Fear of Failure

Fear of failure is a funny thing. Not “ha-ha” funny, but rather an interesting conundrum. It sort of wants to work as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Case in point: I have reached a point in the development of my indie video game that, in order to proceed on the originally projected timeframe, I must seriously consider starting a crowdfunding campaign in order to achieve it. Granted, I could still work on it without the crowdfunding dollars…and I will, if need be…but the time to complete my project will jump from around 6-8 months to what amounts to probably a few more years.
The idea of asking people to contribute to my project scares the ever-living daylights out of me. Mostly because the thought of not collecting enough to meet the minimum amount to succeed will probably feel like, to me anyway, a public manifesto stating their collective lack of faith in my ability to deliver what I promise…which is a fun, entertaining video game. I know the real reasons would vary greatly…lack of expendable cash, the game not being their cup of tea…or any number of other reasons. However, the fear of that failure gnaws at my bones. It says to me…don’t try, you’ll just be disappointed…and humiliated. People will think you are a beggar…that you can’t make it happen on your own. That fear of failure wants to convince me to fail before I even try. It’s a hard feeling to shake.
The reason I am saying this at all publicly is that hopefully the people who might be feeling something similar in their own lives can look at me and see you’re not alone in feeling afraid to fail. It’s ok to feel like that…we’re only human. However, if we give into that fear…failure is an absolute. The only way to succeed is to try. Try your damn hardest! Do it regardless of what you think people may think of you, or what you may think of yourself…because the truth is, sometimes we all need a little help. If you are working hard towards a goal and are willing to put yourself out there to try and rally people to your cause, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I’m not…neither should you.
The other reason I am saying this is to also get the word out in advance that I will be running the aforementioned crowdfunding campaign and will be making many posts about it in the very near future. If you could look at it and see if it’s something you can get behind, that would be fantastic. If it isn’t, that’s fine too…but if you could help me spread the word to those who may be interested I would be so extremely grateful.
Ok…the word is out. More shameless promotion to follow. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Thanks for your time.
~SF
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Post PAX fixes and updates

Hey guys!

Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since our return from PAX EAST, and I have been busy updating the game build based on all the player feedback.

I just quickly wanted to list a few of the fixes/changes/updates for you here:

  1. Fixed “disappearing” mouse issue. Mouse would suddenly become invisible when clicked in a random area on the screen. That was VERY annoying when demoing the game!
  2. Fixed (mostly) issue of mouse escaping the game window. It’s much better now, but still needs some more research into the UE4 forums to get it nailed down tight.
  3. Fixed the plasma cannon getting stuck in firing mode. During PAX, players using the Barracuda would be shooting the plasma cannon and then it would just stay on…with or without hitting the fire button. The only way to get it to shut off at the convention when this happened was the intentionally “overheat” it.
  4. Added a “control sensitivity” slider. This allows the player to make the responsiveness of either the mouse or gamepad thumbsticks “low” or “high” based on user preference.
  5. Added an “invert flight controls” radio button. Now with just one click you can set the pitch controls for either positive or negative angle response.
  6. Made the mission selection screen a little more intuitive. During PAX, it seemed like a few players would have to search around the screen for a few seconds to see what to do in order to select a level to play. I’ve added an animated feature that draws the players eyes directly to the “Select A Mission Number” tutor prompt.

Well, that’s most of what I’ve been working on since PAX. There are a few more play-tester suggested items left to work on still, but nothing too complicated.

If you want to hear how PAX went in general, please check out my last few posts on our Facebook page. To boil it down…it was definitely worth the price of admission! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Talk to you again soon!

~SF~

Quick check-in!

Hi guys!

This won’t be too long of a post…still a bunch to do before PAX…but I wanted to share some quick news.

First, All of the marketing material for the convention has been squared away. We will have some really cool swag to give away (and for people to win) at our booth next month. From trading cards, to cool pins, we will hook you up!

Next I have been successful in programming some much needed enhanced AI behavior into the enemy ships. They act a little more “normal” now…lol.

Lastly, in a bit of a personal triumph, I was able to score a much cheaper place to stay for the convention using AirBnB for the first time. It’s going to cost me less than half of what I was originally going to pay for a conventional hotel for the 4 nights. Yay technology!

Ok, back to work now. See you guys at PAX!!!

~SF

PAX is approaching!

Hi guys!

With a little over a month to go, PAX East in Boston is closing in fast! I thought I had plenty of time to wrap up the demo and still have time for updating the new website, ordering marketing supplies, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Boy was I wrong!

