Exciting Times Are Surely In Store, But First Let’s Talk About Contract Work Some More

Exciting Times Are Surely In Store, But First Let’s Talk About Contract Work Some More

It’s been a whole month, so you might think that I’ve a lot to say. However game dev is a fickle world, and with the contract being all consuming and still under NDA, I’m afraid you’ll be left wanting. Though any longer than a month between these and I set a dangerous precedent, so I’ll drudge up some out of context conundrums, some out of office anecdotes, and some out of ideas third list items and dive into last month.

Well, you’ve probably figured this out, but we haven’t done any internal project work. We’re currently pushing to get the current contract out of the door, so that our #EgoProblems can extend to two shipped games! That will be exciting, but the limitation on our time has proven… uncomfortable. Once this project launches however, we’ll be entering a new era of Ego, so there’s excitement ahead! More about that when things are settled and I can talk about it!

As for the contract work, it has been laborious, but ultimately, rewarding. As with a lot of the work we’ve done this far, it’s porting work, so we have the fun and frolics of platform dependant issues and compliance to contend with. This has been… challenging. Due to various platform developers (read. all of them) having strict rules about what we can disclose, I shall be keeping this as vague as is necessary, but know this: they ALL have some pretty big pitfalls.

We’ve contended with waiting for whitelisted IP addresses, with plugins behind Unity versions, with different SDKs for different Unity versions, with forums being dotted in twelve different places (each requiring a valid username and password we often have to get explicit permissions directly from the company before being able to use), and many more fun and frolics beyond that. Most notably, the biggest problem I’ve encountered is poor documentation.

Documentation is king. No one wants to write it, no one wants to read it. But without it, we’re connecting proverbial wires at random, and hoping nothing goes (literally) bang. Yet, despite its clear importance, especially when dealing with constructs as necessarily complex as platform tools for distinct hardware (the consoles) and its integration with complex games creation toolkits (Unity), it always seems to be lacking.

So we give up. We leave the project, say it can’t be done, and go bankrupt. Or… we smash our heads at it again and again, using scraps of information as crude interpretations of an overall map, guessing, double guessing, rewriting and pushing buttons until, kicking and screaming, the damn game compiles. Only to discover half the game is magenta. Or translucent. Or sounds like a train crash in reverse slow motion. And we start the whole process again.

For our sins, we opt for option two. And you know what? For all the pain and misery, when the project comes together and works, it’s worth it. Especially if you happen to really like the project. I do. And when you like a project, you give it more, you give up your free time, you reschedule your work commitments, and you push to get it done.

Thankfully, amongst the late nights and weekend working however, I have found some time to relax. I found myself out in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales staying with a friend. It was the perfect break, there was no phone signal and basically no internet! I had no choice but to switch off. We drank and were merry, we kayaked, sang, cooked delicious food, played board games and generally had a hell of a time.

I wish I had more internal project work to talk about, but we’re close now. So I hope you’ll forgive the lack of Horde or Vorp content, and the lack of screenshots and pictures in this blog post. And I hope you’ll bear with us while we get this done. Exciting things are coming. Stay Tuned.

Matt out.

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