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Relocation to France

So I have a little bit of news. I am moving to France in few weeks to live in a small town south of Paris.

My girlfriend got a grant from Finnish Cultural Foundation. Part of the grant is an apartment to which we are moving for the grant period of 6 months. She will be writing her novel during that time and I will be working remotely.

I am very excited about the opportunity to live in France for a while and take some distance to the current projects in Finland. I will be working full time (as I am now) and I hope I will have time to continue with my games. It would be foolish to move over there just to work so I try to see and experience a lot of different things. Hopefully I will have time to update my Blog as well and tell share some of the experiences with you.

I tried to find a nice picture of the town and I found a nice postcard which is just right where we are about to move. According to photos it’s not that vivid these days as it used to, but I am sure it will be superb.

Grez-sur-loing somewhere around 60’s:
@copyright unknown

Grez-sur-loing 2012:
@copyright Google

Game Engine decision

In the process of building my first Android game ever I have chosen to build my own engine. This has been very interesting and rewarding but at the same time somewhat frustrating experience.

I have tackled a lot of issues with the engine that would I would have had by default in other engines. This has taught me that whenever I spend time fixing the engine, it is away from the game itself. Of course this is self evident but now it’s clear to me that I would rather concentrate on the actual game than the engine.

I have to tell a brief story here. I was in a game developers meeting last December and I talked to a bunch of guys. I wanted to know if they are game programmers and what engines they use and why. I won’t go into details about the engines other than quite many had experience with Unity3D. But what I found interesting that some people said that their ultimate goal is to create an own engine rather to use something ready.

There’s of course nothing bad in a dream or goal of building an own engine but I would think that it’s very hard (resource wise) to compete with the existing engines. Or maybe the idea is not to compete, rather than to be proud of the product and maybe learn something while doing. Just like my game project actually. ๐Ÿ™‚

Nevertheless, I think I won’t build another engine, at least not for now. My next project is going to be more ambitious than my 2D word game for Android and I think if I want ever it to be ready I need to focus on the actual game. Unfortunately I don’t have experience on any other engine so I cannot compare, but I was thinking to try Unity3D.

Only negative thing I can come up is the price. I am a hobbyist game programmer and I cannot invest a lot of money for something that probably never yield anything back (money wise). Is there other good choices and what are those? Can anyone recommend me anything? Does anyone have hands on experience?

Graphic design as a service

I admit it. I am pretty bad in drawing and designing graphics.

When I was in school I was always among the other half of the class that didn’t get good grades or compliments from the teacher (atย Arts and Crafts class). Yet I always enjoyed drawing and painting. Later when I tried something on the computer it was so hard to draw with the mouse. All the edges were sharp and ugly, there was very little options for anti aliasing etc. I think it was then when I decided not to draw any more ๐Ÿ™‚

Now when creating my game I was “forced” to draw some icons and graphics because I don’t know anyone else who would do it for free. Today programs are so much better with so many options and filters that even I can draw something nice. Well it’s of course subjective but at least I like some of my own drawings ๐Ÿ˜‰

Yet I think some of my icons were a bit dull and simple and therefore I decided to try a service called Fiverr. It’s a site in which people do Gigs, graphic design and drawing being one of those. Starting from 5$ you can get icons and designs. Pretty neat, huh?

Last weekend I received my first order, web launcher icon for my game. Here it is, what you think? Nice! Thank a lot for Erbil (username Erbilru) and Fiverr for making it possible!


Word Slinger in RC stage

I am so happy! My game is almost ready!

The game is now in RC stage (release candidate). I have fixed a lot of things after the BETA and added few things like In App Purchase and Google Analytics. Now there’s actually nothing more left to do that to hope that I will get some few testers who can run it though and send comments to me.

Keeping the fingers crossed! Have a nice day!