Hi all, I wanted to start this thread to talk about the company I created- OrionGames, and the game we are making, Project Island. It has already been a yearlong journey and we’re not even halfway there. I’ll share my story, what I would have done differently, what mistakes to avoid, showcase what we had and what we have now and hopefully it’ll be useful/interesting to some of you. I’ll keep this thread updated over the coming months with our progress. It all started in October 2018. I was getting my Master’s in entrepreneurship and knew I wanted to make a game. However, I knew absolutely nothing about gamedev. I spent half a year calling and contacting as many people in the gamedev world as I could and writing the story I wanted to base my game on- I knew it was going to be a story-driven RPG since I enjoy those games most (even though now it transitioned to a more of a story-driven action game) and I wanted my game to have a unique look to it so that anyone looking at it, even with the corner of their eye, could tell “wow, it’s that game” (you know, with admiration, not in a bored tone ). In March I felt I was ready to take the next step forward and I wanted to make OrionGames (back then just called a gaming project) my thesis project. I founded the company and started looking for teammates. Boy oh boy how little I knew. I first reached out to fellow students- computer scientists, artists, etc. I guess you could call it a learning experience. I quickly learned that people have different definitions of work ethic and I had to learn how to cut my losses. I also learned how to fire people within a week. I didn’t want to make a traditional 2d game since I knew it would end up being a metroidvania of some sort and despite loving Castlevania, Metroid, Hollow Knight, and others, I felt unprepared to compete with them directly. I wanted my game to feel 3d despite being 2d and I settled on something akin to Hyper Light Drifter since there are fewer games in that genre and I prefer combat from an isometric perspective than in 2D. And so, my team and I started working on sprite sheets despite having only one computer science student on our game who didn’t know C# that well. Below are a few examples of what we were making. A concept art of our protagonist, Liv, and a sprite sheet of one of her attacks and one of the enemies’ attacks. View attachment 606628 Afterwards, I went about trying to find a CTO and complete our team. In the meantime, we were developing our vertical slice. We were running into more and more technical troubles, however. The 2D characters in a 3D environment were the problem. We couldn’t do anything dynamically; our file size was bloating out of proportions and everything was taking forever to make with a lot of inefficiencies in our process. We decided to take a step back and identify the biggest issues and in September 2019 we decided that the whole game would be made in 3D. That required a lot of refactoring, fixing up code, removing a lot of tris from many characters but it proved to be a good move. The other problematic part of our work was the filling-in effect that made an initially white and sterile environment colored and pretty. It is one of our unique features but we were using a projector which significantly limited the colors we could work with and made our game heavy on the gpu. Another pivot and another decision as we reworked the way our blot effect works. So, to recap, now we have a production of a game fully in 3D with combat, a unique world, and a spin on our artstyle. We completed level one, below is a screenshot from it. … And are now working on a part of the open world section of our game. I’ll go into more detail (with videos) in the next post about developing the grass tool you see below, combat design, and our work with shaders, but I don’t want our first post to be too lengthy. So, till the next one.