SmokeSomeFrogs
SmokeSomeFrogs Postmortem for he year 2020.

2020 - A Postmortem for the year!




The Highlights

- 3 games released
- First game on Steam released
- Started developing with Godot




Hey everyone,

2020 was a rough year for many people. For me not so much tbh, since most of my days are spent on the computer anyways. Sure, most of the planned vacations and the backup vacations were cancelled but overall it was a good year for me.



Games


The first release was Devastated: Andrew's Dictaphone which I developed together with Angela Reinert and released it in February. The game was more or less complete for over a year and it was time to release it. It's a Walking Simulator/Point n Click genre mix and is about 15 minutes long.

You can download it here.

The second release was Entangled. It was released in the beginning of June and my first real game that I made completely by myself (technically Interrogation by the State was the first one but I don't really count it). It was half finished for over a year and more or less abandoned but I decided to finish it and release it. Although most of the scripts weren't made by me - I just got them from test projects and modified them a little bit. I didn't really understand Unity and did not get into it. It's just not my engine of choice but maybe I didn't spent enough time with it, I don't know.

You can download Entangled on Itch.io.

In the middle of the year, I decided to make the jump to work full time on my self-employment with the help of my fiancee and abandoned my studies at the university. She paid the rent for half of the year and I'm very thankful for this because without it, I would have needed to get a bullshit job for a couple of hours in the week.

The rest of the money I needed wasn't brought in with GameDev but with my German YouTube channel and royalties of my books and audiobook versions of them. I have a pretty low burn rate overall (especially for German standards) so it was manageable.



Learning Godot


I switched to MX Linux for GameDev and started working on my third game because I really want to make games not just as a hobby. I learned Godot with the help of a Udemy course and many free online ressources and had a blast. GDScript is easy to learn and the Engine just let's me get stuff done. I'm not qualified to say that Godot is superior to other Engines due to my limited experience but I like it very much! :D (No royalties, open source, works great on Linux, works great on weak hardware, support for the platforms I want to release for (mostly Linux and Windows))

My third game this year, Bring Back The Sun, was my first bigger project. I did most of it by myself and I had a blast. But naturally, I had help. Even though I coded everything, made the graphics and the music by myself, I had help with the translations, the marketing graphics and testing. Even if you can do everything alone, I wouldn't recommend it. Just for testing it's a bad idea.

I released a Right Before Release Access version only for Linux on 6th of October on Itch.io and the full version was released on the 18th of November on Steam and Itch.io. It's a simple and challenging platformer in a minimalistic environment. You can get it on Steam and Itch.io.

After the release, I released 9 small updates for the game. None of them were necessary to fix relevant bugs (although there were a couple irrelevant bugs that are fixed now) but they made the game overall better - quality of life changes, performance improvements and a special mode for christmas time just to name a few changes!

Another highlight was the first speedrun of the game by LilaInTheWorkshop. You can see it here on YouTube.

I really like to update my existing games but most of the games I released were made with the help of other programmers and it was always harder to just push out updates (even though many of the old games had at least one update this year). I really enjoy working on my games mostly alone just because I'm faster and involved in all aspects of the development.



The Future


On 2th December I started working on my next game, which will be released somewhen in 2021, and it is much more complex than Bring Back The Sun. I think the overall size of the code base will be at least 10 times larger when it is released. It is challenging but the right project for me! :D

That's it!
Thanks everyone!

Daniel