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Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going

So, it’s been a little over a year since I announced Jimmy, which means development’s been going on for over a year and a half. There’s still a lot left to do before the game’s finished, but since the Earth has rotated around the sun, this is an arbitrary enough reason to talk about the state of the game. So, let’s talk!

First, let’s talk about what all’s done. The enemy graphics are done. The battle animations are done. The enemy behavior is set. The player skills are set. The skill system is functional. The transformation system works. The field actions work.

Now, I’m working on two things: level design and music. I‘ve got about thirteen levels built so far. At my current rate, I can make about one level every five or so days, so I’m producing them at a fairly good clip. I’ve also got 36 songs complete; I’m knocking 1-2 of them out a week. There are a lot of levels and a lot of music in this game, so I’ve got a lot of work left to do, but at my current rate, it’s going better than expected. When I finish the music, I should be able to crank out levels a bit faster, too. Unfortunately, my job–which I can condense into a two-day work week because I work on a quota system–is about to get hectic, and there’ll be a few weeks where I’m working non-stop coming up soon, so progress is going to slow down for a bit. But, once summer hits, I should be really cranking stuff out.

Actually, let’s talk about summer. This summer, I’m going to put out a demo. I’ve been putting off assembling a demo because I want to have a good chunk of the game done so there’s less time between the demo and the full release, but once summer hits, I’m going to focus solely on producing a demo. There are still a few systems that I need to develop for the game, and coding isn’t my strong point, so I’m going to have to take some time to learn some Ruby. These aren’t essential systems, but they are things that I know I want in the game, so I don’t want to leave them out of the demo. So, expect the demo some time in summer–probably towards the end of June or July.

I’d also like to put Jimmy on Steam after I’ve gotten some feedback on the demo. This means I’ll also work on a trailer, so expect the first trailer later this summer as well. I’ve also heavily considered Kickstarter. A big part of me likes to do things on my own, and I don’t like asking for help, but the fact is Kickstarter is such a good thing for publicity. I feel like every successful indie game in the past few years (other than from established indie devs) has used Kickstarter, and I don’t want to neuter myself out of stubbornness. So, I’m considering Kickstarter. The money would mean less time I had to spend on my job and more time I got to spend on game development, so that’d be great, but before I decide on Kickstarter, I want to focus on the demo and Steam, so let’s take things one step at a time! I’d love to hear opinions on Kickstarter, though.

Over this next year, I’d like to finish all of the level design, the music, and the final few systems. I would very much like my next annual progress report to be about how I’m at least halfway through with the adding all of the scenes and dialogue, as I would like to be on track to finishing Jimmy in 2017. Right now, I think that’s a real possibility. Thanks for listening, and here’s to a good year!

Posts

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unity
You're magical to me.
12399
Holy crap, it HAS been a year, hasn't it? XD Time sure does fly!

I'm so happy to hear about the progress, and if you choose to go the Kickstarter route, I'll definitely be pledging funds for it :DDDDDDD

Your method of work shows a ton of dedication. I don't know if I could buckle down and do all the enemies/levels/etc at once rather than shifting my focus so I stay motivated. That's amazing! You're an inspiration! ^_^
CashmereCat
Self-proclaimed Puzzle Snob
11505
It's projects like these that actually deserve a Kick starter, funnily enough. Ones where one dude is working on this long-as-pasta game, with a track record of having made games including a previous well-reviewed 50-hour RPG, someone who has been working for a while on it already and just needs a little visibility. Undertale wasn't as huge a success as a Kickstarter as it was a release. Neither was LISA. I feel good things about Jimmy. I'd say to go for it, House.
Jimmy's our boy. And he needs all the attention he can get.

I would gladly back a Jimmy kickstarter.
You should definitely go for a KS, since it means that you'll have even more time to work on this mammoth. Also, I'm pretty sure that it will succeed...BIG time. Due to the popularity of Undertale, I believe that this game will bring a lot of players from that audience, since it visually looks similar (Earthbound-ish), but at the same time, this game looks much more superior in that area. I wouldn't be surprised if Jimmy would become the next Undertale, in terms of popularity and reputation. Good luck and I hope everything goes well for you and the game.

