What happened in 2023 and why did I not make 20 game prototypes like I wanted to? A short postmortem.
Around the end of January last year I challenged myself to build 20 video game prototypes in 2023. I only managed to build 8 on my own (some of them with Tibor), so one could say I failed to reach my target.
In March I landed my first paid gamedev gig thanks to the guys over at BardTest.gg. They provide tools for members of the esports community with which they can measure and strengthen their skills like hand-eye coordination, multitasking, decision-making under pressure, et cetera. Their users have access to a variety of mini-games (that's where I come in), which feature core mechanics of first-person shooters and MOBAs. After each play session the players are scored and ranked based on how well they did compared to other users and professional players. Last year I finished the development of 14 mini-games for them, out of which 12 are publicly accessible on their platform at the moment. Counting these, I did manage to reach 20 prototypes, although that wasn't exactly my intention when I came up with the challenge back in February.
My intention was to turn a portion of my ever-increasing idea pile into playable prototypes. One of them was to make a turn-based game that runs on a big screen in a public location that any passerby can control using their phones. I cobbled together the proof of concept for the communication "framework", which worked fine. I became so sure I was going to turn it into an actual game that I bought a used TV and rented an office with a big shop window on a semi-busy street. It worked out great as a new workplace (although I was alone most of the time, so my initial productivity boost dwindled in a few months), but the TV was only collecting dust for 6 months, then my contract was up. We even built a turn-based physics puzzle for a game jam in July with Tibor, which I could've adapted to this framework... but I didn't. Not sure why.
In October I moved offices and started working from a small flat with a friend of mine (Viktor) who's also a software developer now. This setup provided a productivity boost that still lasts today, most days we're both in the office working on our separate projects.
At the end of November I tried streaming on Twitch the first time, made a short video game from scratch in three hours for TriJam, which was fun, and it only took me 7 months to muster the courage (just checked, I bought the mic in April). I no longer feel completely terrified of it, so I'm planning on streaming from time to time.
My new challenge for 2024 is to make at least 12 video game prototypes (not counting paid gigs this time) and at least 12 game development streams / videos, ideally one every month.