Ocean of Giants — Developer’s Blog #1

It might actually happen!

A long time ago (relatively speaking), I spoke of an idea I called Ocean of Giants. The game, per its description, has the player control a submarine as it swims through a vast ocean. The only fish that swim in this ocean are massive leviathans, counting in the hundreds, and all the player has to do is swim in this ocean and look at those giant fishes as the submarine passes by their humongous face. There is no fighting in this game; you just swim and look around. Sure, by itself, it doesn’t seem like much, but when you consider that there are hundreds of leviathans and they’re all unique, you realise there’s a lot to discover. That’s the ambition of the game.

So, see… I recently started taking Unity courses, and I can’t say that I enjoy working with the program, but at least this time, I get to make a game. That’s right! I have taken upon myself the commitment of materialising an idea I have for a change. And Ocean of Giants seems to be a perfect start, thanks to its simplicity. Now I have to figure out how to juggle this project with work.

But I thought I should share my experience in this development process. It’s not easy. Using it makes me wonder why it can’t simply be like telling a dog how to sit because instead, you first have to establish the dimensions based on the X, Y, and Z axes. I know it’s complicated, and I still have difficulty learning how to work with it. But hopefully, I can get Ocean of Giants to happen. So how are things going right now?

Budget is a serious issue

Since the game doesn’t require too much coding, I have already created a mockup of what I want it to be. However, I use a lot of temporary placeholders right now since I haven’t got to the part where I consider the budget, which is where I consider the assistance of an outside third party, namely someone, to draw assets for me. Since I want the game (if you can call it that) to be a visual experience, the graphics have to be striking and distinct, and when I think that I need the help of an outside artist to help me with it, I know that there will be money involved. And that’s when the real problems come to mind.

I know how I want the game to look and that I can’t draw, so I need someone else to do it. They will most likely want money in return, and that’s respectable… but how much will they demand? That’s the part where I realised that every sprite for a leviathan could cost something like, let’s say, 100 dollars. So, if I wanted a hundred of those (because that’s the project’s ambition), it could get to a sum of 10,000 dollars, and I assure you, I do not have that much money or anyone else in my family for that matter. At this point, I realise that materialising the project is more than just a problem. So, what do I do in this case?

Due to the project’s possible expenses, I decided to create a displayable prototype that would feature much less than a hundred, probably something like 4 or 7 leviathans. There’s plenty of space between leviathans to detail my ambition of what this prototype is supposed to be. The astronomical cost of so many giant fish makes it inapplicable, though. Therefore, it had to be reduced to less than 10. But fret not because this is just a prototype. As for the final product…

Kickstarter, anyone?

So, I thought the prototype could be used to promote a Kickstarter campaign, where I ask for a base amount of money, and any additional funding would be used to create more leviathans, thus making the game bigger. But… I never dealt with Kickstarter before; frankly, I don’t even know how to use it. I don’t even know if it’s a good idea, but when the right time comes, I’ll be sure to figure out that problem.

As for developing the game itself… it’s going well. As I said, I’m using temporary placeholders to see how things are going, but I still have a lot to figure out, and I still don’t know jack about Unity. Frankly, it’s a miracle that I’m using it in the first place because I feel like a chimpanzee trying to figure out what the QWERTY keyboard is. But when there’s more, I’ll update everyone or anyone interested in how the project is going.

Final Thoughts

The game’s development is going relatively smooth, but I still need to figure out many things that I still do not know where it will take me, mainly in the technical and financial aspects.

But as I continue to develop the game by myself, because I’m the only one working on it, I’ll be sure to figure out what I want to do with the project.

Until then, have a good one, everyone!



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