It's been a while, hasn't it? Things have happened!
I ended up suffering from pretty bad burnout back in December 2020 and needed to work on my mental health a lot. I'm still working through the MH side of things as it will take a while for everything to go through the diagnosis process, but things are progressing and I'm certainly in a better place now.
It wound up being around five to six months before I started doing anything game development related and even then they were not large pieces of work, like small design document tweaks.
As a note, I also tweaked stuff on my website and have some plans in the works for doing some kind of membership subscription. (maybe using Patreon or Kofi, I haven't quite decided yet)
These small tweaks gradually grew and I ended up at least redesigning the visuals for Project 2 a few times and eventually changing engines.
I found that on coming back to the design, going for a 3D approach didn't work well for me and it would have involved more work especially in determining a good stylised look.
For the redesign I know I wanted to go for a top-down approach and have it tilebased. As with my other games, Best Garden and Dungeons of Loot I was very familiar with both pixel tiling and more flat tiling.
For me, this looked great and I wanted to go forward, then engine limitations happened.
I say engine limitations, it is more I couldn't find much info on making things pixel perfect in a good way in Stride3D (We'll get on to the reason for the engine change in a bit).
In the end, I've ended up going for flat pastel colours as I did with Best Garden for the tiles and stuck with the navy blue background. These are developer graphics and will change by the final release.
Being away from game development for an extended time and having time to hone my skills as a software developer to see that I was fighting too much to get Unity to do what I wanted.
Which was one of the main reasons I switched to Stride (Formerly Xenko) which I've found I've enjoyed working with so far after the initial learning curve.
The fact I can use NuGet packages out of the box is a big plus for me as I like to use things like code style packages and split out re-usable code into external packages where it will be used across multiple projects.
There are also downsides, I had to change up the visual style I wanted to use as I couldn't get it pixel perfect for UI elements. There was a bit of a learning curve with accessing everything and what scripts to use where.
I've been pretty burnt out but I gradually getting there. I've also started my game development again and this time I'm managing my time a lot better!
It's great to be back everyone and doing game development again! Feel free to share!