• Denis Buslaev

State of Affairs (Start of 2021)

I have given up on Ney Year resolutions a long time ago. It doesn't feel great to rewrite the same goals and aspirations year after year. Luckily, I was always wise enough to do it privately.

So this won't be a New Year resolution post. But I want to set some sort of a milestone. I've been dabbling in indie game development for more than 3 years now, and it came to a point when something better to come out of it.

Fortunately, Cards of Terra is almost ready, and regardless of how it will do financially, I'm really happy with the project. Although, it's surprising how slowly things were going with it. When I look into the source code I often realize that this part of it was written at least a year ago. And most of the game design is even older. Yes, at the start of 2019 we had no bosses, and the Draft mode wasn't playable, and there were no plot, or sounds, or UI, but still, it bothers me that the gap between (fleshed out) idea and execution happened to be so wide.

This year I have to figure out how to ship games faster. There are several projects already waiting in line. Some of them are:

1. Factorees. A grid puzzle about production chains. It is definitely working and makes sense (which is rarely the case for Merge-games these days). Spent about 30 hours on it and I'm 98% positive it's a game worth making.

2. TinyKingdom (Tiny Island + Cartograpers or Islanders). Draw a map by dropping structures and terrain. I have a prototype that works as a puzzle, but it's hard to tell if it's good enough. 35% chance there is a game worth making here. But the idea deserves at least 40 hours of exploration before it could be put away. At least shoud try hexes and move from puzzle-structure to quantifiable rewards.

3. PixelDraft. Take mechanics from Azul and make pixel art with it. The prototype showed some potential but overall feels weak. Have to come back to it. I had too much fun playing picross puzzles as a kid to give up on this idea yet.

4. TemporalRogue. Just an idea waiting to be prototyped. It's League of Legends-style combat with real-time pause and some limitations on what actions are available. League is too fast for me. I have a lot of trouble pulling off combos but I understand them and want to engage with them. So this is the game I'll have to try to build for myself.

These are the main ones that are still alive. I'm only sure about Factorees and hope I'd be able to finish it by the end of the year.

Speaking about finishing stuff I hope I can find more people to collaborate with this year. Even with programming, I'm not enjoying it that much and should get some help. Wearing many hats is fun, but doesn't translate into getting things done.

So, to wrap things up, I start the year 2021 with one project nearing completion, one ready to start production, several ideas in pre-production state, three years of gamedev experience, a handful of connections and potential collaborators, enough money to survive for a couple more years and a family with 3 kids.

Wish me luck.