Doing Something Different

Okay, I’m taking another break from Gateway. I’ve completed some work since the beta test, but I really felt the need to work on other things for a bit. During my break I wrote two small games. One is a simple open-source FPS, where you shoot drones that are trying to kill you in an open meadow. The other is a modernized version of Asteroids…and it’s ready for release on Steam in just a couple of weeks! …But I’m getting ahead of myself.

No-Fly Zone

So! The first-person drone-shooting game:

It’s really super simple. This is just a toy project that I hoped would be useful for anyone wanting to learn about game development using OpenGL. All of the source code and assets are available on my public repository. It also runs in both Windows and Linux.

But what I really want to write about is what I did after that.

Asteroids Millennium

After I released No-Fly Zone, my dear better half suggested that I put more value into my work and consider selling some of it. (Her words were something like stop giving away your shit for free.)

[Aside: After some introspection I realized that somewhere between the age of 10 and…um, my current still-youthful age, I had mysteriously acquired the opinion that selling my work was evil and giving knowledge to the world was good. Further introspection revealed that if I did both of these things I would still average out to an “okay” person and I could live with that.]

But what kind of game would I write? The number of small projects I had successfully completed in the last year or so had demonstrated that my chances of finishing a 3-4 month-long project were pretty high. (I also didn’t want to re-purpose an old project.) So, my goal was to sell a game that would take about that long to build. Eventually, I settled on a modern remake of the classic Asteroids—it had mechanics that were easily understood and I had some fun ideas that would really add new life to the game. It also wouldn’t take forever to implement.

After 4 months of development (and also some beta testing with colleagues), I had a product that I felt was ready. Working to set things up on Steam went smoothly, partly because I wisely started the process more than a month before my planned release date. I didn’t know what to expect since I had never done this before, but the folks at Valve spent a lot of time writing great documentation and tutorials.

Here’s the store pageAsteroids Millennium is scheduled for release August 7th.



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