Hello, I'm fedellen and this is a test of the devlog broadcasting system. My intent is to start a weekly devlog where I write about what we've been working on, some personal indie dev insights, as well as lay out our main goals for the next week. I've been reading that this healthy routine can vastly improve our productivity as well as give our potential engaged audience another place to follow our past and current progress. Maybe Mondays are a good day for this?
I'm quite uncertain on the type of formatting I want for this blog on the web development side of things. Overall, I'm loving the new layouts we've been tweaking with across our domain and I'm getting more comfortable with diving into the CSS/HTML code so I'm sure it'll work out in the end.
We're Pixel Pajama Studios, a tiny indie game studio based in Minnesota, USA currently focusing on making pixel art games designed for mobile. We're abonbon and fedellen, two self-taught hobbyist indie developers and parents wishing they had more time. In May of 2018 we began our pixel art journey as an enjoyable hobby to share together. Quickly, we shifted focus towards turning our art into games.
Our first real project was a 2d pixel art adventure platformer called Adventures of Duck Guy. The scope ended up being a little too large for a first time project and is currently on hold but it did end up being the perfect environment for me to learn to program with Stencyl. After 6-8 months of on and off development I decided I was proficient enough to simply make a tiny game and put it out on the market -- Astral Defense.
For any indie devs reading this, I highly recommend polishing a game with a very limited scope and putting it out there. The learning experience is absolutely amazing and you grow your brand no matter the result. Not to mention you're building an amazing portfolio for yourself and learning how to 'finish' a game, which is a very important skill. This is probably especially important if you're working on a very long project; take a break and release a game.
Sonar Smash Development
Currently we're working on Sonar Smash as a team. I'd describe it as some super advanced dolphin Galaga in your pocket. We tend to get a lot of Ecco the Dolphin related comments on Twitter and Instagram, as if its the only pixel art dolphin in existence. The original plan was to clone Astral Defense in another theme but we ended up expanding on all of the mechanics and making something I think is very unique and special.
I'm very pleased with the game play in it's current state and proud to say we'll be moving towards a community beta involving our mailing list and Discord soon. In the most recent weeks I've been building lots of new menus and continuing to balance the procedural generation and enemy AI while abonbon has been tweaking and polishing numerous sprites and animations.
Overall our main goal next week is to put some polish on our upcoming Early Reveal Trailer with which will also premiere and showcase an original track by abstractionMusic. My focus will be shifting towards web development and marketing to get us set up to formally "announce" Sonar Smash. Mainly by finishing up our press kit and preparing a press release. On the coding side of things I also hope to piece together the rest of the Daily Rewards system which includes writing the auto saving system and creating the stat/power selection screens.
Thanks for reading,
fedellen, Pixel Pajama Studios