MyI@FarNiche

Building an XNA Game Studio XBox360 Indie Game.

[page 0064] ~ A Pipeline A Plan. :

Updates: – .
DownLoads: – Audacity® .

This months theme is DOCTOR.

It’s still early in the month and I really have no idea of how, “Doctor”, will be incorporated into this months game.  I have a vague idea, but nothing substantive.  One thing that I am aware of for what I have accomplished so far, this month, is that I have finally completed my index page, that is my Home Page, for my website.  Until now, it was just flapping in the breeze with a couple of well meant directions and ideas.  But now that it is finished, it has become my mission statement for my site and reads off what I intend to accomplish as time rolls on.  On the left hand side of my Home Page is a column that I have allocated to my previous calendar years and the months therein.  But I am not all that impressed with how well I have kept up with my progress during each month in that calendar.  In the most recent section, “Game 2014”, of my site, I have built a general structure that helps me document my ideas as I move along and to help me see what direction I am moving in for each month.  But for now, it remains just a framework that has an intent to gravitate my major milestones of what I have accomplished or am attempting to accomplish within its week/month/year calendar format.

What I am looking to do and what I would like this site of mine to become would be a registry like structure that would be akin to a 100 MB Excel spread sheet I had constructed nearly fifteen years ago.  That project, from some time ago, kept me financially on track as I squeezed every penny out of my disposable income.  The funny part about that project was the storage medium, an Iomega zip disk 100, that had only enough capacity to hold my Über-Excel formatted spread sheet construct.  Then to use it, each year, I needed to copy that 100 MB project to the hard drive so that the data it stored within that spread sheet project file could have some extra room because the file size would grow with each use.  In hindsight, the totality of my idea while building that Excel Behemoth, had nothing to do with separating the programmed application, the Excel project, from the data, my finances, that could have been stored in a different file in lieu of it filling that same application file.  This would have taken a little bit more finesse to incorporate and use MS Access, which is a database programming application that simplifies data collection where the input data is stored in a separate database structure.  From there, the Excel project could read the Access database data back into the spread sheet cells.  But, at that time, I just looked at the bright side and felt that I always had a backup copy that never had any data written to it.  And those are the major points that I am looking at right now, and, is what I will be getting at here.

So I think I will be using my website, in part, as a big relational index for my mass-storage backup filing cabinet, of sorts, that will allow me to look back in time and help me find my files in a general era.  From just looking at what I was involved with at the time and from there, where my mindset was drawn to as I built my games and assets, that, should help me find what I had accomplished in step with what is portrayed in my site because it was updated along with the construction of my site.  Doing this should help me locate files that I might need in the future when they are stripped from my main hard drive and bulk dumped onto my backup mass general storage place.  Then, when I need to take a sip of past endeavors to get a taste of what I had forgotten, or hopefully had previously built, I’ll be able to more easily find where that might be relative to my scrawlings that I leave behind in the yearly calendar directory that I am building, as my website.  It is a strange filing system but it is best seen as a living system, as it will grow, much like the data of my 100 MB Excel structure grew.

And that gets me on to my next little bit of housekeeping, which will be putting more time and effort into the Research part of my website.  I have done little to nothing with that part of my site since my initial start with game entries with One Game A Month, about eighteen months ago.  I was using C# and XNA along with the MSDN library to build games on my computer that I could “Port and Play” over to my XBox console.  Back then I thought I could get a smaller version of HUD-On or SpaceWar II as a submission to the Global Game Jam and One Game A Month, but that was naught to be.  So anyway, what I’m getting at is that I have grown in the use of many game asset creation applications since then. Those programs have spun me in many directions as I tried to come to some resolve in building for the XBox.  But while not being able to submit any XBox games to #1GAM because the games needed an “http://” address where they are playable on the web, and that would have involved me getting them off to Peer Review and the XBox MarketPlace as one of my marketable game submissions slots on XBox LIVE indie games.  So I had concluded that I would be turning more towards web applications using HTML5, the <canvas> object and Processing.js.  That worked well enough for a time.  But now I have found that Unity is bringing me back to a programming style that more resembles what I had become accustomed to while programming for the XBox.  I have also come to realize that incorporating game assets is much more simplified using Unity than it was working through Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone.  With that simplification I have had my time freed up to build my own game assets and to use those in my storyline as characters, props and expression driven content.  So this gets me back to what I was saying about my “Research” portion of my site that has been long neglected.  It needs some work, some worth, a reason.  This means that it needs to be redesigned.

So this month I will be looking at the internal structure of my website, the layout, the files, the hierarchy, the design, the links, image files, all of the HTML and the accompanying CSS pages, in general, all of its structure.  And all that comes back to what I found myself saying back on my Home Page, “The more I think I know, the more I find I need to know”, and is why I need to “retool” my Research section of my sight.  Back then, it was C# with XNA.  Now it is StoryBoard Pro, Unity, ZBrush, Maya LT, PhotoShop, Cakewalk and the list goes on.  Each of those asset creation “power tools” cannot just be picked up and used efficiently and effectively out of the box.  First there is the understanding of the program itself, all the ins and outs.  After that its a matter of how well because of how seasoned I have become in the creation of what the program can facilitate in building.  As a comparison, a great guitar still sounds crappy if you don’t know how to play, and a great guitarist can make the crappiest guitar sound beautiful.  Then there is, how will all of the assets of the many programs fit together, the size, the colors, the designs.  So it might do me well and be time to see how capable I am and in what proportions I am able to learn, build and grow, with each of these applications.  Somehow I think I’m doing alright right now, but I need to redesign my plan.  I’ll need to see how “beautiful” all of that, with what I am trying to accomplish, actually is and can be.

Until next time,

G’day.

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June 7, 2014 - Posted by | 2014 [0050] to [00??], The Process |

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