So, 2015 has been a strange old year for me. Having mostly finished with Sportsfriends by the end of 2014 (aside from bug-fixing, support work and some other small bits), 2015 was a year I'd have to start by working out what I wanted to do next. In fact, I have had the immeasurable privilege of being able to spend the majority of 2015 figuring that out.
I haven't been idle though, this year I've had a lot of space to chase after whichever personal project interested me at any particular moment. This has meant I have made a lot of things that I care about!
A spiritual sequel to Stalwart. Like with that game my brother David (as Demoscene Time Machine) made some music that spoke to me, and I set a small game around it. I had a lot of fun going all in on blown-out glitchy bombast on this, and for a change making a game that is mostly about shooting things.
Robo Rally set as a single player roguelike. This was made quickly for 7DRL, and while it's reception was somewhat muted I am very proud of it. I still enjoy playing this thing.
If you didn't pick this up as part of The Magpie Collection I'm afraid you can't get your hands on this psychedelic laptop thieving bird simulator.
I spent forty days this year going for 'a short walk along the beach' with a big rucksack; and it was one of the very best experiences I've ever had. I didn't expect any releasable work to come out of it, but I took along a small notebook, and I ended up with these.
The first Ludum Dare I'd managed to do in quite a while. Without particularly meaning to I ended up with something resembling Snakebird set as an action game. Making the sounds by slobbering and slurping near my laptops mic was a particular joy.
Probably my biggest, and best received release this year. It started as a side-side-project, part sequel to Knoss, part level editing experiment, part meditation on LP Le Breton's tourism play. This was meant to be a tiny week long thing, but it ended up eating a few months. I think it's the best looking game I've ever made.
Finally, another Ludum Dare game. An attempt to capture how Elite+ felt like through the lens of the 20 odd years since I last played it. Far too ambitious for a single weekend, but just about complete enough for me to feel satisfied with it. I think it's the only thing I've made with a story based slant in a long time. Makes me wonder if I should be dabbling in that sort of thing more often.
For the past few months I've been working on something with Hollow Ponds I'll be doing this in 2016 too. My bank balance is certainly happy I'm doing contract work again, but more importantly I think the game could be really cool. Watch this space :)
My Hollow Ponds work is three days a week at the moment, which means I still have a good chunk of space for personal projects. Currently I'm jamming on this how-I-would-make-Zelda-if-I-made-Zelda game. It is an unnervingly big thing compared to my usual solo stuff, and that worries me, but it also scratches an itch that I have had for years and years. So I'm really hoping it can amount to something.
I want to do more Ludum Dare's. I want to do 7DRL again. Maybe 7DFPS too. I feel really in my element doing short jams, and I like the games that come out of them, so I definitely intend to keep doing them.