if I can; we'll see what forms that will take.
Is this a good idea? Will this help people? Will this be entertaining? Can I actually make the game I want in just 20 days, or will I have to scope down? None of this is clear. I’m excited to find out the answers, and I hope you’ll join me. Find me at http://twitch.tv/ShayMakesGames today at 3:30pm CST, and at 11am CST every morning through May 15th. With your help, making this game alone won't have to be lonely!
Shay Pierce has been making games for 20 years and is a veteran of projects like Hearthstone for Blizzard, DC Universe Online for SOE, a console game for Midway, and Connectrode. You might remember him from such internet controversies as this one... since then he has grown much more hair. He lives in Austin with his wife and two dogs, and is very happy to be able to develop digital games without selling his soul. Find out more about him at http://deep-plaid.com.