Meegles Swan

Assets, Tiled, and Game Marketing Progress

It’s been nearly a month since my last post. During that time, I’ve been working a lot on the game, mostly on assets and learning the ins and outs of Tiled. It’s taken a few days to really get familiar with it, which I wasn’t expecting. There was definitely a lot of scratching my head going on. I’ve also been reading and learning a lot about marketing a game, thanks to Chris Zukowski’s great game marketing content. It’s all got me questioning my own insanity though, and feeling hesitation in creating a city-builder. It’s not recommended to create your dream game the first time around, but I have created other games in the past (that’s my excuse anyway). But the thought of switching gears and making a simple game that doesn’t interest me much, doesn’t appeal to me. At the same time, making this game could take years.

Some Assets I’ve Created So Far

Here are a few assets I created recently. I did these in Pixel Studio on the iPad. It’s really nice to be able to work on the iPad, as I get tired of being at the computer and find my current drawing tablet pretty difficult to use in Aseprite. I can’t recommend the app enough – it’s a little difficult to learn, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze.

It’s an interesting challenge to create an animal in 16×16 pixels, but I was thinking it might actually be a good way for new artists to learn. There are only so many pixels you can get right or wrong, which limits the complexity. I may need to expand my palette at some point though, as I don’t have much to work with as far as reds and yellows.

Deadlines? At this stage?

I may need a deadline to create a deadline. The thought of predicting things at this stage is really overwhelming. I need more time dreaming and playing to know. I’m doing things in what I think is a safe and logical step toward an end. I still don’t fully know what kind of game this will be. I’m taking time in determining what I’m really inspired by and what I think players will also enjoy playing, and something that isn’t just a copy of an existing game. In the meantime, I am crunching on pixel assets that I think I will need…animals, characters, terrain, etc.

I know that I want to create a game with a lot of variety, meaning doing a single thing could have a ripple effect to how the game plays out, so that playing it a second time will still be interesting. Training up a class of characters should affect the game, and not just be numbers that exist somewhere in the computer, where the player has no idea how or why the game changed course. I really keep coming back to this notion of a “simulation”, but I don’t know if that’s the right name for it. I haven’t actually played Dwarf Fortress, but am inspired by the depth and realism of the game. I don’t know if I can ever get near the complexity of that game, but making something that simulates reality is appealing and is what got me interested in computers a long time ago.

Are you just remaking Oregon Trail?

Making a game set in the wild west reminds me of playing Oregon Trail in the fifth grade. I loved that game and relished every moment I got to play it (which was in elementary school). I remember the joy I got out of sitting down at the computer and putting in that 5.25″ floppy disk. But I don’t want to remake that game, and I wonder if the wild west is the right setting.


I may steer away from some of the typical wild west themes. Do I really want prostitutes and for the player to fight off the evil Indians in this game? Do I want to show barbers pulling teeth, which apparently happened in the 1800s? Or doctors performing surgery? I fear that in the modern day, this may turn people off, even though it’s a part of American history. Should this be PG, PG-13, or just go for R? It’s a tough question, and will affect who the game appeals to. My humorous side wants to just get very real with it, but I don’t know yet :-).

Another apology…

I apologize for the delay in getting this written. Life has been pretty stressful the past month. I will try to update more often. I just hope that you might check back every now and then to see how it’s going, if that interests you. I created a mailing list if you’d like to keep up to date in the future. The name of the game has also changed as I wanted to avoid any potential copyright issues.

As always, I’d love to hear your ideas if you feel inspired to share them. Until next time, be well, and see you soon!


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