Sometimes things don't work out.
Just looking at the news feed, you'd see that things have been pretty quiet. The truth is that I never stopped working. Shortly after completing Loot Grinder, I was in talks with a good friend to make my next game. The project was pretty ambitious, an exploring, scuba diving, sea lab building game. Oh, and we'd have multiplayer too. We decided to move my game engine over to Monogame since XNA was being retired and the development began sometime in the middle of 2013. Development started out decent enough, we had a good framework as our foundation since the folks over at Monogame did a great job carrying over most of the features from XNA and I spent a lot of time converting my engine and developing tools to assist in debugging and prototyping.
But as time went on, the overall scope of what we'd have to do became a bit crushing and my friend's contributions slowed to about a single commit once a month. This fluctuated for about a year and a half and we really didn't have much to show. Most of the time I'd spend a couple hours a night working. I'd have to work on building all the fundamental systems, networking, and physics parts we'd need to create the game. Only a small fraction of the work was into gameplay and the project was looking pretty grim. It wasn't fun working on core systems for a year with little visual pleasing products.
I approached my friend about my expectations that he should contribute more if we wanted to get the game finished and he agreed that he wouldn't be able to meet those requirements. So we mutually agreed to cancel the project and move on with our lives. (Still being friends of course)
So what has this taught me? Well, when you have the nagging feeling that something isn't going to work out, step up sooner to fix the issues and if that doesn't work, don't continue to waste your time. I did gain more experience with areas of game development that I'd only lightly touched in the past but overall I still can't help but feel the time could have been better spent and would have preferred a different outcome. And lastly, get to the gameplay development earlier. There had to have been a better approach to getting to the 'fun' so that we could determine if our ideas would work and I wouldn't have been so bogged down in all the systems that we didn't even use in the end.
What does that mean for Pixel Polish? It means that I'll be starting up a new project, which I'll be developing by myself for the time being. I spent some of the time between the cancelled project and now learning more about Unity and I feel comfortable enough with it to use it for the next game. I also decided that I best not keep people in the dark and figured it would be a good exercise and community building experience to do developer blogs as I work. I will have to continue to work on this project in my spare time and having a family makes that time very precious so I can't say the contributions will be daily or even weekly, but I truly hope to share my experiences in the future and would like to get feedback from anyone who stumbles upon the site.
So with that, I'll reveal more in the near future and hope to see you return for more information!