Grim Earth == Beta : D

22 February 2021

Hey, as you may have just read ... Grim Earth has reached its Beta

I've finished the last section of the game (!) and played through the whole thing, title screen to title screen (!!) ... there's no placeholder art and everything worked (!!!)

It really feels like a different game all of a sudden, I can now see it as a whole, a complete entity. It's suddenly obvious what needs to been improved, added, subtracted, and what just needs leaving alone.

This means I can now develop the game as a series of polishing passes. Start with the obvious stuff, and use finer and finer grains until it's done. For example, I just updated the clouds on all levels (based on a new technique I used for the end levels) and everything suddenly looks 14.3% better.

It's going to be a few weeks yet, but from past experience I know the game will just say to me one day ... 'I'm done!' ... although I have a bunch of stuff in mind for the updates

Thanks,
George

Grim Earth : Getting there ...

11 December 2020

Hello
First, I hope all who read this have had the best 2020 possible, it's been a strange year for sure.

I'm sorry for the complete lack of updates. I have been working on Grim Earth full time, the whole year, it's just that I'm maybe too focused on the development side of things and don't take enough time to talk about the game.

Four Years ...
... is a long time. I've written 15 games as an indie, several of which took a year. Grim Earth is now four years old (what!?), it wasn't supposed to take this long!

I guess the problem is I'm thinking of Grim Earth as a series of games. This means the game engine has to be spot on. I can't be working on the third game and need to change something that breaks multiple games. So, a lot of this year has been spent on the engine and its multiple editors.

For example, I've used the same particle effects code for fifteen years. A month ago, I decided to rewrite it, making it more flexible, giving it a visual editor, it's going to be great going forwards and will speed up future development. Problem is, it's can of worms time and you end up rewriting everything that depends on that code. Then you have to reimplement every, single, effect in the game. Argh!

Progress ...
The game is going well however and I'm really happy with it. It's possible to play all the way through now and it's polished up to the 75% mark. Here's some screens from the third section, although I'm looking at the game as a whole now since writing the overview editor (which took weeks!)

Release Date
I used to think I was months away and it turned out to be years. Now I think it's weeks away, so I'm going to assume I need at least a couple more months. I wish it was sooner.

All the best,
George

It's derelict spaceship time ... in space!

19 October 2019

Hello, I'm happy to report the second section of Grim Earth is done

It's definitely taken me longer than I'd hoped and I am sorry for this. I've learned a few important lessons along the way which should lead to more frequent updates going forward.

The main lesson I learned is ... don't block out the levels!

I'd blocked out all the levels early on, to get an idea of the second section's flow. The idea was to make multiple passes on these levels until they were done. But really, this hindered the game's development big time. I had given myself a whole load of boring looking, unfinished levels to get through before I could release an update : (

Going forward, I'm going to design/create/finish 2-3 levels at a time. This way the game will always be in a releasable state, so updates will be far more frequent and motivation should be easier to maintain.

Here are a couple of screens and the new build/section will be released next week!

Thank you
George