Niall Moody

What I did in 2015

31/12/2015

So compared to 2014's post I guess I'm feeling better about things than I did this time last year, but honestly I'm still not sure how I feel about 2015.

First, the good: Financially, this is the first year I've (just) broken into making 4 figures outside of my day job (working part time at a supermarket). For the past 5 years I've been living on ~£8k, so that's a fairly big deal. All the same, only ~£250 of those 4 figures came from selling my games/artwork. It's pretty obvious by this point that I'm never going to be able to survive purely by selling stuff I make on itch.io and at games events.

(the rest of the 4 figures came from some mentoring and tutoring/consultancy work that came my way. More than the money this actually led to new friendships, for which I'm very grateful. That stuff doesn't come easily to me)

Frustratingly, this year I was involved in one way or another with 4 different funding applications, any one of which could have provided me the means to quit my day job and spend my time doing work I genuinely care about. Every one of them fell through. I guess I need to get used to this, because there's bound to be more of that in the future. Still, it does make for a pretty grim future, forever hoping some faceless institution will deign to give me the money I need to do the work I want to do :\ (Harry Giles' Funding a Ritual seems particuarly relevant right now)

Anyway, things I made this year:

A Fervent Longing
A Fervent Longing
A gentle collect-em-up made for #Teacart1k.

Never to Tell

A procedural puzzle game/roguelike. I think it has potential, and I do really like it. At this stage though I'm unlikely to spend any more time polishing it. I'll try and upload the source code at some point.

[encrypted]

My one big release this year. A short-form abstract roguelike where all the text is encrypted. Not sure how I feel about it. Its combination of encryption, procedural sound, and puzzle roguelike mechanics is completely unique as far as I'm aware, but I struggled to get any press beyond an initial handful of articles while it was still in development. And I'm pretty sure my writing for it is, well, trash, so it's just as well no-one has cracked the encryption (to my knowledge, at least. Let me know if you have!).

Also, [encrypted] is the game I took to Feral Vector, which was a bad experience for me. Not through any fault of the organisers I should stress, but it's led me to reconsider my plans of travelling to at least one big games event every year. I think in the future I'm going to limit myself to small, nearby events. It makes for a far smaller financial and emotional cost.

MUSIC IS FOR EVERYONE
MUSIC IS FOR EVERYONE
A 4-player music improvisation game for gamepads. Was meant to be exhibited at Games are for Everyone, but no-one could hear it over the noise of the event so I quickly switched over to showing Gravity Series instead. A note to anyone showing music games at events: always insist on a PA for your game. I've still not actually had a chance to play this with 4 players myself :(

Mount Pleasant Drive

The thing I am most proud of making this year. My plan is to work on more things like this in 2016, and step back from most of the more game-y stuff above.

A Dance of Whispered Truths

An adaptation of A Diary of Whispered Truths to be played in collaboration with a band (Mantra Collective). We played our first gig on Sat 12th Dec, with members of the audience improvising with the software as the band improvised in turn. We're going to be doing more of this in the new year, which is exciting :)

SnowflakeGen
SnowflakeGen
A simple snowflake generator. I wrote this to generate unique gift tags for the various christmas presents I was giving out this year, and figured I might as well make it public.

Hummingbird

(still unreleased) I'm still working on this. I had planned to release it around November, but then A Dance of Whispered Truths happened and took up most of my time. Was exhibited at beta public V down in London. Maybe I'll manage to get it out the door sometime in 2016? I have made a zine to accompany it if I ever do finish it.