If I was a cynic (which I am) I’d say this sounds like the start of an excuse (which it is)

As I’ve said before on this blog, time management and juggling a busy work schedule is a huge part of the indie game dev puzzle. My last blog update (with the new teaser trailer) was way back in mid December so this post explains why there’s been such a gap.

As we approached Christmas in the UK and our government shambled through a whole raft of new covid rules, regulations and Christmas covid spreading exercises, my wife and I realised we needed to take our annual Christmas house party online this year.

Given everyone is pretty bored of your bog standard zoom meeting we decided to really push the boat out and not only design the famed multi-round quiz but also design and write a bespoke point and click game for our friends….. As if we weren’t busy enough already 😆

The welcome page.. password protected to stop the cheaters (you know who you are)

So there’s the first excuse for a lack of Polycity updates, at the end of December I was busy making “xmas hunt” and the experience has actually been really rewarding.

I think by deciding to create something totally different using Adventure Creator, I was forced to learn and understand other tools and techniques, and find ways to do things quickly (as we had a party looming)

Every virtual party guest had a related collection quest, creating a branching structure.

This included learning about re-usable prefab logic, which was instrumental in having a game with around 10 (albeit simple) NPC characters and learning how to create a templated menu system that was used to speed up all of the user interface.

Our Living room and a collection of Cluedo style NPC characters

The game itself took the form of a giant collection quest, tasking our party guests with hunting for 6 musical Christmas bells around a complete 3d model of our house. Finding one item for a needy guest would reveal another item or a bell to add to the collection.

The game was filled with stories and real guests from Xmas party’s past and hopefully gave all of our 20+ guests some fond memories and a bit of fun around our house (and garden) without being able to be here in person.

You even had to venture outside to find hidden items the virtual party guests needed.

Whilst it took my attention completely away from Polycity for around 2 weeks, it’s done wonders for production techniques and confidence with the tools I’m using for Polycity. Overall I think spending 2 weeks working on something totally different, will actually speed up Polycity development in the long run. (as well as being really good fun!)

Or at least it would have done… But that’s where excuse number 2 comes in.

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s been a bit of a mad year and I’m pretty sure as we got to the end of it everyone was just glad to have made it through (Sadly so many people didn’t).

When the Christmas holiday started there was an audible sigh of relief in our household, as both my wife and I have been working full throttle from home during the pandemic with very few breaks.

So we did exactly that… we took a break, and it was great.

We ate, we drank, we got Disney +, we watched Netflix, we ate, we bought Stadia pro we played games online with friends, we ate and we got addicted to Cyberpunk 2077, oh and did I mention, we ate?

Plenty of screen time of a different type over Christmas.

It was just what we needed and it meant I’ve entered the new year refreshed and excited to get back to Polycity development, and determined to get ACT 1 completed and ready for testing.

And that brings us back up to modern day, the first week back at work and I’ve managed to cram in a few long evenings pushing Polycity to its first ever full playthrough of ACT 1.

Exciting times!

There’s still a whole host of little bugs, niggles and things to tidy up including some new voice over which needs recording and some animation work using an incredible new tool I bought in the UNITY asset store new year sale (more on that in a later post)

So exciting times ahead, I’m hoping to reach out for some Beta testers soon, to give act 1 a rigorous test and hopefully gain some constructive feedback and reviews before forging on to the final 2 acts.

If you’re interested in being a Beta tester please get in touch via the Polycity Facebook page, tell me a little about yourself and who knows, you could be getting a test link to act 1!

Right, better get back to testing! oh and Happy New Year!