Gold Plate Games

A few colleagues and I have started Gold Plate Games together. The aim of the company is to produce low scope mobile games, following the motto: “Pick up and play, everyday.”

I’m programming alongside Jonathon Anslow. Our solo artist is Aedan Chaseling.

Our debut game is a social mobile game called ‘Say What?‘. I won’t go into it here, but it has to do with sending people voice morphed recordings to each other. It’s funny and unique, we’re hoping that will allow it will stand out in the market.

GPGlogo

2016

I have another exciting year to enjoy, mostly due to the fact that I’m releasing my first commercial product to the mobile app market. It’s also scary because if it doesn’t get anywhere on the app market, we’re going to have to make the next game on another small budget and probably making something not that great, just to put something out to make money – that’s not what you get into game development for (well, I didn’t). Not to mention sacrificing your lifestyle to fund it.

Anyway, less negativity and more happy thoughts, please!

I have been doing some freelance work on and off while I’ve been working on the company’s game, that’s been alright. We might refocus the company to do freelance work after this game as well if we feel the need.

I’m thinking of putting together some projects in my spare time, either continuing the RTS, or making a Tower Defence, or some physics mechanics for a hover car like in Wipeout and Star Wars: Podracer. Work on the companies game is only going to get busier so I may not even find the time till after its release. We’ll see.

My 2015

My year in a nutshell:

  • Quit my IT job.
  • Started and finished a post-grad course in management.
  • Started a games studio/company with fellow graduates.
  • Almost released our first product to the world.

The post-grad course I graduated from was run by AIE. It was called Incubator. We were in a semi-formal office, with other groups and companies that were making their own products. In our time there we did a Vocation Graduate Diploma of Management (Learning). It took us through researching market/industry trends, prototyping, pitching, production, business automation – a whole lot of very useful stuff. All the while, we were producing our very own product. A huge bonus being in the Incubator was grant money, given by the college. We used this to pay for an accountant to set up our company and for traveling to PAX, in Melbourne (where we showed our game). We also used it for renting our Google cloud server.

It was a great year, nothing really seemed to go bad for me now that I’m looking back on it. I met so many awesome people and made loads of business contacts in Melbourne, attending GCAP and PAX. A representative from a publisher showed great interest in the game, if we have a good soft launch we may be working out a deal with them to really push it in the market.

I haven’t posted here for a while, not about the game or even the company, so expect to see more posts very soon about that. According to the stat tracker, I had over 700 views for the year… that’s a lot more than I expected. Now I’m definitely going to post more often this year!

So, here’s to an even better year!

Agile Software Development

A quick snap of our 2nd Agile Sprint - and organised desk space

A quick snap of our 2nd Agile Sprint

Our mentor has been teaching us how to use Agile to its fullest so we can make the most of our time in the office.
We’ve been using the poker cards to number each ‘story’ (the descriptions on the white cards) and break up the stories into smaller tasks.
When we complete all of the sub-tasks of a story, in the next mornings meeting we can move it to the finished section and reflect this update on the ‘burndown’ chart.
Right now we have an impediment with Unity and Perforce (the Version Control software that we are using). There is a plugin that we used to use with Unity 4, it would allow us to make updates/commits within Unity and have no issues merging scenes. The plugin only recently became available for Unity 5, but it’s buggy. We’re in the middle of working through this with their support so we’re using their visual client for the time being, which is great but less time efficient than the plugin.
Back to Agile – it’s great. When you have those days of being unfocused, all you need to do is take a look at the wall to see where you’re up to and keep going. No one wants to reach the end of a sprint with nothing to show!