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Journal: A Development Blog

Drafting a Game Engine

Without a doubt, one of the more fun and intellectually stimulating parts of programming a video game is writing out the game engine in it’s initial phase. Writing on paper and in my head, I see the various pieces of the game come into fruition. Each piece grows independently while morphing and mutating in response to changes in other pieces. This all happens while developing a system in which the developer and player can each interact with the game.

I perch on a high structure, like a crow on a telephone pole, and look down upon the entirety of the game, noting characteristics and relationships. I let loose part of my awareness to move amongst the ephemeral dance of ideas in order to better model objects and design functions unseen by the player. That’s what a real joy in programming and abstract thinking feels like to me.

In the end what happens is the illusion shown on the screen (but that’s after the journey of development that the game and developers take).

Fuel

While working on a game engine I find certain things can help me work. For instance some music will help the flow of thoughts while other music is distracting. I’ve found that for me at least, the music of Autechre helps to encourage the abstraction and mental suspension.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPWB06EArvA

Additionally copious amounts of, the delicious brazilian drink, yerba matte supplies me with energy and makes me feel like the mentat in David Lynch’s Dune film.

“It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning. It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.”

Which I repeat over and over…

Raising the Curtains

Revealing something to the world, or at least to your friends and family, can be a scary thing for any kind of creator. We’re faced with the possibility of failure, rejection, and disappointment. There are plenty of artists, writers, and great thinkers who had posthumous success, all because they chose to shut themselves off from sharing their work, it was too forward of thinking for the time, or people simply just didn’t believe in it.

By sharing with you our work on Stranger Dreams: The Watch, we hope that you will take a journey with us through the trials, turmoil, and creation of a game that has been fostered and cared for over the past year. Even though these are the first steps in production for Stranger Dreams, we’ve been preparing for this time since last winter writing our story and doing pre-production work with the hope that we would truly have something worth revealing to all of you. So we hope that with an open mind and an eagerness to take the plunge into a world of strange dreams (as well as realities!) that we can present to you all of our hard work so we may grow as creators and share our knowledge with other aspiring game developers out there.

Time to raise the curtains on Stranger Dreams: The Watch.
Please sit back and enjoy the show.