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Mar 17

Progress made

Hi and hello.

There was no post last week as I was working hard on making some progress and progress I have made. The contract work is entirely finished with and the super secret project is complete. The super secret project was actually a present for my lovely partner, a painting of her father.

So with two things off my list my objectives look like this

  1. Finish Info Grab app
  2. Create wedding invite design using Alan's rhyme
  3. Read about Cocos2D-X

This is just a quick update so I will leave you with a poorly taken pic of the painting

Much love

-Jon

Feb 17

The Life Liquid

Well I have been gone for a while. First there was illness and then a deadline both stole a week of potential productivity from me. In my time away I did manage to make some progress on the Info Grab app as evidenced below. It also highlighted an issue with the current technology I am using. Despite a lot of effort I am unable to get a smooth animation using surfaceviews and threads. This highlights the importance of learning C and Open GL ES. So going forward this needs to be a priority.

With learning as my new goal I have been thinking about what I should learn. I have decided to focus on Android as I feel its a good bet for the future and with that in mind there are three levels I wish to focus on

  1. The low level C & Open GL ES this is a real necessity if I want to create games and highly visual applications.
  2. The mid level Standard Android for various reasons I have focused all my Android development on using surfaceviews. I would benefit greatly from learning more about the Android framework.
  3. The high level A high level framework that provides cross-platform compatability with Android, iOS, with Linux & Windows as a plus. Currently the two platforms that I am interested in are Cocos2d-x and Moai.

In addition to the three mountains I wish to learn I also have some contract work and a few wedding tasks I need to complete.

I have decided that it is futile attempting to complete tasks in just a week, all it takes is a couple of late finishes at work and a social event and I have lost an entire week. So with that in mind I am now going to set tasks and provide weekly updates until they are finished. Only once they are finished will I assign a new task.

My current tasks are as follows

  1. Finish Info Grab and publish it on the Google play store.
  2. Create wedding invites
  3. Finish contract work.

Now that I have put my world in order I will end the blog with a picture. As promised below is the current state of the Info Grab app. The green square is moving about like the ball in pong. The other squares represent the last positions of four fingers. The background is parallax scrolling.

Info Grab screenshot

Much love

-Jon

Aug 13

The wonder returns

I have not been around for ages. This is because I achieved the state of gainfully employed a few months back. I am finally on top of things enough to start blogging and working on games. I have also decided to use this blog as a way of setting out my long term and short term plans. I am using Android & Linux a lot at work so I have decided to build a little Android game using a Linux development box. I have the Linux box running now so I just need to set up the dev tools. I plan to release an Android game in time for Christmas. My web host company moved me to a rubbish server so I also want to switch to a new host before the year is out. Until then I can only apologise for the slow page load times, it really is an awful service.

So by the end of the year I want to have

  1. Release an Android game on to the marketplace
  2. Move websites away from current host.

For this week I want to

  1. Finish the news site I agreed to help on
  2. Finish setting up my Linux dev box

Let's see how I do next week :D

Much love

-Jon

Jan 18

Crafting Content

Greetings fine pre-sopa banned internet users! As you can see from scrolling down a little I haven't blogged in sometime. It seems I have grown ever tardier as the blogs go on. I think the fact that I have been running around like a mad man trying to come up with a plan to put a roof over my head and food in my stomach has been the main factor in my tardiness. My plan of gaining employment this month remains unchanged. I finally got my Microsoft money and my car is on the road. My lovely lady has decided she wants to live with me which is amazing and also means the rent will be cheaper :D. So all I need now is a Job.

To that end I have sadly taken a little break from games to ready my folio and CV for the great job hunt. I should be ready by the end of next week and will be moving to my lady friend's parent's house while I apply. This will mean I am near by for any interviews and of course see my lady friend :D. As part of my push to polish my portfolio I have dusted off some of my other sites and started creating content for them. Doodle Diary is a little site that contains daily doodles. Random Jam is a game prototype site where you have to make games based on randomly generated titles. I actually had so much fun making the game prototype that I plan to do another in a weekend or so. I have also added links to these sites as well as my Art shop and Portfolio site on the right hand column. Below is a screenshot of my Random Jam game Annoying Trebuchet Fishing.

AFT

As this is primarily an indie game site I should probably mention games. My plans for Acre went horribly wrong when I realised I spent so long focusing on the tech that I had totally forgotten what I was planning to make with it so I put that on the back burner and started work on a farming game. What I want from the farm game is Harvest Moon without the RPG element and with crafting and greater customisation. After a little polling on Twitter I have decided my farm game will be called Plough Wow! Below is a screen shot. I will sadly have very little time to continue this game until I have a job and have settled in to my new place but I am determined to finish it, even more so as it is a game I really want to play.

Plough Wow

A few nights a go I dreamt that I made a Downton Abbey game using the Acre engine and it was amazing. So amazing I have decided I will make a period game based on it. You will play a lady or gentleman of a manor (I haven't fully decided which one yet) and the objective of the game will be to incriminate the other members of the house while avoiding the scandals of your own dastardly deeds.

I have also been thinking a lot about what went wrong with Love Hurts and I think I have a good list of improvements that I could make. To that end I am considering doing a sequel. Story wise I want to make it about how the first game was so poorly received. Not in an angry way, more about the different stages of grief I went through when I realised it was a massive flop and how I finally realised that it was my own fault it failed. I have also decided to bundle the original Love Hurts with it as it is the foundation of number 2.

Now I best go as I need to add paging to the news section of my folio site.

Hopefully blog again soon

Much Love

-Jon

Oct 13

A bold new plan

Things have been pretty quiet for a while. This has been because I have been dating a lot and have totally run out of money. To try and remedy this I spent the last month trying to earn some money. I did a little contract work and I created Art.Jon-Keatley.com. Sadly I have not made any sales yet but I am still hopeful that things will pick up. To try and attract some business I am currently having a 40% sale on all items and have free delivery within the UK

Art.Jon-Keatley.com

Considering my failure to gain any kind of decent income I have decided that the best thing to do is to get a job and focus on indie games in my own time. I decided that I will start looking in January so I do not end up with anther depressing Christmas where I have to work because I haven't been at the company long enough to afford the holiday off. I have also decided to move to the Cambridge area as they have a pretty good indie scene and plenty of jobs. Doing so will move me a lot closer to my lady friend which is an added bonus. When I was in Maidenhead I rented a room in a shared cottage and it was utter hell. I was living with two guys in their late 40s and it was truly, truly awful. So this time I want to get a place on my own. After a quick look at rental prices it has become apparent that I will need all my Microsoft money to move and get my car back on the road.

Now that the January deadline is set in stone (as I simply can not afford to move before Microsoft pays me) I have a few months to play with. This means Indie games!! I have decided to make Acre episodic and plan to get the first episode out around the end of November. As it will be episodic I will have to write a much larger story, something I am very excited about. After the November release I want to do 5 more episodes release 2 months apart. I am also tempted to do a tiny week long project just to get a quick win under my belt. I will consider this over the weekend and either spend next week doing that or start writing for Acre if I am unable to think up an interesting week long project.

That is the short and curlies of what is going on with me at the moment. I will try and get back to regular posts from now on.

Much Love

-Jon

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