The last couple of weeks I was pretty much down for the count with the worst head cold in my own personal history. The only reason I didn’t think it was the flu was that it never reached my chest…plus my fever broke about a week or so into it. Otherwise, I may as well have been for all the work that slipped behind wile I lay sneezing, coughing and hacking. It wasn’t pretty.

Now I am in a mad scramble to catch up. Even though it’s still February…it feels like March is going to slip away before I even have a chance to blink! This is, of course, nothing new for those who are also indie game developers I’m sure. Never enough time….never enough time!

Anyways, even though the time crunch is upon me…I still have good feelings about where I’m at with the project. Now that “FUTURETECH SPACE COMBAT ACADEMY” is registered with the USPTO for trademark, I feel that is one major step behind me. Also, I have been editing a TON of voice actor dialogue! It all may not make it into the demo by PAX, but enough will be utilized to give the game characters a true “flavor”.

Ok…well I need to get back at it. Stay tuned…I will have at least one more update before the convention. I’ll let you all know about the booth location, giveaways, and the demo then. Exciting stuff!!!

See you soon.

~SF

Happy New Year!

Hey guys,

Happy New Year!!! Yes, a bit late, but I wish it none the less.

So now that we are entering 2018, I wanted to take a minute to get you guys caught up on where the production of FUTURETECH SPACE COMBAT ACADEMY is at.

First off, we have been given official notice that the name of our minigame is officially registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office! It will be published in their February 8th official trademark gazette. Once the game goes public and available for sale (which we are shooting for late 2018 to happen) the trademark becomes finalized. This will then allow us to put the little โ€œRโ€ in place of the standard โ€œTMโ€ next to the title! Oh…and…other legal stuff. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Second, we will be presenting the updated pre-alpha demo of FUTURETECH at PAX East in Boston this spring! The event is from April 4th -7th at the BCEC (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center) near the bay. Anyone can come by our booth #24118 and try out the game demo. As of now I have two levels fully completed and ready to play, with two more in the works which should be done by the convention dates.

Currently I have been knee deep in blueprint coding inside the UE4 editor. The game will have a rank and score system in play, which is what I have been working on the past week or so. After a few snags, I have the two systems working pretty smoothly. As players earn points for completing objectives, destroying enemies, and completing specific tasks, the points will go towards earning rank designations and, eventually, unlocking special weapons and defenses.

Lastly, progress is slow but steady with the games voice over scripts and audio recordings. With so much working being done in the game engine for the coding, I have had to slow down the work on the voice overs unfortunately. However, with our main writer Genevieve on a short hiatus, I have taken over the job of writing some of the generic pilot dialogue for the actors. Itโ€™s slow going, but they are in the pipeline.

Okโ€ฆthatโ€™s pretty much it for now. Iโ€™ll work hard to get another update out next month so you guys can stay up-to-date with our progress. Thanks for reading and staying on-board with FUTURETECH and LEGACY!

~SF

Good news on the new title!

Hey guys!

So I wanted to share the good news…our new title for the mini-game has been approved for trademark registration by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office! The name will henceforth be “FUTURETECH SPACE COMBAT ACADEMY”. I hope you guys like it!

Also, we are making some really great progress on the mini-game in preparation for PAX East 2018 in April. By the time we hit the show floor, expect us to have at least 4 full playable levels available for you to demo at our booth. More information to come!

Ok, that’s about it for now. Back to level building. ๐Ÿ™‚

~SF

Sorry for the radio silence!

Hey there…

I am so mad at myself for not setting aside time to post an update during the months of September and October! I truly apologize to you guys! I’ve been juggling a few things at once during that time and let the blog slip unfortunately.

As for what I have been working on recently…

I actually have begun working with our voice actors again, which is very exciting! For Futuretech…our lead actor Brandon Lamar and I have been working together to bang out the majority of the main “cutscene” dialogue. I gotta say, Brandon is a natural! Rarely do I ever need to ask him for a retake. I started calling him the “One-Take Wonder” lol!

We also had one of our very first contributors come back to the project after a year long hiatus. Lauren Heward is one of the most gifted actresses I have ever known! I’m super excited that she is reprising the role of Ayesha.

On the game engine front, I have been working hard to get the player HUD and menu UI coding to work properly in UE4. So far so good. Once I got that under control, my focus has now switched to the AI directors…basically bots that control the enemy ships in each of the game levels.

There has also been early prep for PAX East 2018 in Boston next spring. Our booth will be setting up shop again on the convention floor with a new, larger demo of the mini-game. We will also have new contests, prizes, and swag in store.

Ok…I hope I have gotten you guys up to speed well enough for now. Time for me to dive right back into it. More info coming soon…I promise!

~SF