Dev Update #67: 2017 Retrospective

By January 3, 2018Dev Updates

Tomorrow, Gears of Eden will be turning two years old-ish (much of that first year was spent consolidating our ideas and forming a team). Still, in preparation for this Dev Update, I went back and read previously written articles and it’s… fascinating. The team here at Gears of Eden is massively different than it was last January. Yes, some people have come and gone since then, but it’s more than that. For most of us, this is a major step beyond anything we’ve tackled in the realm of game development, and the change that we’ve gone through as individuals and as a team is mind-blowing. Immediately, looking back on Year One Gears of Eden made me wish we could’ve started with what we know now. Imagine how much easier that would’ve been, right? But I’m also so grateful for the time we’ve spent learning here. Allow me to explain.

We’re so much smarter now. If you look back on our New Year’s Resolution post from last year, you’ll see we had three goals, and they were all… pretty big. We wanted to finish the first alpha release, and we accomplished that part. We also, however, wanted to release the demo! This meant being feature complete within a year… with no budget and very small team with very little experience. That’s an absurd goal and looking back, it’s obviously an absurd goal. We didn’t know that back then though. In fact, there were a lot of things that none of us knew. Literally, as this is being written, we’re kicking ourselves for a decision made a couple months ago that has held us up ever since. If we’d known better, we wouldn’t have made that decision, but we needed to make the mistake first before we could ever know better. More than anything, Gears of Eden has been a teacher more amazing than money could buy.

We’re also a lot better now, at all of this. There must be something about indie development that appeals to the impatient of the world, because this team cannot sit still. My favorite example comes from the artists we have. This group does not stop, constantly setting new goals for themselves to squeeze in wherever they can and, if ever there’s a lull, starting up smaller projects just for practice. They are the pinnacle of our impatience, but the rest of the team is right on their heels. From a production standpoint, we’ve grown exponentially in the past year, cutting fat and pumping out the best behind the scenes content we can. We even have members of the team learning how to program (of their own volition) to actually, you know, be helpful in the regard. Shout to Corentin for his patience with those of us standing on the sidelines!

Most importantly though, we’re ready now. I already can’t wait to look back on this post a year from now and see how, even now, we’re still woefully naive about the realities of game development. It’ll be embarrassing for sure, but learning always is. It’s worth every bit of it though, and this has been a great year for Gears of Eden. I hope you stick around to watch us continue to stumble and succeed in (hopefully) equal measure. As always, follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see the latest and greatest Gears of Eden news, or even pop by our Discord to hang out and check out our internal discussions! We’ll be streaming more internal GoE bug testing on our Twitch page this week, so please follow us over there and look for more content on our Patreon very soon! I hope you all have an amazing 2018, and I’ll see you next week.

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