Started 2 years ago (2020-03-24T06:00:00Z).
Ends 7 years from now (2030-01-01T06:00:00Z).
The Decade Jam is a 10 year long game jam! By giving yourself time you can finally build the game of your dreams and meet awesome people along the way. So what are you waiting for? Join the Decade Jam today! Discord: https://discord.gg/X43H3b4
Itch.io Page: https://itch.io/jam/decadejam
the interview went very well, and it include a very important person working at the company. it's kind of crazy meeting people who were entering the game industry in the 90's and getting their view of games. sometimes the most surprising part is how that view actually mirrors my own, somewhat, but i guess there's only so much mastery you can express in just words.
i keep thinking about Satellite and my desire to put more work into it, but something about trying to get started on the same stuff i was already doing in Unity but now in Unreal is really setting me back. the weekly upcoming tutorials are definitely going to teach me something eventually, and i really appreciate the accountability that it gives me, but it really means i'm getting actual work done on a weekly basis instead of daily.
very fortunately, i re-read my email today to find that the Tuesday reschedule of that last interview was mistaken, and it's actually Monday morning instead. so i guess i gotta make sure i get the right amount of sleep! whew. that would've been really terrible, missing the first meeting to a freak outage only to miss the second to a mistaken email!
so i did a little research on who i'm interviewing with again, because those people did change slightly since we originally planned the meetings.
i explored some videos about creating a player controller blueprint in unreal. it seems to rely on a lot of pre-existing functionality for character controllers, and one creator refers to Epic's own character controller tutorial several times! so, as if it didn't already require some prior knowledge of unreal resources, these videos were also in the middle of a lengthy tutorial series. at least i exposed myself to the appearance of the interface and some concepts, but this is still pretty far above me...
i kind of mistakenly did a bad job of aligning my sleep schedule for the interview tomorrow. was occupied with stuff yesterday and will probably experience a pretty large sleep shift to get up early enough to catch people on the east coast.
i'm pretty excited about the people i get to meet. many seem to be engineers, with a technical designer here and there. i did that little bit of snooping around i planned to do and saw some of their portfolios. it's always nice to see professionals in industry with 10 years of background that eventually leads back to their student work and their first jobs. and for some of them, i even saw they worked on art or music secondarily, and had work shown there, which is even cooler!
things are moving forward on the interview process that i've mentioned here and there every few weeks. responses have been slow on their end but i'm sure it's because they're in the middle of working on a lot of new hires and my personal availability is just not a good fit for returning emails to people on the east coast.
the next interview is a big one. probably a string of meetings with different people. i'm making an effort to read a little more about the company and possibly the roles of the people that i know i'm going to meet, since it would help to keep in mind what i know about particular subjects when talking to people who do that professionally
the neutralino export works super fast and precisely as it does in development, which is super reassuring. the file saving feature works without any particular hassle. but as i balance a couple of different projects, i think i want to poke into unreal again over the course of this week. see if i can start the semblance of a player controller in the node editor... but tomorrow will probably end up pretty busy. we'll see.
the other test for neutralino was saving file data from the application. fortunately, this seems to work without any issues! but i did need to work my way around the data a bit.
my goal here is still producing tools which are ultimately related to some game projects, but i also have some tools ideas for general productivity stuff for game development and art. either way. saving images and / or json files will be pretty important.
i think i'm starting to reach a peak in how confident i am that all of the relatively well-known alternatives to electron, or at least all of the ones that have enough community support to get off of the ground right now, are known to me.
everything has it's downsides, sadly, so i kind of have to commit to a half-baked framework or deal with Tauri's installer on Windows 10.
i think i should try to complete the second half of my ideas for that neutralino demo project. for a single window app, assuming everything else works as expected, it would still be a massive improvement in workflow and distribution.
so i'm going through a UE5 tutorial thought Udemy now. it'll likely be once a week on Thursday. today was the first 2 hours out of a 10 hour course, and it pretty much focused entirely on navigating the interfaces. still good knowledge, but definitely started to put me to sleep towards the end. coming up are Actors and Blueprints, which are probably the best things for me to get in-depth knowledge about at this point.
well, i've complained about electron for long enough. tonight i looked at neutralino.js, which is absolutely stunning in its benchmarks against literally every other competing webapp platform. it's 1% of the size of an electron app, 67% the size of a tauri app, and it absolutely smokes both of them in build time (avg of 700ms to build an empty project!!!).
neutralino is pretty early in development, unfortunately. otherwise i think there would be little stopping this from finding success, mostly because it's so simple. it just packages a WebView2.dll with Windows builds, and works natively on OSX / Linux as expected. no V8 engine, no Windows installer. but the documentation is sparse due to a lack of community presence and bugs pop up as other things get updated sooner than contributors can fix them.
