Ocean of Giants — Developer’s Blog #2
Contemplations amidst a hectic schedule
It has been more than one time since I mentioned a passion project of mine known as Ocean of Giants, and I keep talking of how I’m so busy working on it to make it into the masterpiece I want it to be (maybe not a masterpiece, but close enough).
However, as I continue to develop this digital museum, I’m learning how hard it is to develop video games, even one with a small scope, such as Ocean of Giants. It is amazing that as I continue to learn more about Unity, I come to various realisations that I might not be the guy for this job.
Part of the design behind Ocean of Giants is that it would be a game with as minimal coding as possible so that it would be easy to program, even for a monkey like me. But even if the game has a few scripts, it’s still very complicated because sometimes you need to tell the computer how to do things properly, and since computers understand only ones and zeroes, explaining how to do a simple task is sometimes more complicated than it’s supposed to be (that’s why it’s called a binary “language”). I thought that through Ocean of Giants, I could slowly learn the essentials of programming with Unity, which is considered to be an ergonomic game engine for developers. However, while I work on the project with my programmer, who is a thousand times better than me, I see how he writes code and it takes him only two minutes to solve a problem that I couldn’t fix in a week, as he all knows all the ins and outs of programming, yet I can barely get the submarine to move in any direction. I really have to hand it to this guy since watching him write code makes me realise how far I am from becoming an actual programmer, or even a “guy who works with Unity,” if some people would want to consider it a different level of programming.
More so than the programming, it’s managing the project that gets on my nerves sometimes because I can never catch the people I’m working with. Aside from the programmer, the art is provided by a freelance artist. So, basically, I have a team that’s hardly a team since the two people aside from me contributing to its progress don’t talk to each other. I’m practically the only coordinator in this project. Now, realising the messy organisation I am in, I know that sometimes it can be frustrating when your crew doesn’t respond to you in time, and when that happens, it only makes the development process more stressful, and also when that happens is the reminder that I need to stay focused and calm and keep my mind on track to get this game done. But when will it be done really?
I previously mentioned that part of the plan of Ocean of Giants was to build a demo to present on Kickstarter, which is basically using the demo as means to promote my crowdfunding campaign. In other words, what I’m working on right now is not the game itself but a prototype, and depending on how the public responds to it, I may or may not resume development on Ocean of Giants. That was the initial plan, and it could still happen, assuming I stay in shape. I’m not talking about going to the gym, but my actual health has not been up to par with what it was in the yesteryears. It’s unconventional for me to get this personal, but if there’s a remote probability that I won’t pursue Ocean of Giants, it would be because I’m too busy dealing with more important stuff than some experimental video game, and in the end of the day, I decided to compromise and keep only what matters, and unfortunately, Ocean of Giants takes too much space. However, I haven’t reached that point yet, so I may or may not go for it, and until I get there, I won’t know that.
Health issues aside, I already came to the realisation that I’m not meant to be a programmer. It’s a profession that requires mathematical and analytical thinking, something I lack, but that’s ok because I’m creative… allegedly. Regardless, I think the most I’ve learned from working with Unity is that I might not be suited to working with it. But I still think it’s too early to say. After all, I would like to see what Ocean of Giants would be like with 100 leviathans, heck, maybe even 200. There’d be so many you’d never see the end of it.
So that’s pretty much it for now, I’m still working on this project. I can very much say that I plan to complete the prototype, but considering my resources and personal issues, I may not continue to develop it beyond that. It would still be grand to see the final product, and whether it happens or not is all up to me, I just wonder where this will lead me…
I guess I’ll just have to wait for the future to happen.