Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day One as an Indie

Monday was my first full-time day as an indie. My original plan was to spend the first half of it coding, and the latter half doing smaller non-coding tasks. As it turned out, I spent over 80% of the day coding, and forced myself to stop late in the day to do some audio work. Got started about 9:30am, took an hour for lunch, went from 1-4, took a break to help Rochelle with grocery shopping, then spent another 5:15-6:45 stint before calling it quits. I'll give that schedule a few more tries, and tweak it as necessary.

The coding was largely spent on hex grid fog of war algorithms, with some quick-and-dirty perlin noise terrain generation to boot. I also spent a little time untangling some messy relative coordinate spaces I had created. Overall, Flash AS3 is still about the easiest game prototyping framework I've used yet, even though I loved C# and XNA. It can be arbitrary, and the IDE is a bit rough, but the support community is great, and most of the libraries I need to do stuff are already there and just work so I can focus on game logic.

Note: You can see an old top-down player sprite I created here as well. Yes, he is wearing a browncoat ;-)

The audio work included my first field test using my Zoom H1 audio recorder, at zero cost to development time. Hydro Quebec is doing some serious roadwork on our street this week. Since my office window faces the street, I was able to plop the recorder out on the sill, shut the window, and get about 1 hour of road work noise as I was doing other things. I have a lot to learn, of course, but it was fun picking diesel sounds, yelling laborers, and jackhammers out of the stream for use later. A little too much idle deisel noise to make most of it useful, though.

Day 1 - Conclusion
So far, so good. I was highly motivated all day. I had a few stumbling blocks where I couldn't bring my mind to bear on tricky problems, but I think that was largely due to needing to step away sooner and clear my head. I think I'll need more mini-breaks, where I get off my ass and walk around. I've found that worked very well for me in the past, but I need some time to work out excuses to stand up and stretch for a few minutes in this new work environment. I should also be more willing to switch gears and do art, audio, music, marketing, or business planning when the coding part of my brain needs a rest. And I'm really digging the feeling I can get right back in there today and follow-up on the stuff I did yesterday. It feels good to finally be making tangible progress on my dream!


  1. Just wanted to wish you good luck with this new chapter in your life. And congratulations for having the courage to take this step.

  2. Thanks rvdleun! I was a bit scared to do it at first, but so far I'm glad I did!

  3. Not sure if you intended it to be final or not, but have you made sure you can use the sound of labourers without their permission?

    Also, take Brak for walks.

  4. Good point. While I'm certain the voices are completely unrecognizable over the din, I'll have to check out the consent laws for that type of content.

    And take Brak for walks why? Did he put you up to this?