Harrison Short

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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

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