Tough Balancing Act

Hey guys!

As you might have read a few posts back that I have thrown my hat into the podcasting ring with dadhatnewsandreviews.com . It’s an entertainment new and commentary show that focuses on three separate areas: movies, tv, and of course video games. At first it was to be another way for me to get the word out about my own game (in the self-sponsoring section of each episode), and so far it has really been a fun, entertaining side gig!

The problem that has arisen though is the fact that, if I am going to review video games, I need to PLAY video games. Up until now I have refrained from playing games mostly since it took away from time I felt needed to be dedicated to developing my own game. With the podcast, however, this is something that has become impossible.

Now I have to walk a fine line between setting aside time for game development and time for the podcast. One thing it has made me do, which is a huge positive, is force me to be much better at prioritizing and time management. Also, since I have gone back to working from home full time on my projects instead of splitting it with a part time job, I am more able to give both projects the devotion they both need. It’s tough, but definitely worth it.

Make sure to listen in and hear what I’ve been up to in our next podcast episode!

~SF

The Push to the Finish

Hey guys,

It has been a rough time working on the game while having to work to help pay the bills and “keep the lights on” as it were. FUTURETECH is about 55 to 60% complete. To that end, with a bit of luck…and the generosity of a financial benefactor…I have been able to work out an arrangement that will allow me to focus all my time on game development until the end of the year. With the pressure of the additional job taken away I should have the time and energy needed to focus on the game’s completion. The goal is to have it ready for release by January 2020.

Let the push to the finish begin!

~SF~

Starting a Podcast soon!

Hey guys!

Some exciting news to share. In a couple of weeks I will be launching an entertainment news & reviews podcast called “DadHat Entertainment News and Reviews”!

http://dadhatnewsandreviews.com/

Each episode, three Gen-X’ers (Derek Lloyd, Kristian Montgomery, and myself) will each present a single entertainment news topic representing their respective fields of expertise (movies, music, and video games). Each host will give their personal thoughts on the matter, and then the topic will be open to discussion between the three of us.

It is going to be a fun experiment in trying to reach new audiences so that we can each put the word out on what’s new, fresh, and fun…as well as a place to plug our individual brands. I hope you all get a chance to listen to our first episode coming out in a few weeks…probably the first weekend in October…and follow us along.

Hope to see you there!

~SF

Don’t forget the not-so-fun details!

Hey guys!

Usually I have focused on giving you all updates and suggestions that pertain directly to the development of video games (art, coding, story, etc). While that is typically the work that takes up the majority of my time…and is undoubtedly the most fun…there are also many other responsibilities that fall upon a game designer that don’t quite fit into that illustrious category. I wanted to take a little time today (since that is what I am working on right now) to remind you of.

Part of making this thing all work is the extra pieces that come with running an actual business (ex. creating and maintaining websites, setting up off-site data storage and backups, acquiring copyrights and securing intellectual properties, etc). It is the devil in the details that can become that part of the game devs responsibilities that can creep up and bite you in the ass…and usually the part of your ass that you keep your wallet!

Remember to keep a schedule of all your responsibilities outside of the development of the game itself and to set constant reminders. There are website domain fees to renew, data storage fees to pay on a regular basis, payments to keep your IP protections current and secure, and many many more. Don’t get lazy and end up paying extra hundreds of dollars (which was the case with me and my copyright issues) for things that are easily maintained as long as you put a little effort and prep work into it.

BY taking steps now to prevent the little stuff from either slipping by unnoticed or just building up to a head, you will be thanking yourself later on. Trust me!

~SF~

Switching gears a bit!

Hey guys! If you have been following the blog for a while now, you probably know that I have been spending quite a bit of my time lately coding blueprints in UE4. Recently that has been mostly for the PvP arena version of FUTURETECH. Quickly though on that note, I have not chosen to change the current iteration of FSCA to a multiplayer game. It is absolutely staying first and foremost a single-player campaign. The PvP arena that I have been working on has been to help me to develop the particular coding that I will need to implement the “special aspects” of the single-player AI combat mechanics. More on that later in the year (when I don’t have to be so “hush hush” about the details).

So, getting back to the subject matter at hand. Did you know that we have not only been developing two specific games (well, three actually if you count the PvP arena) set within the LEGACY franchise, but are also in the process of writing a series of novels set within that universe as well?! They are going to be the “prequel” of sorts that lead up to the events in FUTURETECH and LEGACY.

