Team Coral Blog

The Official "Where is Val's Venture/TideWalkers update, it's 2023 already" Blog Post

 June 18th 2023

Alright ahem So, we're about halfway into 2023 and there's been more or less complete radio silence on the actual state of these so called video games that "Team" Coral (still just me, Andrew) is working on. What gives?

Well my friends, I am going to tell you that there IS progress! but the progress isn't exactly in the area you would expect for an indie game. Basically, between 2018 and the video I posted back in January 2021 a lot, if not most of the game development was as you'd expect. The programming of the engine, the creation of game mechanics, some enemies/environments, learning how to animate and draw properly (still bad lol) ect. But as I was starting to fill in the blanks, such as story, game loop, ect; I then realised I was missing some very crutial parts to actually making the game. I was missing a story, I was missing a lot of experience in game development (and just games in general for that matter) so I started to work on learning how to write stories, and I started to begin working on learning how to make a good fun and exciting game. I had, up to that point spent over 3 years on getting this far, and I wanted to make sure I was doing it right (sunk cost fallacy much?). I knew that trying to just "wing it" wasn't a great idea, and I should have my work more grounded on principles. I then, in 2021 up until 2023, started to spend time watching movies, reading books, and filling my brain with masterclass works. (I also had to take a full year off in 2022 to take care of some personal matters, but regardless). During this time, I started to really understand what I wanted as a creator; what I valued, what my personal tastes were, how I planned to execute on those tastes, ect and how to meld the idea of story into my game.

We now come into 2023, and this year, I've been working on making my wiki (private) for the games. I ended up writing so much lore between 2018 and now, that I've had to compile it from large text files, into an actual database. No it's not something I can share (maybe after some games come out I would be willing??) but it's certianly serving it's purpose, and was worth the hassle of learning how to set up apache and a local server to host it. I've been literally filling in the database with most of my game dev time. Yes there is literally that much I've written, I've learned that I really like writing lore over the years. (I promise there will be no info dump in any of the games).

There's also the forum that I spent time making happen. It took some 20 hours to setup, debug, and stylize, so that's some amount of hours out of this year as well (read next blog post below for more info on that).

So, now that I've gone a whole two paragraphs explaing the timeline, and what's happened. I hope that has explained at least in part why it's taken so long to get this far (On top of my daytime job of running a local business construction company). As for an actual date on when there will be Val's Venture/TideWalkers. I'm not going to sugar coat the actual responce. But I will not be surprised one bit if it's more than a decade out. I have so so much ahead. The actual content in the game(s) is incredibly sparse right now (it's not terribly uncommon for some games, Super mario 64 spend 80% of the development time working on just the physics for mario). Also the long development cycle isn't too uncommon for hobbyists; Owl boy, Iconoclasts, Sonic Robo Blast 2, and Dwarf fortress are all games that have hit double digits for development time, so I wouldn't be the first for sure. I am quite literally still in pre-development, and I'm at the point to where I'm at the end of pre-development. I could take my game pitch I have, and send it to a studio to make. (I want to make clear I will not be doing that, I'm just stating where the progress point it.)

As for the questions I've gotten about "Why two games at once?" Well, I'm actually not working on two games at once. I started TideWalkers, but very early on, I realised that both the engine, back in 2021, and my lack of experience in game development made me not ready to make a full on metroidvania. I wanted to do something that was more simple, a 2D action, style combat game. Something that's still difficult, but something that's a bit easier, and I could go through the growing pains of the engine along with it, and it allowed me to write space lore along the way :). So to answer, Val's Venture will be releasing first.

I wish I could give a more concrete timeline, but games take time; I plan on keeping my job, and continuing my persuit of being a married christian man one day. All of this takes time, and I can't just stop my real life to make mermaid go burrr da ocean. I will say, however, that if things take more than two decades I will be greatly surprised.

That's all for now, thanks for coming to my TED talk, see you on the forums, or in the next blogpost, or video, and God bless.

Forums are online!
 June 18th 2023

Yeah, that's right. Team Coral now has a platform where YOU can interact with the community without big bad tech oppressing with dumb ToS and banhammers.

So what brought this forth? Well, it's been a thing on my list to actually do for some time now, but the final kick that actually made it happen was reddit's new API changes that made a lot of subreddits shut down temporarly, and I was once again reminded that the internet NEEDS to become more decenteralized, and the only way that's happening is if I do my part and have a forum that I've been promising the last 6 months.

