Tue, 11 Jun 2019

1824 to 1924

alpha 1924 devlog


Exactly two years ago I pushed the first build (preAlpha 1724) onto itch.io.

One year after that I recapped some of the important lessons learnt from releases 1724 to 1824 and posted a note for 1828 that I would not release anything new until later in 2018. But no updates, no new information were released until today.

So in good tradition of calendar-week 24 being something of a seminal point in the year for Margin Magnate: here is the first update on Margin Magnate in 2019.

Healthy tree growth

Another Year

Two years have passed since I first pushed a build onto itch.io and started writing about the game every two weeks. One year has passed without any newly pushed releases or updates.

I planned for a 3 month long hiatus the last time, but it turned into 12. How did this happen?

For what happened until the end of 2018 you can read the post scriptum, but TL;DR: real-life stuff kept me from working on the game.

Mid-December I started to get back into working on Margin Magnate and I quickly realized that not thinking about blog-posts every two weeks - what I could implement to show off progress - made me feel more relaxed. Hence I was able to to jump between things that I wanted to work on freely, without having to force myself to stick to a single feature for two full weeks, just for the sake of a blog-post.

This made me much more productive, even if certain features would not see fruition until many weeks later. But then maybe a few of them did at once.

This way I could tackle bigger items without feeling pressured by any self-imposed deadlines, or if there is anything new/finished to be released at all. This went on until the very end of April. At which point all the things I had to work on were a matter of - at most - days, instead of weeks.

So with the beginning of May I had finally entered a new phase in the development of Margin Magnate: get everything up to 90%. There are many elements which are just unpolished, buggy or outright unfinished. But I improve all of them at an (even for myself) astonishing rate. On May 7th I pushed ALPHA-1919 to Discord (yes: that is alpha not pre-alpha and yes: I use Discord now as the distribution platform for the alpha builds - but more on that in another post). Since then the previously bi-weekly release schedule turned into a weekly one, as there are enough visible improvements (or at least ‘change’) within that time-period.

Quite a few things have changed and a bunch of new things were added. But I will leave those for other upcoming, more specialized posts.

How often will I post updates? Will it be bi-weekly? Monthly? Or just whenever I feel like it? You guess is as good as mine.

Indian Summer is a thing now

Post Scriptum

In my last post I estimated that the next update would take place at the end of September, early October. So why an update only one year later?

Firstly my mother had an accident, leading to haemorrhaging in her brain. When that episode returned back to normal my father-in-law was told that his cancer has returned and that he won’t even survive the night. The day after that my father had an accident, which was severe but not life-threatening with the right treatment.

About two months later my father-in-law was allowed to return home - after he survived the night and immediately started a chemotherapy the next day. Around the same time however, after being very close to recovery, my father died unexpectedly in the hospital. As to why is still a matter for the district attorney to figure out. To cope with all that I reverted back to my sporty self, running and cycling further in one month than I normally do in one full year. This was taking its toll on my body, but it felt cathartic, just like putting this all to paper.

On the positive side: I got my driver’s licence for trucks in November, which was the other variable for when I would get back to working on the game. This allowed me to partake in Upper Austria’s “snow-chaos” in Rosenau at the beginning of 2019, driving our fire-department’s aerial platform-truck.

And the week before that my wife convinced me to go to Iceland with her for a week. Thank you!

Icy road in Iceland


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