Monday, 4 August 2014

Game dev, Mommy guilt and not blogging.

So, I haven't done this in a while...

Actually I've written a bunch of posts between the last one and now, just never actually published any of them!  The main reason being because on rereading them, they were all quite negative, ok some of them were very negative.  I don't know why.  Possibly I needed to vent a little, possibly the fact that it was taking me three days just to get one post finished, possibly because my hormones/emotions/energy levels are all over the place most of the time.  Could be any reason really.  But here we are, and I've promised myself I'm going to publish this post.

Two devs and a baby

The bunny's for scale, not eating.

Here's a thing we didn't consider; game development with a baby will be harder than game development when 6,7,8 months pregnant.  And by harder I mean almost impossible.  I mean we knew we would have less time, Willow needs us for absolutely everything (even getting to sleep) but how little time we had was something we just hadn't seen coming.  It's a steep learning curve this parenting lark.

The first few months Willow was very needy (and as I write that line the guilt creeps in, but more on that to follow), she wouldn't be put down, for the first month not even to sleep.  Sleeping involved taking it in turns to have baby sleeping on our chests, soon after she would sleep on the bed with us (she had to lie on her side tho), and this resulted in me not really sleeping and doing the night time feeds.  Once we figured out that she needed to sleep on her front things got much easier, but we wouldn't have let her before she got to the stage where she could lift and turn her head, thankfully she's always been really strong at holding her head.  In this time I did zero game development and Alex did very little.

Once Willow started sleeping through the night (8pm to about 6am) I was able to start getting some work done.  By this point I was of course well behind Alex.  It's a good job we decided to go with Super Glyph Quest as Alex is able to use all of the old art as place holder!  Of course this meant working on assets for Super whilst she was sleeping, going to bed around 2am, waking up at 6am, and then 8 or 9am when Willow will proudly announce that she is awake and therefore so must we be.  Naps when she sleeps are essential.  
Now at six months old, Willow is far happier to entertain herself for chunks of the day.  Her travel cot is a makeshift playpen (we've a proper one to come) to contain her as she rolls and shuffles around, and she will feed herself a bottle freeing up my time a little more.  At this stage we are able to go (almost) full crunch.  She still demands some of our attention, especially with her first teeth coming!

Mommy Guilt

See where I write 'demands' and 'needy'?  I feel just terrible about this.

Becoming a mother has certainly made me a much soppier person.  I well up without any warning, am incredibly sensitive about almost everything (don't get me started on my figure) and I feel guilty anytime I put my own needs before Willow's.

Right now she is feeding herself a bottle of formula.  Until very recently she was exclusively breastfed, but now we are entering the weaning stage I need her to stop associating me as the source of the food.  As my mother puts it 'she looks at you like you are food'.  Now she is happy enough with it (she wolfs it down!) and formula is developed so babies who cannot be breastfed grow up just as strong and healthy, and to be fair she has two tiny teeth (sharp as razors) so it's a dice with death every feed, but still, I feel I'm letting her down because I use this time to do something other than look after her.

Even when we put her on the play mat, she is happily gurgling away, chatting to Camelopard and Zeblim (yes we have named her toys for her) and having a roll around, but I feel bad, like I'm ignoring her.  Or even worse, when we leave her with a family member for a few hours an evening (and she will be sleeping almost the entire time) so Alex and I can have a night off, man that racks my heart strings.  And it's all because up to now I have been playing with her, helping her roll and crawl, feeding her all of the time!

So I feel guilty, when really I should be feeling proud of her!  She's growing up so fast and learning so much, including how to not be so attached.  Something I need to learn.

Super Glyph Quest

New logo, new motto

When I'm not feeling like a terrible mother for letting my baby grow and develop, I am trying to get as much work on Super done as I can.  Because there's a lot that needs doing!

Super is an opportunity for us to add lots of things that we didn't have the time to add to Glyph Quest, like a proper narrative.  Adding actual quest lines and story arcs is something I feel we were desperately missing (thankfully peeps were happy enough to go around slaying monsters), and I'm really happy with what we've come up with but it does mean more characters to draw.

Then there's avatar customization.  I would have loved to have added this to Glyph Quest but we just didn't have the time, as it turns out it requires a hell of a lot of work.  But it's worth it!  Also coming to Super is more gear (not just two robes upgrades), which players will craft from monster parts and have the ability to mix and match (possible set bonuses if I can convince Alex it's a good thing).  

And there's the new monsters.  Alex didn't want me adding some of the more obscure beasts from the depths of mythology in the previous game, but this time he's letting me go nuts.  Partly I feel this is due to our new found love of Pointless, where the obscure answers win, but mostly I think he's fed up of monsters that are part this thing and part that thing - with wings.

The town of Helmstone for Super Glyph Quests' map

The bit that I'm dreading however is the UI art.  I am not very good at it.  It's taken me about a week just to draw the new map (it's a lot bigger than the old one) and that's before I get into buttons, pop ups, text boxes and health bars.  I can draw a new beast in a couple of hours, it takes me the same amount of time to do a button.  Maybe I over think it?  I mean, it's just a button right?

Well there we go.  Man has it been a busy and rewarding few months!  But there is plenty to get on with, so I'll leave this post here and try to update again sooner.  Much sooner.


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