Anonymous asked: Do you have any plans to do another indie game after ToG?

I have TOO MANY plans for projects for after ToG. The problem won’t be a shortage of ideas, that’s for sure. :-)

Pax East Roundup

So, I survived Pax East (if you haven’t seen it, here’s a post about the show complete with photos: ) and I finally caught up on all the biz dev stuff I’d been putting off during the show. That means I’m diving back into patchwork stuff for a couple of weeks!

I wanted to post some quick stats from the show though. We had 1,268 playthroughs of the demo. 212 of those were wins and 1056 were losses. There were 432 attempts on the “Nightmare” machine, of which only 33 were wins.

More interesting stats:

  • 397043 shots were fired!
  • 58540 robots were defeated!
  • The average kills per life always were about 42-48 kills, across all machines that was oddly consistent
  • The longest lifespan was 18 mintes and 18 seconds. Who the heck was wandering around the foyer for that long during a tradeshow? That’s crazy!
  • 5708 hugbots were slaughtered! That’s a lot of sad hugbots. :-(

Anyway, as exhausting of a show as it was, it was also pretty awesome. I’d be remiss if I didn’t call out how awesome my wife, brother, and sister-in-law were in helping to run the booth. Also, I got a TON of help from Meroka the youtuber, ex Coworker Rick L and volunteer Eric. Without all that help, I doubt I would have survived the show in one piece, so thanks guys!


Anonymous asked: Hi Joe! Loved the post of Gamasutra, and would really like to hear about those "combat demotivation" tricks since this is currently my biggest problem...

Thanks so much. I think that would be a full article in and of itself.

Keep in mind, I’m still learning a lot of this stuff. A second project would help me verify it. But some off the cuff thoughts right now though would be as follows:

-I surrounded myself with a positive environment—and was very aware of the things that inspired me and things that demotivated me.

-It can be hard to pay attention to seemingly arbitrary things like when you went to sleep or whether or not you’ve had any chocolate recently…but that stuff can be a big factor and it helps to keep yourself attuned. I know, for example, that I have about 2 hours right when I wake up when I’ll be super sharp. I’m not a morning person normally..but if I got sleep than those two hours would be awesome.

-I thought I was a night owl, but I found that staying up past the point of being tired (into the adrenaline point) would actually compromise my efficiency the next day. I *would* do great work during those late hours, but 2 or 3 hours past midnight are not worth sacrificing 5-6 during the next day.

-My afternoons are rough (calorie crashing, likely) but if I can build up enough of a list of accomplished tasks by noon then that success can push me to make an even BIGGER list by the day’s end.

-It might not hold true on a larger life-scale (I don’t know), but when it comes to day-to-day development: Progress motivates Progress. Success motivates further success—I searched for whatever victories in Tower of Guns that I could, no matter how small, and rode that sense of progression through times when I would otherwise feel stagnant. “Common wisdom” suggests “focusing on the big picture rather than details” first. My experience suggests that employing “common wisdom” would result in a quickly abandoned project. I needed those rally points.

Also, thank people who help you.


wyleong asked: Hi Joe, I just quit my job about month ago and I'm going indie too, alone. Just thought I'd let you know that I read your article on Gamasutra and want to thank you for the write-up -- it was insightful. I'm just starting out and I bet I'll go through the same hurdles you had. :)

Thanks wyleong—going solo is a tough endeavor. I don’t think I would have done it if:

  1. I hadn’t had a lot of dev experience ahead of time and
  2. I hadn’t had lost my job due to the company going bankrupt
  3. I hadn’t had a small amount of money saved up to help me start
  4. My wife hadn’t had a secure/steady job which could support us
  5. My wife hadn’t encouraged me so hard to do my own thing
  6. If the AAA Boston area game dev scene hadn’t been suffering/so thin

I tend to be a very complacent person-it took a pretty circumstantial storm for me to actually take my first steps down the indie road.
I had always wanted to go indie, but it’s easy to want to “have done” something like that. It’s much harder to “actually do it”.



well, today was a big ol bucket of “pax prep”. Packing materials, setting up meetings, printing out receipts, gathering wires and cables…busy busy busy times.

Today’s clock: 9 hours and 19 minutes.

Pax East Prep!

Man, I would like to be focused on the patch…but all this business stuff and Pax East prep….days just vanish!

  • minor bug fixes: typo, removal of logspam
  • added a forcednightmare config flag
  • made some flyers to post near certain machines at PAXEAST
  • I *think* (maybe?) I fixed a long standing bug where the pawn would …well…die again, mid death, resulting in the Death Stats being disabled.
  • wandered all around town buying laptop locks, curtain hooks, water, cough drops, markers, masking tape, hand sanitizer, power adapters, and a few other things in prep for the booth at Pax East
  • More emails, press stuff, and such.

Today’s clock: 7 hours and 3 minutes

I would have done more than that, I think, but I think I actually gave myself food poisoning last night and spent half the night (and some of the morning) curled in a ball. Today had an exceptionally slow start. Hopefully that’s out of my system now and I’ll get a good night’s sleep tonight… :-/

How Many Hours Did It Take to Make Tower of Guns?

Curious how long it took to make Tower of Guns? Well, I’ll tell you. 3850 hours and 5 minutes. How do I know that? Because I’m crazy and I track everything. Here’s a breakdown:

It has professional looking pie charts like this one:

So go check it out!

Also, Today I:

  • tuned droprates of guns?
  • fixed bug in  frontend menu highlighting
  • fixed bugs in frontend audio cues
  • cleaned up and posted the aforementioned gamasutra article
  • drew, scanned, colored, and wired icons for leech, xppipe, and grasshopper
  • tuned xppipe, leech, spike, grasshopper, and a few base player stats
  • fixed gap/coll in l5r4b3
  • tuned chompsalot a little
  • fixed out of bounds array in the Controller-variant of the TEXMAT kismet node
  • LOTS of minor code cleanup /removing old comments /etc

Today’s clock: 8 hours 19 minutes


So, I bought an iphone today. This was the phone I was upgrading from:

Actually, that’s the phone I was using cause I broke my old phone with a business car (what?) but my other old phone wasn’t exactly “smart” either. It was difficult to get through tradeshows and whatnot without a smart phone.

SO…I’m only about half a decade behind the times, but I got there eventually.

Anyway, today I spent 5 hours and 7 minutes on FX work. I’m stopping work a bit early tonight to go watch Game of Thrones.


Anonymous asked: Hey Joe, awesome game, I'm really hooked. Do you plan on making the the secondary weapons available at the loadout screen? What about mods and items? Don't get me wrong the game is already brilliant as it is, but I have an itch for more mix'n'match options. Anyway I'm looking forward to future updates, whatever you come up with, keep up the good work!

Thanks! I’m glad you like it!

I probably won’t ever make secondary weapons available on loadout—those are meant to be really special situation guns, and mods/items are designed to be stumbled upon and capitalized upon best once you’ve learned what situations theyre best in. I do think that having more options is fun though, but adding more to the loadout might be a ToG 2.0 kind of thing, if I ever make it.