Hi, and welcome to the ‘2k14: The Game’ blog!
My name is Wouter Bijlsma, in my day job I’m a software engineer at optical lithography equipment manufacturer Asml, in my spare time an all-round hardware, software and programming enthusiast.
After writing the iOS game Snipes! as a personal side-project a few years ago, I felt like starting another game development project. Even though I’m not a big fan of new years’ resolutions, the imminent start of a new year seemed like a good starting point. If I had to come up with new years’ resolutions, starting a fresh side-project, regularly updating it, and documenting my progress would probably be near the top of the list.
I had a lot of fun developing Snipes!, and since it was my first real experience using Objective-C and XCode, it was a very instructive experience. Looking back, I still feel I missed out on a few secondary benefits I could have extracted from the project. First, I didn’t document the development process, progress, design choices, nothing really. Remembering how much I learned during in the process, I now would have loved to be able to go back to revisit the design choices and challenges encountered along the way, and see the game come together. Second, while the game was mainly built on top of freely available, mostly open-source components, in the end it didn’t return anything back to the community. I’m not primarily thinking about code (open-sourcing iOS code is a bit of a hairy topic), but mostly about sharing the experience I got from the development process, which could have been helpful and educational for other people aspiring to create similar games. Last, but not least, I literally put zero effort in promoting the game, I basically submitted it to the iOS App Store and called it a day. Within days it drowned in the flood of new iOS apps, and was found by pretty much no-one. Obviously I never expected to make a lot of money from of the game (that ship had sailed long ago for iOS pet projects, and besides that, the game is very basic), but still I think it could have done a little better and at least have paid for the developer license required to publish it.
So here we are, just before the start of the year 2014, with the idea to start a new game side-project, taking lessons from my experience developing Snipes! I’m planning to start working on the actual project directly after the turn of the year, and regularly updating this blog with status and progress updates, the challenges and solutions encountered, design considerations, etc. Basically to keep a diary of the development process, including technical details and code snippets. The intention is to update the blog weekly, or at least bi-weekly, even if there is no real progress to report. Before new year’s eve 2014, I’d like to have a game that’s at the very least playable, and in a state suitable for submitting it to the iOS App Store. As you know now, the game will have to run on iOS which means it will start out as an XCode/Objective-C project. I don’t rule out supporting other platforms at some point in the future though.
Unsurprisingly, I already have a pretty clear idea what kind of game I want to make, what design goals I want to achieve, and the technologies I will probably end up using. I will keep those for the first ‘2k14: The Game’ post though, so check back later!