Harrison Short

Online Portfolio

Filtering by Category: general

Future Plans into 2018

So I've taken a week off (maybe a little longer...) from doing any work after Plunder Pups was released to just destress, chill out and try to plan out my next moves. I'm not sure what the rest of 2017 really has in store for me, as I'll be trying to work my casual job more in an effort to save for things like my trip to America, a couple of trips to Melbourne (GCAP!) and maybe a new iPhone! However, here's the general gist of what I want to spend my time doing:

 

Play some damn games...

When I'm working intensely on a project, or other necessary work back when I was in university, I get myself into this mindset in which I only work on that thing. Sure, I procrastinate by sitting around on my laptop not actually doing the work, watching YouTube videos or mindlessly increasing my useless knowledge on Wikipedia... But I still don't pull myself out of this workspace. This is probably something I need to work myself out of in future, but it's not as if I don't have any leisure time. Instead, I go out with friends to unwind.

As such, towards the end of Plunder Pups I didn't touch any games, and I want to start getting back into them, firstly by finishing Zelda: BOTW, and then going onto play games like Silver Grapple, Mass Effect Andromeda and Bayonetta. If I knocked these out quickly, I could move further into my backlog, but I think it's highly unlikely.

 

Get back into music production...

One thing I took away from Plunder Pups was that I neglected sound and music production for almost 6 months. The suite of sounds was lacking and the game didn't feature original music. I want to get back into music production in a big way, really taking the time to teach myself the ins and outs of Ableton that I haven't learned in the past. One of the first pieces I want to aim to make will be a replacement for the music in Plunder Pups. Then I want to work on finding a unique sound, something that may amalgamate my various inspirations, as well as adding my own personal emotive and cultural element to the music. 

 

Further my brand...

I added my branding, Red Chung, to Plunder Pups, but didn't really flesh it out, as it was an afterthought in the final weeks of development. Red Chung is intended to be the branding for my future creative pursuits, whether it's music production, solo game development or possibly art down the road. Red Chung comes from two of my three middle names, so it's something uniquely personal to me, and I've always looked up to those who have a really strong overarching brand that ties all their work together (Odd Future instantly springs to mind).

 

Game development...

Of course, why would I be here without this topic? There are still a few things I want to fix up in Plunder Pups, but in terms of game development, I'm actually more keen to get another project going rather than fix these issues. In the not-too-distance future, I want to take some time to bang out some ideas and then get some quick prototypes going to see what is the most fun and the most viable going forward. I already have a couple of ideas, and I've got a few parameters in mind:

  • must be for mobile - Android currently, iOS down the line
  • must be simple - I want to get the game mostly done in one or two months, with support continuing past this time frame
  • can't be art-heavy - I'm not an artist and I doubt I could coax anyone onto the project as I'm mostly unproven
  • I want it to be financially viable - it doesn't have to make money, but I want to actually properly publish the game to app stores. This might mean that the game needs to be of a standard that people would be willing to pay a dollar for, maybe the game needs to have leeway for microtransactions, or the game needs to have advertisements integrated. Regardless, this is a BIG point, as I can't continue to "gain experience developing" for free.

While I want to take care of some other other points above first, I'm almost inclined to really get this planning phase out of the way and have something tangible, as it would be good to show things to people at GCAP this year. Not completely necessary, but could work as a good ice breaker and networking opportunity.

So, that's about my plans for the next few months! Whether that really pans out is another question, but at least I've got some things to keep me occupied into early next year. Thanks for reading!

- Harrison Short

Work, deadlines and possible promises to myself...

Hello everyone who may be reading this!

So we're almost at June and this blog has remained mostly neglected this entire time unfortunately! Work (as in, paid work) has mostly been the cause of this, as my job is somewhat physical, leading me to be tired as I come home with little motivation to write blog posts and work on game dev related things. On top of this, I've been trying to actively avoid becoming a hermit, so social activities have stifled creative time as well.

On a positive note, this year I wanted to mainly do two things: save money for my trip to America next year, and learn more game development-related skills. While the second goal hasn't been overly successful thus far, the increased time working at my casual job has me well on my way to accomplishing that goal, so that keeps me in a good head-space. Not all is lost on learning new skills and developing games however! A few new developments as of late should propel me back into spending time building a portfolio and advancing my career.

Game Jams

While development of a fully fledged version of Bees Won't Exist broke down earlier this year, most of the folks I worked with on that game were keen to work together again in some format. What we've come up with is a way to cycle through various ideas and work in a fun, collaborative workspace. This will come in the form of 12 hour game jams. Essentially, we'll come together every couple of weeks to nut out some prototype for a game, building our portfolios and our skills in the process. Perhaps if the idea is good enough, we might pursue it further, but at this point in time, the main point is to, above all else, have fun, and learn new things.

