Still here

Hi,
it might only be web crawlers reading this but in that case I say hi to you too spider.
Just wanted to let anyone who is interested to know that I’m still around and currently working on Legacy 4. It doesn’t have a full title name yet, but I promise it will be just as generic as the others I’ve created.

The reason L4 has taken so long is because I went on a small game-development detour. After L3 I was quite done with puzzle-games mentally and I was certain that the Legacy-series had come to an end. Therefore I decided to make a PC game instead. It was fantastic, the joy of making games was back and I actually felt creative again. Something I didn’t do at the end of finishing L3.

The game was a homage to an old favorite of mine, the Heroes of Might and Magic series I played as a kid.

It was a very different experience from making Legacy.

In Legacy I usually create all mechanics very early in development. By mechanics I mean player movement, dragging and rotating objects, inventory management, click-interactions with objects and other. When they are in place I start to populate the world with rooms and puzzles. Sometimes I have puzzles sketched out already and sometimes the room “shows” me something can be done (the infamous drop-the-rock over the edge in L1 was created this way). This process can be fun but also very tedious. It’s not particularly difficult as soon as I’ve figured out what the puzzle looks like. 3d-modeling and then some scripting that usually involves something basic as rotation of a door or interaction-listening. Anyone who has played my games knows that I don’t put much effort into my 3d-modeling. The reason is because I’ve always found it to be a bit boring.

When making the PC-game everything changed. I suddenly enjoyed every single step of development. The programming was extremely challenging, the visuals was not related to 3d-modeling at all making it very fun to work with. The mechanics of the games were not defined from the start so the game grew organically (by adding water -> I had to add boats -> I had to add -> boat management -> boat AI -> boat rules). This felt fantastic! The game was growing by itself and it was more that I “discovered” the game than I created it sometimes. Here are a lot of snapshots from development taken at random times.

This became a huge problem after some time. By not saying no to new features the size of the project became so big that at the end I worked more with maintaining it than creating it. Had I had a different programming background this could have been somewhat avoided. Historically I’ve programmed as I go without a seriously thought out plan before starting. This has worked fine for Legacy games but for more advanced games this is a terrible, terrible approach. The first half of the PC game was made like this. The other half was re-writing scripts and trying to actually think before coding. My coding became many times better from this process.

So the coding was doing alright but I still said yes to new features on a daily basis. A bit exaggerated but that’s how it felt sometimes.

Of course the game should have wear on the weapons and armor! How can I say no to that? Coding the wear didn’t take long, but getting the visuals right took many many hours. The yes-saying David should have been firing a long time ago. Instead of getting closer to releasing the game I somehow managed to get farther away from it every day.

The morale of the company started to deteriorate and the joy of development suffered. I still had many great days but the size of the game and not being able to see the end of it became this black hole that sucked more and more energy from me.

After thinking about it for a year I eventually put the game on hold. Yes, a year. I’m that stupid.

That was last November (2021). I immediately started to work on the L1-remake. Took me 1-2 months to release it and the reception was great. It was strange, because I actually enjoyed making it even though it wasn’t very challenging. I knew all the puzzles and the modeling wasn’t hard when I already knew the layout of the rooms. I guess it was making a game where I could see the finish line.

So after that I took a small break and then development on Legacy 4 started earlier this spring. I hope to have it done before December this year. I am enjoying working with it.

Here are some pictures from development, also taken at random times and at random things.

I might write more about the pc game, or L4 later.

If you want to let me know something send me an email:

nosignalproductionsinc [at] gmail [dot] com

The comments on these blog posts are somewhat broken and I might miss it if you write it here.

Take care,
David