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Blog: Achievement unlocked: 365 days of my game dev diary

Graham Weldon

04 June, 2013

I've been doing hobbyist game development for some time. 5 years or do, but I began getting really invested in this hobby in August 2011 when I purchased my Unity Pro license.

Once purchased, I started putting more effort into game development, and planning things better. I began to finish small features and get closer to creating interesting games with it. In May 2012, Unity 4 was released to the world, and I found myself paying for the upgrade. Having shelled out so much for Unity Pro, I made a primise to myself that I would do something regarding game development every day.

I began a daily personal game development diary.

Every day I would at least write something that was tweet-length, to keep a personal record of what I was working on or some thoughts about issues. Any post was fine, as long as I kept it up.

In January 2013 (this year), I began the One game a month challenge, and am listed as one of the support team to help encourage the community. Huge props to McFunkypants for supporting the game development community in this way.

On the 1st May 2013, I wrote my 365th personal game development diary entry.

I'm pretty happy about that effort, and I want to share with you 4 posts reasonably well distributed within my first year of personal game dev diary writing.

1st May 2012

I've just done a mini-break from work, and took a look at game jobs in Australia. There are not many.

I think if I want to make it, and build games successfully, I need to take the Indie route, which probably means spending a bit more time dedicated to it, and making sure I have a couple of projects up my sleeve.

What motivates me most is seeing progress, and sharing that progress with others. I also need to keep a record for myself, so I can track problems, and fine out what gets me down or distracts me.

End first entry of my new game dev diary.

Not much, but its nice to look back and remember what I was doing and how I felt back then.

22nd December 2012

No new comments on the LD48 #25 entry today. I've been thinking about continuing the project. However, I had the same idea after the last LD entry, and I never got around to that.

This game entry is miles ahead of the last. While the comments were okay for the last entry, this one seems to have a better response, and its inline with how I feel about the game.

The difference this time is that I actually have a solid atmosphere and feel, and I genuinely think that its a good base on which to build.

This was after submitting my Ludum Dare #25, and receiving some pretty positive feedback. The result of this post was that while I did create something unique and it scored reasonably well, I didn't continue it. Instead, I took those skills and kept working on new projects.

5th January 2013

Worked on space game #1gam entry. Player selection and fly-out sequence after selecting a ship.

A very short entry. But the beginning of my One Game a Month effort. These shorter entries help keep me focused and track how I was going.

1st May 2013

I completed two games in April, and I'll be taking a break from developing completed games this month.

I'm still on track for one game a month, but I need to avoid the post-LudumDare burnout that so many game devs suffer from. I'll be doing some game development, but it'll primarily be smaller features and components that can be snapped into other games.

There's also some room for refactoring of code from previous months games. I'm still working towards a single game idea that I've had for years, and it might be time to take inventory on features and code, and refocus to complete the missing pieces. Tooking forward to May!

Writing a diary entry every day has really helped me become a better developer. Its helped me beat the depressing feeling that can come from creating things that people may not see, or may have offputting comments about. But mostly its motivated me to push on, become a better game developer, and to ship games!

I highly recommend other hobbyist game developers to do something similar.