This is going to be a relatively short update I think; as March didn’t really feature too much of that lovely “new and exciting” stuff.
The majority of March was spent fixing up the game so that it was running well enough to demo at GDC; and also getting it running well enough on my Macbook. I’m happy to say that after a good amount of playtesting, and focus solely on making things stable, the build I had at GDC was really solid. I also managed to get it running at 60+ frames per second on my Macbook, which I was very pleased about! I found a few things that Unity was doing that was causing weird performance spikes; that and turning a bunch of visual stuff off bumped up the framerate. I’m going to try and keep the game running at a good speed on my Macbook, as if it can run well on that machine, it should run reasonably well on other hardware too; hopefully making it easier to port to and support more platforms later on!
So how did GDC go?
Pretty well I’d say! I go into a bit more detail in this Patreon post but generally the meetings were positive and I left feeling reasonably confident that I might actually be able to find a publisher for Wonderville! The next step for all of them is to provide a build that they can review internally before proceeding; so that’s what the next week or two will be spent doing! Aside from the publisher meetings GDC was a lot more chill this year; I partied way less, and spent more time with people I hadn’t seen in a while. It was lovely. I also came back full of ideas; a whole bunch of things to think about; and inspiration for the game!
Post GDC & Stugan
The week after GDC was focused on putting together my application for the Swedish game incubator thinga-majig “Stugan”. It required gameplay footage and a short intro video from myself, so I spent the week getting all that together and at the same time adding some more polish to the game. If you’re not aware of Stugan, it’s a 6 week event that takes place at a Swedish cabin or “Stuga”, where chosen game developers from around the world live and work on their games. Over the weeks, experienced developers come by and offer advice; and publishers pop in too to offer help. I’ve chatted with a few ex-Stuganees and they’ve all raved about how good it was, so I thought I’d send in an application! I should find out by the end of April if I’ve made it through the next round…!
Bits and Bobs
Like I say, not too much new happened with the game over the month. The town layout and texturing became more polished; though after playing for a little while I’m thinking I’ll rearrange it a bit and add a few more areas.
I added some quick animations to the avatar for the gameplay videos:
There’s also now an item spawn animation, so things have a bit more movement when they appear and don’t just pop into existence:
And I also got in a watercolor painting post effect I’ve been meaning to try out:
It essentially adds a faint paper grain over the screen, and a faded out border to try and make it appear like the game is painted on paper. It’s pretty subtle, but I think it makes things look a bit more unique. I’m tempted to try added outlines to the characters next, but I’m worried that might get a bit too computer-graphics toon-shader-y; we’ll see!
Other than that it’s been mostly bug fixing and tweaks here and there. I’m definitely looking forward to getting stuck in with some “proper development” soon; as even though a lot happened in March, it’s hard to see progress when not much new has gone into the game.
Hiring and stuff
I know it’s still very early days, but should things go well with a publisher, I’ll be looking at expanding Wonderscope and beginning the studio’s journey towards being more than just a one-man outfit. I’ll be looking to hire an artist, and a programmer; so if you know someone (or maybe are curious yourself) let them know! It’ll be a while off yet, but it never hurts to start talking and making connections!
Oh, and if you know someone who’s good with sound effects and music, send their details my way, or get them to contact me! Music and sfx are extreeeeemely important in my mind for selling the mood, atmosphere and character of the game, so I want to make sure I find the best fit! I’ll be looking at outsourcing/contracting both sfx and music.
Aaaaaand that’s it for March! Thanks as always for reading! Don’t forget to tell your friends about what I’m up to!