This is the 5th out of 5 dev logs that I did alongside Run Jump Dev’s short form work report program–Hurdles! Here’s a little description of what Hurdles is and the collection of my previous dev logs if you want to read those.
RJD is looking for submissions for the next round of Hurdles! If you are working on something (or wanna work on something) and want to make a lot of progress over the course of a month, you should sign up here!
Hello there! My name is James Thomas Lewis II, but you can call me Jamie.
My game pitch:
3 Kids in a Trench Coat is a cute and kind mobile game with a claymation aesthetic where three kids impersonate an adult and get into mild amounts of mischief. It’s a puzzle platformer where jumps are taken in turns giving it a spatial puzzle feel.
The goals I set last week:
- Get basic menus going.
- I had learned Unity’s old UI system, but I got really excited this past summer when Unity presented about UIElements at Unity 2019.
- If I have time, I’d also like to get the menus looking cool (idk, like bubbly clay letters or something?).
- Try building the project for Xcode.
- Write this dev log.
- Come up for a plan with what I want to do for dev log/blog posts after hurdles. I’ve really enjoyed getting to write again, and I appreciate those of you who have been reading them.
What I accomplished last week:
I was able to get my menus started and add some style! While researching Unity’s new UIElements, I found out that framework was only usable for in-editor UI and that the demo I saw from Unite was just a demo.
While I was bummed I didn’t get to use new stuff (it looked so cool! -and it had style sheets like css for web, and you laid out the inputs with xml like android dev…), I was happy to work with a toolset I’d already used before.
I got a rough sketch of what I wanted to do with my main menu on Friday. I liked the idea of the camera moving around the room as it showed different sub menus. This allows increases the visual value of the art assets I make for the main menu scene since you get to see them from different perspectives.
Then, on Saturday, I got some new art in there and cleaned the UI up a little bit. I wanted to make a scene for the kids to leave from and go out into the world for the gameplay.
I was feeling really nostalgic about being a kid and hanging out with my friends in a basement, so I chased that. I made a couch in blender, posed my kiddos on the couch, slapped some of my materials on some cubes and stretched them into walls, and added some lights including a flickering blue light for a TV. I was really happy with the result, and I can’t wait to add more stuff as I flesh out the scene.
I also built my project to Xcode. Unity made that a super simple process. There were a couple of strange bugs in the game that I think will get worked out when I restructure the character movement in the next month or so, but other than that no issues! I am really comfortable build apps inside the Xcode IDE, so installing it on my iOS device was super easy and really fun to see the game launch from what is it’s intended platform.
On Monday, I came up with a content plan. I think I could keep up with (and enjoy!) continuing to write dev logs about 3 Kids in a Trench Coat, but on a monthly schedule instead of a weekly schedule. I was thinking about it, and I felt that I’d enjoy (and be able to keep up with) writing an additional blog post each month about something games or game dev related.
I also want to look into platforms like Medium and see if something like that would be a good place to post my longer form writings.
I’m going to continue weekly #screenshotsaturday posts as well. It is the best performing hashtag for game devs on twitter, and a really good motivator to accomplish something each week that visibly adds to the project.
Last weekend, I used twitter’s tweet scheduler (a feature that we almost lost forever if some brave soul didn’t speak up) to queue up a lot of tweets (most with media like gifs or videos). Looking at my twitter analytics, I saw an increase in engagement with the increase in content.
I also saw people responding really well to tweets that were my art, but not art 3 Kids in a Trench Coat. I think that is something I want to continue A) to keep improving on my 3D art skills, B) because it was really fun to make, and C) it was content that folks engaged with who hadn’t previously engaged with my 3 Kids posts.
Another creative endeavor not related to 3 Kids that I’d like to start sharing is my music. I’ve been writing lil’ 1 minute songs in my free time, and think those would be fun to share on Twitter.
Summary of my content plan:
- Monthly Dev Log for 3 Kids in a Trench Coat
- Weekly #screenshotsaturday post for 3 Kids in a Trench Coat
- Queue up other posts throughout the week with in progress stuff (schedule for times like #wipwednesday, #indiedevhour, etc)
- Monthly Blog post just about design, dev, or business/marketing?
- Monthly music tweet unrelated to 3 Kids (with a tiny bit of art)
- Write a 1ish minute piece of music and do a small 3-6 frame animation for it. Maybe do something in Aseprite?
- Monthly art tweet unrelated to 3 Kids
- Probably 3D, probably experimenting with something that I’m not doing in 3 kids.
- Something like this, but without the spelling error:
What I want to accomplish next week:
That’s none of your business anymore! Check my twitter on Saturdays if you want to see what I ended up doing, or subscribe to my newsletter to see my progress monthly.
Hey thanks! This is the last weekly post for hurdles, but please sign up for my newsletter if you want to know when I write next! Also follow me on Twitter for more frequent updates on 3 Kids in a Trench Coat, and for subpar jokes.