Travelogue 11/12, November Thoughts

November vanished in the blink of an eye. Honestly, I’m not even sure what happened, except the road carried on, and still does. November ended with 26184 downloads, which means the game was downloaded 729 times during the month. It’s slightly better than October. At this point I can’t say I care, I’m just posting these numbers here because that’s what I did during the previous months.

Nothing noticeable happened on the road. The countdown before the end now feels so real it doesn’t actually does,  if that makes sense. The last branch of the levels hub is now being lit, and it brings me both a sense of loss and achievement. Frankly, I’m a bit amazed to have carried on with this project this far. It’s the smoothest game development that I’ve ever experienced. When you sum it up, the reasons are obvious:

  • The deadline is every day. So the planning isn’t abstract. Do it today: success. Don’t do it: fail.
  • No new features were added during the production of the game. There’s a few exceptions: minor tweaks, and small engine-related features that weren’t implemented by me. But overall, everything had been defined before production. There has been no technical challenge to overcome, except managing my time.
  • Posting every level’s screenshot helps me to keep track of my own progress. It is both a motivational tool and part of the development discipline. I’m not sure I would have kept going on without an audience.
  • Once the ritual has started, it’s easy. It’s mechanical, even if level design needs creativity. Sure, I may hesitate for a few seconds, or a few minutes, before coming up with a design idea. Sometimes I have a clear idea and stick to it. Sometimes the level builds itself. Sometimes I’m painfully uninspired. But I always come up with something.
  • I follow the rules. I occasionally bend them, but never spontaneously. It’s more a slow evolution of the constraints, a refinement of my creative process over the months. I allow myself a little freedom, but always stick to the core principles and the initial vision of the project. Rules are tools that can be adapted, not commands carved in stone.

And, well, that’s all for this month. My free time is decreasing. Don’t forget to play the game if you haven’t yet, you can still be part of the journey: