v0. Released, Just in Time for an Anniversary!

You know the drill, one new level! Play it now via the New Content Playlist!

There’s also a new playlist to revisit the tutorials, if you haven’t played in a while!

And, as of October 2, 2020, Cheer and Track is one year old!

I think 2020 has been a rough year for most people, and I’m no exception. I didn’t get nearly as much content and development finished as I was envisioning at launch. Heck, just look at the previous DevBlog post, I had hoped to have this latest level out back in August. But at any rate, I’m still here, and whoever reads this, I’m glad you are, too!

Let’s all keep hoping for and moving towards better days!

Sisyphean Slippers

I wear slippers indoors and I bought a new pair online a couple of years ago. They were cheap, and I ordered a size too big, but I didn’t want to go to the trouble of returning them. They’ve been comfy, anyway.

Now, however, the soles on both are coming apart, causing me to leave pebble-to-penny-sized bits of black plastic (I guess?) all over my place. I try to pick them up and trash them when I spot them, especially if I know I should wash my hands anyway.

Has this inspired a new gameplay element in the next update for Cheer and Track? No it has not, it’s just driving me crazy.

Buy a copy for yourself and four friends so I can get new slippers! Buy a copy for everybody you work with so I can get fancy slippers! …nah, that’d be grocery money, for sure.

As always, if you’ve already purchased Cheer and Track, thank you!

The next update will feature another short, new level and hopefully be out next week. Work-in-progress screenshot!

v0. Released!

This update features the latest cloud effects, one short new level (jump right to it with the New Content Playlist), and a fix for cameras not tracking properly with moving platforms. It’s now live on both Steam and itch.io! Check it out!

April Downers Bring May Floundering, and Geez It’s June Already

So, how’s everybody’s 2020 going? That’s rhetorical, I’m pretty sure I can guess. Barf.

2.5 months without a game update or blog post, barf again, sorry. But despite the evidence, development on Cheer and Track very slowly continues!

The next update should arrive sometime in June and will be another small one, again with one short new level, some minor bug fixes, and some small performance increases, I think mostly from updating to Unity 2019.4x. The new clouds are in everywhere and have an okay little spawn effect, but they still need sound effects and proper de-spawn visuals, and those probably won’t be in the next update, or ready for a while. Everything always needs more work. That’s typically game development at any level, moreso when you’re at such an ultra-basic level, but, anyhoo.

I didn’t expect the next update to take so long. It’s often very hard to get fired up to create for myself, especially when life is so stressful and unstable. I feel like so much of what I’m doing just drifts off into the void, like a message in a bottle tossed into the Pacific. So I made a little cartoon (literally!) about it.

I’m not sure why, but I find it relaxing to work on such low-res, lo-fi art. Maybe because my creative skills aren’t back where I’d like them to be, or beyond, at least not yet. So I get heavy anxiety working on “good” art, animation, music, or whatever, with expectations I can’t yet meet. Not that my technical skills are especially more solid, but I just don’t feel the same pressure when I script the game, and I’m not sure why. Whatever it is, I just have to grow beyond it.

I may add some super-simple animation with Blender later, or maybe I won’t. So, yep, this cartoon is also early access! Everything’s early access! Gimme five bucks and keep checking back, it might get better! C’mon, roll those dice!

If you’re one of the few people who have picked up one of my bottles, stuffed in a few bucks, and tossed it back, thank you!

Hey! You! Less Awful, My Clouds

The last new level was another one featuring the “cloud” hazards introduced towards the current end of the game, which reminded me just how rough they look. Sometimes the clouds are good, sometimes they’re bad, but they always look pretty bad. So they’re the next asset to get upgraded to “okay,” or maybe at least “better.”

For reference, the originals were just quickly-made polygon blobs, shown here.

Here are the new clouds. They still need work, but they’re getting better.

These clouds are made from Unity’s particle system, one of the key visual effects particles were made for. And the good and bad clouds now have different colors beyond just the shafts of light. The light shafts are still polys, but I’ve added some streaky bits inside. Is it rain? Is it energy? Do you care? Probably not, but I’m glad you’re still reading anyway! (They’re meant to be streaks of energy.)

Beyond more particle and other visual tweaks, there’s still lots to do before the clouds can be considered a fully-upgraded asset, even just to “okay.” They need “real” spawn (appearing) and de-spawn (right before disappearing) animations, with some additional particles and effects just for that, replacing the current, silly scale-up from nothing and squish out. And all that needs sound effects, which a majority of things in the game are also lacking. So it’ll be a little while before the new clouds show up.

As always, more to come.