Of little games and their sequels…

Ooo, a mysterious title; what on Earth could it be..!? 😉

As you might be aware, I am indeed working on a new project — a game to be specific — that should appeal to anyone who has enjoyed playing Jewels / iJewels.. Originally I wanted to sit silently on this game, right until it was ready for prime time. However, as that point is still quite some time away unfortunately, I wanted to at least talk about what I'm working on. Otherwise there is not much to blog about, right?

So yes, I am working on a game, and no, it is not done yet, but yes: it is a sequel to Jewels and will be called… wait for it: Jewels 2. 🙂 There. I said it. Now what? I guess I keep working on it some more. 😉

. . . < insert some cool screenshots and videos here > . . .

Yeah. I realise this would be much more exciting announcement had I something to show, but alas, I don't want to show the game quite yet. Still much graphics to be done not to mention all the effects and stuff. To be honest not all of the (new) game-play features are done either, so there is still much work to be done. The basics do work and I can say with confidence that it plays sooo much better than the original game, and I really look forward to sharing more with you. 😄

While I'm not yet at the level where I could show screenshots from the game, I surely can talk about the tech behind it. This is (mostly) a development blog after all. I've been thinking about the Jewels post mortem I talked about earlier, but realised I didn't have much to say about it without mentioning the new tech I've been working on. In that way, it makes sense to just talk about Jewels 2 — from the programmers perspective (and yes, I'm still wearing all the other hats myself!). The next post topic is decided, then.

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In case anyone is wondering: why it has taken this long to make one little casual game? First of all, there is quite a lot of work involved in making even the smallest of games, especially if you want to have certain level of polish in there. And especially when you are not using a ready-to-roll game engine. When you have to do all that work by yourself, that takes even more time. Here's to all the indie developers, working alone or in small teams! Many of you make games way bigger than I have ever completed (even during the then-seemingly-infinite free time during teenage years), which is mind boggling to me, as it takes me a lot of effort to churn out even a small, casual title. 🙂

Still the biggest reason for me, at this time, is that I'm working at home with my ~2.5 years old daughter roaming around and about. There is just not that much of (focused) development time to be had, that's for sure! 🙂 And of course personally I have a tendency to be a little lazy from time to time, which doesn't help.

But fear not: I have been slowly chipping away at this project for about a year now, have reached the important (if arbitary) milestone of being "halfway done", and the game is starting to look great. I was hoping to get this done by the end of this year, but it seems I'm going to miss that one. Definitely next year then!

Next time I will be talking about the nuts and bolts behind Jewels 2, stay tuned for that one if it tickles your fancy in any way. 🙂