i started a test project and got just a few steps in before i found that spawning new windows is actually broken, at least since August 9th. super unfortunate!
i updated my portfolio with the Cairn results, since the dust has pretty much settled, and then i flexed some new css into the Cairn page since i was approved for custom css through itch. not a very noticeable touch, but a satisfying little thing to work on for a bit before bed
after a little bit of fussing, i figured out how to get a redirect to work on itch so that past links just go to the original jam page, which is now updated with all of our changes merged together through github.
game breaking bugs are gone, we added just a few of the important visual improvements, and now we have the rest of the backlog. might not get through all of them, but there are a few easy ones i might poke at here and there!
unfortunately, i discovered there are some uncommitted changes that i need to bring Cairn up to 1.1.1, so i'll have to wait until tomorrow before we can merge the bugfix onto the original jam page.
we have a backlog of changes for a 1.1.2, which i'm still considering how i want to approach. stepping back into the code doesn't sound super fun, but this week is kind of de-stressing from the heat wave, so it might be a good idea to keep me busy?
the results for the Brackeys jam were released, and i can't say i'm disappointed! the game scored better in many categories over Timekeep from two years ago. even if you proportionally consider the total number of submissions, Cairn has still improved. and i would hope so! having an extra programmer and someone to really put heart into the audio definitely made Cairn feel like a better game.
of course, there's always the tiny funny part of me that wonders if we just get lucky and hit a top 3 in some category. we were close, and i think like every past jam we were still rated very fairly. the other submissions above us are truly killer, especially regarding the time frame and team size of what other people managed to accomplish.
i still want to finish that devlog, but there will be some clean up on Cairn tomorrow, to make sure the best version of the game can be played by people going through the results!
today i spent some time milling about with a few games and those potential tool ideas i had for them. i organized a few Trello things and maybe spent a little too much time looking forward to the weekend when i could have wrapped up a few extra things for work. hm
being mentally and physically fried for most of this week, i've been a little distracted with some new phone games which have me really wanted to make some small web app stuff. i need to find a procedure for electron apps or something even tighter and more fun to use so i can make things like that super fast. it would be great at keeping my webdev in shape and it would be legitimately super useful for myself and these game communities... hm
today, i talked a prominent member of the long lasting Spiral Knights community who revealed they had a planned successor project to the game since at least 2020. it's apparently been roughly two years since they did any serious work on it, and there are at least a couple of people on the team.
for those unaware, the old 3D Unity work i was doing some months ago, currently titled Satellite, is a successor project to Spiral Knights as well, so if another team of people have their own thing in mind, i have the choice of either begrudgingly fighting to get my game to the public eye before theirs... or just trying to merge our projects to make it more likely for something to get made at all.
unfortunately, i'm not a well known member of the community, otherwise i might have more luck initiating some new work on their project. so maybe i'll just have to poke around Satellite again for a bit, make some development stuff for show, and post it around there to generate a little interest? at least to show that i'm serious about wanting to work on it
the postmortem for Cairn is definitely too long. i kind of stopped touching it after i realized just how large it's going to be at this rate, and then i realized that i was just going to like it less the larger it got, so what's the point?
so i restarted and wrote what i wanted to say in 10 pages in about 10 sentences. i still have a bit i want to write about the actual game design and not just the events of the week that led to us miraculously finishing the game, but it's late and today was a total disaster involving missed PG&E calls and a potential rotating power outage that didn't actually happen. and it was 107F again. i am so exhausted.
somehow it actually managed to get even hotter today, basically to the point of agonizing. the interview questions are officially tied up, and i'm actually glad i took so long to consider my answers because i ended up switching some stuff around and liking it a lot more.
my return to work is all lined up for me tomorrow and for the rest of the week, so i better be able to really pull it together.
this weekend is very lazy (and the peak of the heat is sustaining), so i dug around a bit in my old work, did a little note taking and writing for that interview assignment, and otherwise have been sinking a lot further into research about magic the gathering. ah well. holiday tomorrow!
busy day today, running around completing some much-needed errands. today was presumed to be the hottest day of the heat advisory period this week. it seems like the hill have protected us from the intense 100F+ heat, but we're still getting hit with upper 90 degree weather and it makes doing anything outside impossible. so i've mostly spent time relaxing and melting inside.
as a part of the interview process, i have to answer some questions to satisfy the programmers on the team. seems like fairly run of the mill stuff, in the same vein as other game companies looking to hire programmers.
i'm still fairly intimidated by the potential offer i might get at the end of this interview, to be honest, but i think it's important for me to try to get the offer regardless of anything else