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Randy's Weekly #1

Well ain’t this exciting, newsletter #1. I’ve got no clue what to call this, but that sounds like a job for another day.
Before we get crackin, I’d love to get to know what you’re after a bit better. If you’ve got the time, feel free to hit the reply button and tell me a lil bit about yourself.
If this newsletter could provide you with one thing, what would that be?
I’ve also got two very quick questions to ask you, here.
Bear with me while I hone in on the format for this bad boy. In the meantime, here’s a couple of ideas I thought you might be interested in.
Resources of the Week
  1. This video, combined with the comment below, is the precursor for what I’m about to discuss in the next segment.
(Fuck you, Mark. Fuck you for being so right)
To say this has changed my life would be a pretty phat understatement. There are so many amazing ideas wrapped up that overview but if I had to pick my favourite, it would be the PARA series.I’d like to do a video showing off everything I’ve found useful to give y'all some concrete examples. Let me know if that’s something you’d like to see.
  1. Last but not least, here’s my favourite resource of the week[^1]
What I’ve been up to
I’m long overdue for an update on Arcane, so here it is.For the longest time I’ve been stuck in this frame of “I have to develop a perfect game”, which lead me down this path.During my time off over the holidays, I’ve gotten the chance to take a step back from it all and ask myself…
“What do I actually want to do with my life?“
To my surprise, the answer that came back wasn’t “Spend the majority of my time writing low level code trying to make a single perfect game.”Instead, it was “I want to make and publish an actual game.” No matter how sloppy the code gets, no matter how many corners I cut.I want to make something real.To make something real however, there needs to be limitations on the scope and the tech. I can’t be stopping every 10 seconds to implement Physics from scratch.
So, I bit the bullet, put Arcane on the shelf and installed… Unity.Let’s all take a moment of silence, to commemorate the fall of past Randall.…Alright, now here’s my reasoning behind that move.If I can get better at learning to prototype and ship effectively, then when I do decide to pick Arcane [^2] back up again I’ll have the experience to actually see it through.Like I mentioned earlier, this whole idea was sparked by Mark Brown’s comment, and after sifting through a few articles like this one.I brainstormed a bunch of ideas for a game that I could prototype, polish, and ship within 3 months.Inspired by this GDC talk and The Forest, I landed on a 2D side-scroller based solely around the mechanic of chopping trees and building a house.
It’s going to be something chill that you can relax into after a long days work. The final product will rely heavily on polish and good vibes to bring it all together.Enough of that polish talk though.IT’S PROTOTYPE TIME BAYBEE. Nothing but debug lines and programmer art from here on out.Core gameplay loop, here I come.I got cracking on the project around a week ago, and oh my god…
I got physics, collision, character movement, input, and a camera system setup across the span of a few hours.JUST BY CLICKING A FEW BUTTONS!Something that would have (and has) taken me months to sort out when doing the same thing from scratch.Now this isn’t really a surprise, it’s a game engine after all, that’s its job. I’ve known that ever since my early days in UE4. But I’d seriously underestimated the sheer amount of motivation I’d get from seeing feedback on my actions so quickly.It’s ignited this spark in me for game development that had previously been smothered under the weight of trying to understand every aspect of what I was doing.A week passed, and here we are:
Now looking past the prototype art, that’s practically ¼ of the gameplay loop done.I’ve still got a long way to go, but for the first time in a long time,I can actually see the path forward.
A question for you
“Simple is nearly always better. But if it’s going to be complicated, then make sure the problem is worth the complexity. A great deal of time is wasted creating complex solutions to relatively unimportant problems.”- James ClearIs the problem you’re working on important enough to justify a complex solution?
That’s all I’ve got for this week. I’ll be sending off these newsletters each Sunday and hopefully get better at is as time passes. Let me know how you like the format, and if you’ve got any ideas for things to add / remove.
Best of luck with the week ahead, King.- randy
[^1]I solemnly swear to never attempt to rick roll you again (probably) ((you better stay on your toes motherfucker))[^2] I gotta stop calling it Arcane (for obvious reasons), so I’m just gonna start calling it “Untitled Dream Game”
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Randy @bigrando420

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