TALE TUESDAY #16 – BEHIND THE SCENES: SIERRA NEVADA

Hello everyone!
This is kind of a follow-up to the previous ‘Tale Tuesday’ which covered the ideas behind ‘Sierra Nevada’ and how it improved the general system we’re working in. If you didn’t have a chance to read it yet – feel free to check out the archives.
Let’s dive back in!

General project scheme has gone through a major change. As said in the last ‘Tale Tuesday’ – we’ve changed, so that all people from the team use one repository and simply work on their own branches. We’ve tried to change the scheme, so our workflow is smoother and we run into less errors due to the crew working at the same time. Such tendency was likely to happen because of the setup we had. In previous project, everyone had their own repository and had to update it according to changes in master repository. In the end, it was troubling if two people were making changes at the same time, especially to the same files. We’ve adapted a new strategy, which is common in the commercial use. We’re only using master repository and create separate branches for each version. Each task has its own branch which is closed once it is finished. That branch is then merged into the version it was made in. The strategy proved itself useful – our work was reorganized for the better and we’ve had less issues.

Second major change included shift in release methods, especially postponing new features several weeks. As indie developers, we could use that additional time to further develop the game before the changes surface. It was especially helpful to finally establish a scheme – this way, articles were published every Friday with ‘newest’ changes – which in reality, were created in advance. It truly helps if you’re an indie developer and I’d recommend it to other independent creators as well. That little change already proved right. Back in January, we had trouble with devices we’ve used for game development – we had 3 weeks delay because of that, which… no one noticed.

There were also other interesting things worth mentioning that were not included in the previous article. The best example is probably art and how it was done. I’m not an artist and we don’t have anyone skilled to do it – that’s why I have to come up with clever and better ways. I’m proud to say that all graphics in ‘Sierra Nevada’ were done from scratch by me. How? Blender.
As stupid as it sounds, Blender really helped in creating good isometric graphics. I knew it early on, that creating graphics for that game will be tough for me and Blender was actually a saviour and helped me achieve better results. I’m glad this idea came through my head!

All in all, changes in ‘Sierra Nevada’ really helped. I think it isn’t the only project to be a bit of a game changer..

To be continued…

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