Project Deadlines

Throughout this year, I've been working on a small personal project (which I've actually only just realized I haven't talked about ONCE on this blog). The currently unnamed project started at the end of February according the initial commit timestamp, but due to the aforementioned increased casual work, as well as my own programming inexperience, the project has gone on a lot longer than initially anticipated. For fear of this project becoming my own personal Alchemy Punch (ask @WraithDrof and me about that one on Twitter), I've decided to place some more concrete deadlines in place. Currently the game is in an "alpha" state (though if I were to be strict, it's probably a bit more primitive than alpha).

End of May: An "Alpha" version of the game will be released on GameJolt (keep an eye out), with the "Conservative" AI state completed, mostly placeholder models and layout, a basic menu system, credits (note to self: work out copyright bullshit!!!)

End of June: "Beta," including local multiplayer, the other AI states, improved models and layout of the level and a completed menu system

End of July: The final game, with hopefully all polish and features complete

Failing this, I will probably end up making periodic updates to the game until I'm satisfied with it, but it won't remain my primary project past July. If you're reading this just after I've posted it, I've put up a poll regarding the naming of this game, as before I can put it on GameJolt I figure I should confirm a name for the game. You can check that out here.

Branding

I've been tossing up the idea of properly branding my "studio." While this isn't at the forefront of my current issues, it will probably play a part when I create GameJolt pages, so I'm thinking about it more and more, and it has kept me thinking about my creative pursuits.

That's really all for now! If you'd like to see gifs of the game, you can take a look at my Twitter media, as it has all been posted there. Thank you for reading!

- Harrison Short

An overdue update!

It's been a while since I've posted here! I had intended to write a new blog post on several occasions, but most of the time I would remember when I was driving, and it seems like 5 seconds later the thought leaves my mind without a helpful reminder set anywhere... Well, I finally remembered by myself!

Though it's been a while since I updated this blog, there's actually not all too much to say on the game development front. I decided to take a much needed break from intense work, instead opting to just... Play some video-games. I hadn't had that liberty for the better part of this year, so it was refreshing to just be able to sit back and relax. I finished Watch Dogs 2, spent a fair bit of time playing Pokemon Sun, and also finished Sleeping Dogs (which was a Games With Gold freebie). I plan to go back and complete as many achievements as possible in WD2 and SD, but I also received the Bioshock Collection for Christmas, so I've been devoting some time to replaying those games (which has been both brilliant and nostalgic to say the least).

Having said all that, I haven't been completely game development free (nor would I want to be!). Wanting to broaden my horizons as a programmer, I've begun taking a Udemy course for learning C++ through the Unreal Engine. It's been fun so far, but my laptop has some issues running Unreal, which means that at this stage I'm unlikely to be working on any Unreal projects until I build my own computer (which is likely quite far off).

I've also had some semi-regular meetings with my capstone project team about the future of Bees Won't Exist. At this current stage, the only thing that is certain is that we will be pushing on with development of the game (as in, adding features people have asked for, fixing various issues, etc.), hopefully for release on a larger platform. This should start in February, so I'm trying to get all the practice programming and time for relaxation in while I can!

On top of this, I've lent some of my time to the QUTGDC (QUT Game Development Club) to help out with their university holidays project. I initially came on wanting to do more programming than anything else, but through both the freeform nature of the project and my own lack of organization, I sort of fell back and worked on some atmos tracks. Going forward, I'm likely going to have to drop off the project to focus on both working my casual job in preparation for taking BWE back into development, as well as continuing that C++ self-teaching. (Note to self: Atmos is pretty hard when most of the nature sound effects usually expected come from objects and entities within the scene!)

So, that's what I've been up to! I'm again off to Melbourne this coming Thursday for Unify Gathering 2017, which is sure to be amazing. I'm so, so hyped to finally see Alexisonfire, not even my closest pals realize!

Harrison Short

 

 

First Blog Post!

Hey there! Welcome to my blog!

So, it’s been pretty long overdue but I’ve finally put together my personal website. The main purpose of this website is to be an online portfolio that I can point peers, idols and potential employers to in the future. However, I want to run a development blog here as well, as I’ve always found that it can be quite useful to document thoughts and progress on projects.

As you can probably tell from the various parts of my website, I’m a game developer with a keen interest in sound design and music composition. In 2016 I also improved my previously basic programming skills, so I’m fairly proficient with that side of game development now, and I’m pretty good at sound implementation (which I think goes a long way to being a full package indie sound developer), though I’m certainly looking to improve my skills at all times. So basically, expect to see programming and a lot of sound posts on here!

That’s about it actually! I’m currently writing this on the plane trip back from Game Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP), but I plan to write up a bit of a separate blog post about my exciting experience there. (Well actually, I’m posting this quite a bit after the fact… It’s been a busy week…)

Thank you for reading!

- Harrison Short