So far the new year is working out A-OK. I’m about 60 hours into developing my new game framework and 5th prototype for my next project. For those that are curious, it is being written in Blitzmax. Why? well it’s a straightforward language that is also pretty easily extensible, should the need arise. I’ve used Blitzmax’s predecessor for about 2 years, and I’m familiar with it. What more reason do I need? It’s perfectly capable of making great commercial products so I’m not worried about the language not being ‘professional’ enough, even though it’s not a mainstream language. But who cares what others think, right? If you can present a fun game to an audience that works on the majority of hardware, they won’t be questioning which language you used if their too focused on beating that next level (assuming they even know how to program)! In regards to Gunstyle, development on it had stopped near the end of December. I don’t imagine I’ll be picking it up anytime soon as I’m focused on other things. It’s probably upsetting to those that were looking forward to a robust networked XNA game, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Gunstyle has been a game in my head since early high school. After finishing two full versions of the game it’s still a way’s away from what I envisioned (but damn fun regardless). The XNA version of Gunstyle got much further towards my original vision and I imagine if I were to do a 3rd version of it I’d get even closer. But I feel spending years of development time right now on something that won’t succeed due to lack of time/funds/experience is time wasted. In other words, I need to scale back on the scope of my future projects (aka no more full scale multiplayer for a while). I’ve learned a lot through the creation of Gunstyle and wouldn’t replace that time spent with anything else. Gunstyle XNA was planned from the outset to be a game to compete in Microsoft’s Dream Build Play competition and anything beyond that was super hazy at best. We built it, submitted it, and won 3rd place. I’m extremely happy with the outcome. We achieved what we set out to do :).

As for XNA, I don’t see myself developing full games in it for the immediate future. That’s not to say I don’t like XNA. I absolutely love XNA. But with me working towards being an indie developer, XNA is not the answer right now due to it’s restrictive nature regarding distribution (both technically and financially). But as for coding with XNA, I don’t intend to stop. I hope to keep in the loop with the community (#xna on EFNet especially!) and the framework in the coming months.

I’ve been thinking over the past few days on which direction to take this blog as it’s ran stale for content for a long while, and hasn’t been particularly interesting in terms of content anyway. I couldn’t pin point where to take it, but I know where I won’t be taking it. I won’t be posting dry articles eluding to some mysterious game in the works and that it’s coming months from now. Instead, I want to focus on the development of indie games. Essentially, less focus on the actual game and more focus on the process, inspirations, ideas, successes and pitfalls of indie game development. So maybe someone going through the same situation and looking for some info can read this and see what to do and (mostly) what not to do :P. Onwards!