Happy New Year 2013

January 1st 2013

With the coming of another year it is now 4 whole years since I first founded Retroburn Game Studios and began designing my first game. Over the past four years so much has happened to me personally but Retroburn itself has produced very little! This is going to change and it's my new years 'resolution' to get back in to a regular pattern of work on Retroburn titles and get some of my games out in the hands of the people that want to play them!

When I started Retroburn 4 years ago I wanted to design some small games using gameplay and graphics aspects taken from other games and merged in new ways. That's still my goal and I have a few games in production currently which I want to push to release over the course of this next year.

Over the past 4 years I have had a whole load of great game ideas and have begun development of about fifteen separate titles. Eight of these have made it to prototype stage and 3 of those made it to alpha with only Positron getting anywhere close to release.

In that time My daughter Willow and my Son Vaughan were born (to join their older Brother Damien). I attended a lot more industry events gaining valuable contacts and showed off a few of my game concepts to other developers, publishers and journalists. Last June I also left my job at WRM Media where I'd been for 9 years and joined TickTock Games as a Senior Programmer working on games for a whole range of platforms.

This past year I've found it particularly hard to get any work done on Retroburn projects and I have literally only been spending an hour or so each week doing bits and pieces on them. This year I would estimate I've not even spent a full 40 hours working on Retroburn projects which I do each and every week for TickTock!

It's not been a lack of time (though work and family life does take up the vast majority of my time), it's simply the fact that when I have a spare few hours I don't choose to spend it programming or working on other aspects of my games or the business and marketing side of Retroburn. Instead I've been playing games like Mass Effect 3, Borderlands 2, Worms Facebook, and a few other iPad games I've been hooked on this year.

So, I've promised myself that from now on I will spend at least an hour a day working on Retroburn projects (currently Positron is the priority of course) and if for whatever reason I don't get to spend that hour working on a particular day I'll make it up some time later in the week. This means approximately 365+ hours of work on my own projects over the next year. The equivalent of 9 full weeks of work if working 40 hours per week. I'm also going to try and update this blog at least once per week to show off what I've worked on that week.

I have to admit that Positron has also been a bit of a test for my engine/ I first updated the (XNA only) engine to run the game on Xbox, PC and Windows Phone 7 with various configurations using the same code base. I later began work on a cross platform equivalent of this engine (using the same basic engine structure but all written in C++ so it would run across Android, iOS, BlackBerry and other potential platforms) and while working on this engine I've been going back to the XNA version optimizing parts as I go. On reflection I probably should have just released Positron months ago using the older version of the engine. Most users won't have noticed that it dropped below 30fps occasionally and had the odd stutter but now all of those issues have been resolved at least in the latest version of the engine and game.

I'll keep everyone updated with my progress and hope to have something released soon.

I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Years and look forward to showing what Retroburn can do in 2013!
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