I want to make clear, that while this is, on the face, a forum that's intended to theme around, and log my game development, It's something I want to see culture into an community of, well, whatever really. I want to chill with you guys, have fun, maybe play more Sonic Robo Kart Blast 2 (been doing that some over in the discord!), and get the ball rolling in that manner. I'm sure it would be a super fun thing to do as well as some other things.

Other than that, I plan to get the XMPP server up and running, so that chatting can take place on *not discord*. I will refrain from divulging into why I hate the platform at this current time, but I will probably make an angry blog post about it some time in the future.

As far as game development for TideWalkers/Val's Venture; It is in fact coming along, things are not stagnating, or moving sideways, but continually forward. It's something that's taken a LOT of time to do, but I'm sure it's something you will all be happy with when it releases. I'm not putting any sort of deadline on it anymore (haha late 2023 Val's Venture), but I'm instead going to let it just grow naturally as it will.

I guess that's really it for now, see you over at the forums!

The 2022 Update
 November 6th 2022

Hello there. It's BLink, and I'm finally back to update you all on what has been going on the past year.

To be completely straightforward, not much in terms of game development has actually happened, at least in terms of concrete, down to earth seeable results. There has been some work going on behind the scenes, relating to game mechanics, level progression, story, lore, and more, but it's not exactly things that I can put into a blog post and show you; and even if I could that would be spoilers, and we don't want that. The only thing I did was fix Val's crappy dash animation, so that it doesn't look like some barely edited sprite showing off Val's hip-thrust, that looks more like some woke agenda sex positivity bullcrap the new generation is really into. "Hey marketing team, is this really want our game needs to sell?"

The new dash makes it more clear on what the action is, and it can also be done on the ground, which should have been a thing in the first place. While playing the game I was always air dashing into the ground to run with high speed anyway, so stream-lining this down to a single input instead of 4 (jump, forward+down, dash) was a no-brainer. You can still dash into the ground if you want, to allow nice transitions from high jumps, if you want to get that slight speed edge, but other than that it's more of a novelty reference to a game that I've honestly put far too many hours into.

This isn't the main reason that there's been no updates this past year though. The real reason is a lot more dark and tied to my personal life. I'm not going to drag out my personal issues, but a close family member died suddenly back in december of 2021 and It's been a strugle getting back onto my feet. I was thrown into a bad position and had to step up and start running the family business on top of an absolute mountian of family drama and legal issues. I won't divulge any futher than that for the time being, but just know that it has been a huge time sink, and been very straining on my mental health in almost every single way imaginable.

Other than my recent promotion to owner of the family business, I've also had to move into an apartment, and moving sucks, so there.

I don't have that much else to add, even though it's been almost 14 months since I've last said anything. Only noteworthy footnote, is that I have updated my website to be more complete. No the forums aren't ready yet, and I don't have that XMPP or Matrix server configured completely, but I plan on getting that up and running by January if time permits. I also need to fix this blog post, it's not a true rss blog, and I don't have a seperate page for each blog post at the time of writing this, but if I do that I damn well know it won't get done. Throwing down stuff now and picking up the pieces as I go along seems to be the only way to get my fatass off the ground anymore. In fact, the biggest hurdles right now are getting enough motivation, and energy to work on Val's Venture. Game development isn't just something you can sit down and do. It's something that requires a lot of love and passion if you don't want something that's boring, uninteresting and uninspired. Unfortinately love and passion isn't something I have a lot of right now due to the current circumstances.

Hopefully early in 2023 I will have my life reach a more stable state, and I start getting into the groove of a new normal, so I can focus on my work and start putting energy into gamedev again. This string of spending an hour, and then having to take a week to just get an idea or something has been very time consuming and difficult, and I would like that to change. It means gamedev is fun for me again, and you get a game sooner.

That concludes my rant on my poor life for now. If any of the 20 people reading this wants to donate Robux, so I can injest them and have peace of mind again, feel free to do so now. Or you can just complain to me about the lack of progress like every shittitor out there that will happen when I ineviably hit it big for my genius game design. (<- this is sarcasm, I would never call a shittitor a shittitor.)

And for my next trick I'm going to dissapear for another year with no updates of any meaningful capacity.