• Ian

Failing to fail

It's been a little slow here lately - I've missed some of my "post per day" cadence. What that's reflecting is my ongoing battle with trying to create my game's art. I knew it would be hard, but maybe not HOW hard.

I've been doing two things in the last few days.

This project can't afford to stand still, so I've gone back to the code. In preparation for the port from WinForms to UWP, I've created a XAML version of the main screen. I've also refactored the WinForms code towards a MVVM architecture, which is how I want to setup the UWP version. There is now a master ViewModel for the entire game, which has embedded ViewModels for things like Game Settings and High Scores.

In English this means that the game logic is now separated from the UI. This game logic should be able to be 100% reused in the UWP version, while the UI will need to be rebuilt.

While I've been working on the code, I've also been thinking hard about what I want from my art. As Clint Eastwood said in Magnum Force, "A man's got to know his limitations".

Apologies for the clip taking a while to get to the punch-line. /sigh

In my prototype I had 2-d art. When a gem is selected it rotates clock-wise 45 degrees every quarter second. What I aspired to for my final product was full 3-d modelled gems, like in my previous post, but with the sparkly-ness of the gems I used in the proto-type. When selected, I could then show off the 3-d models, again as per the video I posted last time.

I've mentioned before that I'm a fan of GDC Vault. Somewhere in one of their videos, someone said something along the lines of "you're not trying to build the best game in the world, you're trying to be 'good enough'". It might have been in a video entitled "Failing to fail - the Spiderweb way", which I've taken loads of inspiration from, but to be honest, I'm not sure. I'm not going to rewatch 1hours of video just to make this post definitive.

The upshot of this reflection is that I'm going to take Clint's advice and tone down my aspirations for my graphics. In making this choice, the decisive consideration was that the last game that sold on the basis that it had real 3-d may have been Quake (1996). If all Gem Smash has going for it is 3-d models, then it's probably not going to fly in 2019.

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