Also, you're the first person I've ever noticed that works like me. I tackled my second game's development in a very similar approach: finish all of the maps, finish all of the cutscenes/story/text, finish items, finish equipment, add all enemies, add chests/other on-map gameplay, test the game etc. With this method, I managed to finish a 30 hour traditional JRPG in less than a year (about 10-11 months). It of course helps if you can dedicate yourself during the time when you work on the game and keep a steady flow and focus. I can work on my games for 17+ hours a day if there's no work/RL stuff in the way. Of course, there usually is, but I had to sacrifice a lot of things for my games.

author=CashmereCat
It's projects like these that actually deserve a Kick starter, funnily enough. Ones where one dude is working on this long-as-pasta game, with a track record of having made games including a previous well-reviewed 50-hour RPG, someone who has been working for a while on it already and just needs a little visibility. Undertale wasn't as huge a success as a Kickstarter as it was a release. Neither was LISA. I feel good things about Jimmy. I'd say to go for it, House.

I believe Undertale reached its KS goal in less than an hour. I wouldn't call that unsuccessful. I mean, there was this game, Shadows of Adam, or something, that didn't even reach its KS goal. What kind of world do we live in!?
CashmereCat
Self-proclaimed Puzzle Snob
11505
Well, yeah, but Undertale's goal was only $5k. It got $50k in the end, but there are plenty of Kickstarters with far less promise that have raked in a lot more.
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7796
Has it really been a year?

*checks*

Holy hell it has. You've gotten so much stuff done in that year it's pretty inspiring! Yeah, if this ever got a Kickstarter, I'd definitely back it.

Keep it up, man! You're doing great!
You make productive people look lazy. Nice job. I think you definitely deserve KS backing!
Okay, wow, thanks for the overwhelming support, everyone! Like I said, I want to get the demo out and get on Steam first, but this was definitely a confidence booster, so I think it's pretty likely that I'll go the Kickstarter route. Again, though, one step at a time!

@luiishu535: Undertale seems like a rarity in terms of popularity; Toby Fox also got a pretty major boost from the Homestuck community, so it's going to be more of an uphill battle for me. But, yeah, Undertale and Lisa are two recent successful examples of people using Earthbound-inspired aesthetics, so that's giving me a lot of hope, especially since Lisa used RPG Maker.

17 hours a day is pretty insane; I was putting in that kind of time for The Heart Pumps Clay and at times during Born Under the Rain, but those had much shorter dev windows. Three years of that for Jimmy would burn me out. That said, I've been putting in a lot of 12-hour days, haha. And, yeah, I like doing things like that because I hate having to interrupt a thought process to work on another one. For example, if I'm in "dialogue mode," I don't want to have to stop and draw a character animation for the scene because it takes me out of the scene.
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7796
O_o

You two are insane. I'm lucky if I can squeeze in 3-4 hours a day. I can't imagine working for 12 straight hours every freakin' day on this. Granted, I WOULD if school wasn't getting in my way, but it's still difficult to imagine. Holy hell.

Thinking about it now, the closest I've ever gone to that level of grind was Remnants of Isolation, but that was a team effort, so I didn't have to make the entire game myself. Even so, I don't think I worked for longer than 5-6 hours a day because I like to eat and sleep.

Mad props to you, Housekeeping. Just keep your local hospital on speed dial, okay?
Geez, and I thought 2-4 hours a day on my games was pushing it. Lol

author=Housekeeping
Undertale seems like a rarity in terms of popularity; Toby Fox also got a pretty major boost from the Homestuck community,

Fangamer gave the game a big push, too. A lot of Undertale's success came from networking; knowing the right people to spread the news (and marketing the right kind of humor at the right time).

I think Jimmy's in a fairly good place to make a crowdfunding push. It has the support of a lot of devs on RMN and people are looking for other good EarthBound-like RPGs to play now that Undertale has come and gone.
unity
You're magical to me.
12399
I've been pulling as much as 6 or 7 hours a day for this swap event. 12 or even 17 seems like a lot XD But if you have the discipline to do it then it's totally awesome ^_^
You guys are making me feel incredibly guilty at the little amount of time I put in. ):
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