Saturday, May 31, 2014

Whim Independent Studios - Development Log #26

Hey all, back with the 26th development log!

I've started committing to posting these development logs on the last Saturday of every month, to have a reasonable timeframe on releasing these and keeping people updated with what we're doing -

Studio and Twitter: 

I've revitalized not only my own Twitter page but we created one for the studio. Using some suggestions from the Indie Game Developers Facebook community, I've been #GameDev, #IndieDev, and #screenshotsaturday hashtags for posting about our progress. While I will be posting long development logs once a month about our development, if you would like to casually follow progress on our games, check out our Twitter pages to stay up-to-date on what we're doing. Please follow us!

My Twitter:
Company Twitter Page:


We are about halfway done preparing for the Kickstarter launch of Selatria. We have special things planned for the reward tiers (which are retroactive with the Indiegogo backers from last year). I will not spoil the surprises, but one new aspect for our new version of the game we will be presenting is a redesigned game logo!

Semi-final edition of the new logo developed by Jennifer Gilliland
The new logo was drawn by our game's main artist, Jennifer Gilliland. The new logo uses a more mystical look that, in my opinion, better fits the story and look of the game and the meaning of the word "Selatria".

As for the development of the game, we just finished Chapter 3-3, which involves going through the dungeon called the "Smuggler's Passage". Those who like a mix of going through dark dungeons with a torch and maneuvering on water passageways will like the design of the dungeon.

I did some of the initial mapping and the cut-scenes of the area, Chris composed the theme, Matt developed the fight and battle encounter mechanics as well as adjusting the maps, and Jon did the balancing and fine-tuning to make sure the pacing fit the other areas of the game. Take a look at some of the screenshots and listen to the theme!

ANTics Post-Mortem:

I wanted to write a post-mortem, or things we learned, about ANTics development alongside this post. I wanted to post about my experiences as a Producer working together with the programmer of the project and coordinating with the artist and composer to come up with the full realization of the game. However, I think this would be better if this post were to be pushed off until after we complete the other versions of the game. I have a lot I want to write about regarding our development team's dealings with Apple.


My next development log in June will talk about our experience as a studio first time going to E3! Hopefully we'll see you there!

Until next time!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I felt brave today.

I was working at my studio when I heard crying and screaming outside. Apparently this guy was beating up this lady against the wall. I yelled at the guy threatening to call the police. I'm not sure if it was my tone or what but he backed away and ran.

No one deserves to be hit or abused. Ever.

I felt pretty brave about the ordeal he could have easily come my way and caused a confrontation, but he didn't.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Great-Great Grandfather

A congratulations goes out to my grandfather (the second Grover) who recently found out that he's a great-great-grandfather -

I know plenty who live to become great-grandparents, but to become a great-great-grandparent, I can't say I've heard of that happening to anyone I know until now, and that's a really awesome title.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Excoriation Disorder

This is long, and may be a little graphic. Please be warned.

From Trich:

Skin Picking Disorder (also known as Excoriation Disorder or SPD) is a serious and poorly understood problem. People who suffer from SPD repetitively touch, rub, scratch, pick at, or dig into their skin, often in an attempt to remove small irregularities or perceived imperfections. This behavior may result in skin discoloration or scarring. In more serious cases, severe tissue damage and visible disfigurement can result.

SPD is thought of as one of many Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs) in which a person can cause harm or damage to themselves or their appearance. Other BFRBs include hair pulling disorder (trichotillomania), biting the insides of the cheeks, and severe nail biting.

Skin picking or other BFRBs can occur when a person experiences feelings such as anxiety, fear, excitement or boredom. Some people report that the act of repetitively picking at their skin is pleasurable. Many hours can be spent picking the skin, and this repetitive behavior can negatively impact a person's social, work, and family relationships.

Though skin picking often occurs on its own-unconnected to other physical or mental disorders-it is important to identify whether or not skin picking is a symptom of another problem that needs treatment. For example, skin picking could be a symptom of illnesses such as dermatological disorders, autoimmune problems, body dysmorphic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, substance abuse disorders (such as opiate withdrawal), developmental disorders (like autism), and psychosis. Establishing whether skin picking is an independent problem or a symptom of another disorder is an important first step in creating an appropriate treatment plan.

I don't really talk about this much and for the eight or so years that I've had this, I've been pretty ashamed of my hands. For those who don't know me too well, my hands are very callousy and bruised/cut from having this problem. When people would ask about why my hands always looked so beat up, I would lie and say it was from playing too many video games and typing too often. I take frequent showers in order for my skin to loosen up and become peely in order to have this sense of release. It took me until I started peeling and picking to the center of my palms and a trail of blood to realize I have a serious problem.

Starting last year (May 2013, according to my prescription) I began to see a doctor about my problem, and he prescribed me two sets of medicine to counter this and see if it's a form of eczema. The medicine, though my hands started to look better, still remained hard, red, and borderline crusty. I assumed it wasn't working then I stopped using the medicine and resumed my habit.

When I peeled to the center of my palms, I had a realization that this needs to stop. Now. I got my old medicine and began using it again and I started wearing gloves to sleep and if I'm feeling stressed to immediately stop any sensation from damaging my hands even further.

That being said, I'm stopping my biting habit today. I am going to find a better way to release my stress, anger, and frustration in a way that's not self-destructive to my health, my well-being, and my self-esteem.

For starters, I'm semi-retiring myself from leading Viva Eorzea events every night. I'm going to use Friday nights to cool off a little bit and have me time. For game development, I'm going to be going to work on my own terms. I feel like I'm more productive if I had a full meal for breakfast and not worried about money and eating out at restaurants. Also, the additional sleep and lack of a rush will do me some good.

I hope this post helps someone that's reading and is in the same problem as I am.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

ANTics is now available on Google Play!

Whim Independent Studios
premier mobile game ANTics is now available on Google Play!

*20 levels of BUG-CRUSHING ACTION!
*Gorgeous mesh of 2D and 3D visuals!
*Awesome powerups such as the "Light of Judgment", Firecrackers, and Bug Spray (among others!)
*Unique orchestrated soundtrack!

Paid Version (No Advertisements):


Free Version (Advertisements):


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Implementing ANTics Feedback!

Some feedback from the early versions of ANTics were that the game mechanics weren't explained enough. I've made some new Tutorial screens using the UI assets that Jennifer has made and the models that Paul has worked on.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Happy May!

Happy May! Lots of fun surprises coming from the studio this month - But before the fun surprises... the bad news!

ANTics Alpha Version [Android] downloads will be going down sometime next week as we implement the changes necessary for the commercial final version.

There will be a free version with advertisements, and a paid version for 99 cents that has no ads when it's ready to go live!

iPhone, iPad, and Windows 8 versions will likely come out in the indeterminate future