Once again, its been months since my last post. This is mostly due to me not really developing any games at the moment. I feel more confident and excited posting updates about our gamedev related ventures. This is probably a bad habit that I do intend to remedy.
Before developing List Together I made a long journey into learning different web development tools and programming languages. The amount of free educational content on the web continues to impress and amaze me.
In my last post, I had recently redesigned and redeployed our website with WordPress rather than Weebly. To do this, I used some no-code solutions with Elementor and Divi. As a game programmer, this didn’t feel like much of an upgrade to me. Because of all of this, I took a huge step forward in my development skills and began researching something much deeper. My goal from this adventure is quite simply, to get a software dev job.
Throughout November and December, I pushed myself through an online full stack development course from the University of Helsinki. If anyone reading this is looking to learn web development or programming, I highly recommend this course. I was fairly prepared for it having already developed some games and knowing the basics of HTML and CSS. This course greatly accelerated my understanding and confidence.
To cement my new knowledge from the course I decided to create a web app. The hardest part of this course for me were the TypeScript lessons. Therefore, I decided to make this web app completely in TypeScript so I could better understand it.
As for what kind of app, I looked at the one thing we’re always using every day — a grocery list app. I hoped to create an app that improved our list routine. An app that will save us a little time, that we can change, and that we could share.
The tools I decided to focus on for this project were React, TypeScript, Postgres, Dokku, Apollo Server/Client, and GraphQL. All of these tools are open source and everything I’ve learned is open on the web. Considering this, it was an easy decision to make List Together’s code also open source. This will also make it easier to share my work to potential employers.
My goal was to make List Together easy to use, easy to share, and as hassle free as possible. Users can create lists, add items, strike items, delete items, and add notes to items. Shared users get updates to the list instantly when viewing the app, and most actions will provide an on screen notification of the update.
I’m not going to dive much deeper into the web app in this post. If you’re interested in checking it out, just head over to listtogether.app. I will continue add features to the project and fix any bugs I find based on the amount of use and feedback the app gets.
Pixels for Hire
Our commissions have remained open during these months. There have been numerous requests and exciting opportunities. Currently, our rates would not quite cover all of our bills and expenses. Because of this, we’ve refrained from dropping any commissions open posts through our social media feeds to avoid getting too much work.
abonbon has had the privilege of creating some wonderful artwork, animations, and game sprites for several clients. I’ve been helping with client communication, setting up the business side (estimates, invoices, taxes), and scoping out the projects. It has been an absolute pleasure to watch the amazing pieces she has been producing. Her portfolio and talent continues to grow.
I have several projects and goals in mind coming up next. The first and foremost is to secure a stable source of income. Preferably this comes as some type of remote software/web developer job opportunity. For this, I intend to continue sending my resume to more and more companies in the coming months.
Another project I hope to begin is redeveloping our website once again. This time I would like to use my new knowledge and create it with a Next.js or Gatsby front end. I have become very confident with both TypeScript and React and I’m excited to put our website into something more modern. I intend to keep a headless WordPress in the backend rather than redeploying all of our posts and content.
As for gamedev, I hope to develop and release a tiny pixel balloon game at some point this year. This project is inspired by a pretty awful and lazy balloon app our son was interested in. I determined that I could make a much better game without all the ads or paywall content.
On a related note, our Sorceress’ Forest assets and demo have been on hold for months. The Doomridge Dungeon assets have slowly been making some sales on Itch.io and the Unity Asset Store. Due to this, I intend to finish up the Sorceress assets and release them, hopefully also this year.
fedellen, Pixel Pajama Studios