I'm back! Here's a brief update on what I'm up to!
I’ve left this blog very absent as of late... but I’m back now! After spending the back-end of last year working my day job and saving money, I finally got to use that money on my back-to-back trips to Japan and the US. After I returned from overseas in early April, I threw myself back into game dev by starting some rapid prototyping. I came up with some simple game ideas, a couple of which I want to actually go forward with in future, and prototyped them.
However, I felt I was missing some of the structure an actual project enforces, with deadlines and completion. I found myself not knowing when to stop rapid prototyping and say “I like this idea, other people find it fun, it’s viable to go forward with.” It also brought up questions like, “should I make this game with monetisation in mind?” All in all, I found myself making things with no clear direction, which for some may be suitable, but for myself, I like to have a clear goal in mind, and that goal is often a completed game.
That’s where 6-in-6 comes in.
6-in-6 is the half year marathon of making six games in as many months. Originally I got the idea from Louis Van Dyke, who undertook 6-in-6 in the back half of 2017. Louis structured 6-in-6 as an opportunity for rapid prototyping, in a single 10 hour session each month. The result of this exercise was a bunch of really cool and interesting game-based tech, although due to the timeframe the games were fairly buggy. On top of this, this structure lends itself to what I’ve been trying to get away from - a lack of completion.
As 6-in-6 isn’t an overtly established process, this gives participants the liberty to structure the undertaking for their convenience. For the next six months, I’ve teamed up with Sam Vidler, a good friend of mine (former QUT Game Development Club President) to make our six games. With programming and sound being taken care of by me, and Sam doing the art, we’re aiming to make more fully-formed games at the end of each month. After outlining our goals and expectations of our 6-in-6, we’ve chosen to structure the endeavour like so:
Four 8-hour development days each month:
- Day 1: Design and planning
- Day 2: Development day #1
- Day 3: Development day #2
- Day 4: Development day #3, focusing on polishing and publishing, with no new content added
We feel that this structure will allow us to create small but polished games that we can take further in future if we so choose, but can also serve as portfolio pieces in the meantime. It also takes after the “One Game A Month” process more closely, which we’ve looked into as we’ve planned the structure of our 6-in-6.
In contrast to Louis and his small group, Sam and I don’t work full time, so we have the means to invest more time into each project. To assist us time-wise however, we’ve also reached out to our friend David Upcher, who will be providing one piece of music each month. This way, I can focus on programming and sound design, without having the weight of having to produce a track on my shoulders too.
I’m hoping to get a post done after each month’s completion, outlining how each project went, the things we learned, and the things we could have done better (either in terms of development or the 6-in-6 process). In the meantime however, I’ll be posting about each project frequently on my Twitter account.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy following our game dev journey for the next few months.
- Harrison Short