I hope your holiday is treating you well! Lots of hot cocoa and warm blankets and socks from relatives! I could use some socks. If any relatives are reading this, please send me socks.
I had to fight the urge to draw a huge Christmas thing today. I wanted this update to be barebones Sealark Update stuff. Mostly so when it's time for the next update in January, I don't wig out trying to make it the Best One Yet. But also because of time.
The past few months this fall and winter have been really stressful... It's embarrassing, but I shouldn't keep it to myself any longer... I've been having to work side jobs and do freelancing to get by since summer. It felt like I failed everyone for a long while because of that. And maybe I have for some folks, I can understand if I've stretched their patience and goodwill too far... I've done my best to keep moving forward steadily despite having more work though! And for the most part, I'm succeeding in that! In fact, I feel I may be working more efficiently on Sealark than I ever have. Every chance I get to work on the game, I feel so excited now! It feels like I've refound my love for making games. I had gone without it for so long, now that it's back, it's hard to understand how I could've ever lost it to begin with.
All that said though, you can only do so many 16 hour days before your health breaks, which for me happened a week ago. I don't want to go into gross details, this update is depressing enough as it is, on Christmas of all days! But it means I need to re-evaluate my priorities completely to avoid breaking my wimpy body again.
From here on in, I'm focusing on Gameplay and Writing. That's it. Up until recently, I felt I had to earn the right to work on these things with amazing art. Spending so much time making each asset to a really high standard and taking forever to get stuff done. I wanted so much to prove I was a great animator and a great sprite artist. But I'm not a great animator or sprite artist. I kinda suck! And that's okay, I think I see that now. I'll probably never be as good a sprite artist as the people I look up to, but I can be good enough to convey the story I want. And that's good enough for me now. My only goal is to make Sealark fun. Making it pretty will come after if time allows.
BUT WHILE I'M HERE LET ME SHOW YOU SOME SPRITES AND STUFF
In addition to getting a bunch of sprites done, and planning out the areas of the game, I've also fixed a lot of bugs, replaced the unweildly renderer I made with one that uses raw/core OpenGL (which is easier to use paradoxically), added the ability to mask/stencil sprites, and the ability to colorkey sprites (independent of each other, with alpha, in 2 dimensions, so colorkey shift animations can be used now), and finished the dialog renderer entirely (It kind of looks like paper mario dialog now, with how it's animated).
I guess in summary though, I made the same mistake with animating I did with programming. I need to reel these expectations of mine back to earth a little or I'll take forever to finish. It's takin' a long while, but I will finish Sealark! Don't ever think that is a thing that won't happen. I might be really incompetent, slow, dumb, dumpy, and working like 5 jobs, but I will finish Sealark and I'm going to be really proud of it when it's done!!
My goal is to have a playable fishing/battle segment by February to show off most of the gameplay elements. Absolutely nothing else is happening until then. 2015 is going to be the year I release. ... I um. I don't know where in 2015, there's about 80 areas to do and so many fish and characters still. But you'll see them get done as I do them. I want to become more talkative and share more stuff and stop being so shy. And the first place I must work on that, is here, with you. I want this to be the year I finally deserve a fraction of what you've all done for me. I hope you'll stick by me just a little longer until then...
Thank you all for your support! You've carried me through some tough days, and I'll always appreciate everything you've done for me. Please enjoy your holiday and have a good New Years!