The Journey Of Dodgecrafts

The Journey Of Dodgecrafts

What's up ladies and gents? Been a while since we have given you an in depth update on our latest project. On this post, we are going to run you through some of the struggles and successes we have encountered in the past 4 years in our journey to complete Dodgecrafts. So, as you may already know, we started out as a graphic designer and an animator ('we' being Taylor and Max) and found a way to collaborate by making games. Our design skills pretty much spiralled out of control. We were researching and designing various app game ideas and putting everything on paper with the quest to find a programmer who could translate our ideas into a fully working app. The first developed idea was Sketch Crafts, which now has the name "Dodgecrafts".

It was just a loose idea. The concept being, the user would be allowed to draw their own ships and then use them within the app. Upon further discussion, we realised this might be a bit difficult and modified the idea to make it simpler for a programmer (we didn’t even know what was simple for a programmer, this was literally trial and error).

The new concept was based on a touch-to-move idea.

It was basic. Wherever you tap on the screen, the ship will move to. Simple idea right? Touch screen, move here… that should be as simple as ever.

Not knowing a thing about code, we set out on a mission.

  • Organise our ideas ready to present to potential programmers.
  • Get a programmer to code a game for us. Should be easy to find.
  • Let us just explain our fabulous idea, and they will be as impressed as we are.
  • They will set aside extra time after work and pretty much work for us for free.

So with this mind set we found our first app developer. We had a meeting with him and everything was blessed. Seemed excellent. We were proper excited (at this time, Yasin had now joined the team).

We gave him our ideas and he got to working on them. Give or take a couple days, he sent us back a prototype.

GASSED! Our first prototype of a game. It was going smoothly and everything was going to plan….

Let us give you a little break down of how NOT simple making a game is.

Yes the movement is simple, and in your head this may seem genius but you're forgetting so much shit.

  • The ship will have to accelerate and slow down to make it look realistic.
  • It may need animations so you can make the movement look exciting.
  • How does the ship look when it turns to ping to a new spot?
  • How long does the ship need to be for it not to look awkward when turning?
  • The ship circles on a tight radius when pining to a new point rather than pivoting directly on itself.

Yh, these are newcomer setbacks. We went through setbacks like these pretty often in the open stages. There are so many things you do not even think about until you make something and your instant reaction is, “the vision in my head is not matching this reality.”

This is the battle we face everyday when making a game. Trying to replicate your dreams perfectly into reality. Trust me, the stress at times is ridiculous, but the rewards are so satisfying. It’s a love hate relationship to be perfectly honest haha!

So yeah, skipping forward, this whole recruiting devs didn’t really work out as planned. What really messed up us was, we would have devs that would agree to help us, then kind of just fade out and not reply back to us. This was so jarring. Why not just tell us that your heart is not in it, or that you can’t be bothered?

We then went through 8 game devs in 20 months. They all failed us.

Now weirdly, this did not discourage either of us. It was at this moment we realised, this is definitely something we want to pursue properly. Weird how so many setbacks would be the push we needed to take the next step on our journey.

Beginning to code for ourselves.

Relying on someone else for your dream to work now seems ludacris. Programming it is! This was when the journey of creating the 'Dodgecrafts' you see today, began. In the 2 years we spent trying to find app developers, we researched, upgraded and refined Dodgecrafts into a simple 2D arcade shooter. So we had a fully designed game, waiting to be created. Let's give it a go! Straight away within the first week...Stress! "Why isn't this working? Everything is correct. How do you find help? I don't even understand the terminology they are using to try and help me." Yep, trust me the struggle is real. This is like a small test. Are you really ready for the life of programming, because this is NOTHING. Literally, we missed a semi colon. One semi colon was nearly the cause of a broken laptop. The frustration will get to you. But, the relief of working it out is special. You feel like some sort of genius at the beginning stages. You have created something that you barely understand, but it is working. Beautiful feeling, can't lie. Over the course of the next 18 months, we learnt what it truly means to become an app developer. Various prototypes, numerous delays, demotivation, anxiety, but most importantly, hard work and dedication.

There were times where one of us would just give up for a while. Trying to work your normal 9-5, then coming home to work on a problem which you have been stuck on for literally weeks sometimes. It was at these times we learnt to motivate each other. Mainly through phone convos, being able to vent to one another, going through solutions out loud, and just trying our best to stick to our goals.

We have now nearly reached the end of our journey for Dodgecrafts and have learnt so much valuable information on the way. The setbacks are ruthless but it is what you have to go through in order to reach your goals when being an app developer.

At the moment, we are going through trials and errors of marketing. Something else we are learning whilst on the job. But with the past we have had, it is now easier to see setbacks as positives, and this helps drive us forward and keep up the momentum!

If you have read this far, cheers!! Just thought we would give you an in depth breakdown of the life of Orthors as a startup.

We will have the release date for Dodgecrafts soon! Most likely early October, so be prepared!

Peace Out, Orthors

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