The switching gears I refer to in the title of this post refers to my putting the coding in UE4 aside for the moment to focus on proofreading the first draft of the entry novel in this series, which is now very close to completion. Clocking in at nearly 300 pages so far, with four chapters left to be written, it’s quite a substantial chunk of LEGACY lore! Our resident writer, Summer, has been working on this project for several years now. Her writing is absolutely fantastic…especially with how she is bringing the main characters in the story to life! I can’t wait for you guys to be able to get a hold of the book! I am looking at our options for self-publication too. I hope that we might be able to monetize the project to help with the funding of the game projects they are tied to.

Anyways, I wanted to get you guys up to speed on where we are. Thank you again for following along with our development journey. I look forward to sharing more with you very soon!

~SF~

More Multiplayer Headaches

Hi guys.

Time for another update on my progress on the PvP version of FUTURETECH. Well…things seem to go back and forth between great progress and “how the heck do I get this thing to work”! Right now there is a small issue of getting the right replication settings for some of the weapons on the Manta. It seems every configuration of settings I use does not seem to work just right. For now it is just a matter of trial and error until I get them to work correctly I guess. The problem is that the only way to actually get a realistic test of the functionality each time is to actually fire up the game on two separate laptops and sign in thru the Steam network. This take quite a bit of time between game loads. As my father-in-law would say…”it IS what it IS!” Just gonna keep plugging away at it for now. Wish me luck!

~SF

Multiplayer Functionality Update

Hi guy!

I just wanted to pop in and give you all a quick update on my progress working with the multiplayer PvP mode of FUTURETECH. Since my last update I have made some really big strides with the blueprint coding. I have successfully implemented a listen server/host that a client player can connect to over STEAM! Here’s a little video of me testing the connection…

Multiplayer Listen Server Testing

It’s all very exciting and rewarding to see it starting to come together! I plan on making a standalone version of this to have available for alpha testing later this summer. I’m hoping to use a GoFundMe to make it available for contributors so that I can start getting some funding I can use towards further development of the main single player campaign version.

Anyways, that’s all I got for now. Stay tuned for further updates. Thank you again for following the project as we travel into uncharted territory. I am truly grateful for your interest!

~SF

Sorry I missed March!

Hey guys!

So sorry I missed posting for the month of March. It was one of those months that was full of unexpected challenges (both professional and personal) and I just lost track of time!

To get back on track, let me get you guys up to speed on what I am currently working on. While the rest of the team is working on creating more content for FUTURETECH, I have started learning and coding for the next iteration of the game…which will be implementing some multiplayer PvP functionality. It’s been a challenge as well, but I am finally getting a handle on using UE4 version 4.16 and it listen server capabilities.

The full nature of the gameplay that will involve the multiplayer aspect I am still keeping quiet for now. If I can get it to work the way I want, I can honestly say it’s going to be something pretty unique and special!

Anyways, that’s what we are working on for now. I promise to try and keep these posts on a regular monthly basis like I have been doing for almost 6 years now. See you in May!

~SF

Progress Squashing Bugs

Hi guys,

The past two weeks I have been focusing on coding…specifically trying to fix the notorious “plasma beam” bug (the one where the beam won’t shut off).

I’m happy to report that I have finally figured out the fix! Unfortunately for those of you who downloaded the pre-alpha demo, it was fixed in a later version that will not be uploaded to Steam. If you do end up getting the newer version of the game when it releases though, rest assured that you will no longer be haunted by the sound of the plasma beam running continuously in your dreams.

Now on to other bugs.

~SF

New Year, same goal!

Hey guys!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Years!

Well, 2018 was a crazy roller coaster year for us. We started the year strong with a showing of our demo at PAX East in Boston back in April.  We got a lot of great support and feedback from nearly 150 playtesters who came by our booth. It was definitely the high point of last year in my humble opinion. Then, in the fall, we launched our first crowdfunding campaign attempt. Even though our Kickstarter was unsuccessful, we did manage to get a 3rd of the total pledged…with almost no brand marketing to speak of. It was a bit of a downer when it failed, but it definitely serves as a benchmark and learning experience that we can grow from.

For 2019, we have the ever-present goal of completing FUTURETECH SPACE COMBAT ACADEMY and launching it on Steam. For those who had pledged $10 or more on our Kickstarter, I decided to give them all a free copy of the PAX demo (which is currently out on Steam as a private beta).

Another goal for the new year is to grow our staff. We have several open internships that are posted out on Internships.com. Hopefully with the added help, we can make up for some lost time.

Anyways, that’s where we are at currently. I will be posting more updates on (I hope) a more regular basis if our Social Media and Marketing internship candidates pan out well.

Ok…back to work! Thanks again for following along on our journey of creation and development!

~SF