2018 Retrospective

January 8th, 2019

A new year a new blog. 2018 was a pretty big year for me as a developer but it kept me busy enough that I never had a chance to write about most of the things that happened. So I figured now would be as good of a time as any to reflect on this past year. So here are my accomplishments/failures in as close to chronological order as I can get.

Magfest 2018

a small fraction of magfest’s arcade cabinets

I started 2018 out by doing something I’ve never done before. I showed a game I had worked on at a real convention. I had actually never even been to a convention before so this was an entirely new experience for me.

My makeshift VR booth

I showed off UFO Rodeo in a slightly more polished state than when I had showed it off at the science museum. It was a crazy weekend. Highlights included:

  • Super bad winter weather
  • A game breaking bug discovered by the first person to try the game out
  • Joining Ward-Games for an episode of their podcast
  • 1 set of completely destroyed vocal chords from repeating the same instructions over and over and over and over…
  • And a pretty much 24 hour a day party of video games and music
yours truly somewhere around 3 in the morning of the second day

There’s a ton more I could write but I don’t think anyone wants to read it. Magfest turned out to be a great experience. One that I hope to do again some year.

Ludum Dare 41: Foos Fight

2018 marked a year where I was able to complete in two separate Ludum Dare game jams. The first was Ludum Dare 41 where the prompt was “Combine 2 Incompatible Genres”. I choose foos ball and pinball and created a game called Foos Fight. You can download and play it for free from the link below:

What went right:

  • Game finished on time
  • Game was playable either as a local two player game or against an ai controlled opponent.
  • I was able to play with Unreal’s level sequence system to create some pretty cool transitions.

What went wrong:

  • The pinball aspect of the game felt pretty tacked on. none of the pinball elements counted toward the game’s score.
  • AI player just moves at random.
  • The balls have weird physics issues that can cause them to get stuck or act in a way you don’t expect.
  • The controls while similar to those you’d find in a foos ball table were pretty obtuse to have to use.

Foos Fight is a fun little game if you’ve got a sec and a couple of xbox controllers hooked up to your computer. I’m not sure what I would change if I had to do this one over again. I might play with bringing some more elements from pinball such as lights and scores, but I feel what this game really needed was just another layer of polish.


VRVA is a small group of VR enthusiasts here in Richmond VA that was started by a friend of mine. In 2018 he became too busy to continue maintaining the group and setting up meetups, so I stepped up to help keep the group afloat in his absence.

Although I’ve managed to forget my equipment on more than one occasion and we almost always seem to show up to locations were the staff had no idea we had scheduled a meeting despite prior coordination I feel like the group has been a success. We try to meet once a month for VR and drinks. If you are in the Richmond area come out and join us its a lot of fun! https://www.meetup.com/VRVA-Virtual-Reality-RVA/


I really want to tell you guys about this one as it’s the biggest project I worked on this past year but I feel like it deserves it’s own post. I’ll try to make a full break down of this project my next post and once it’s up I’ll link it here. In the mean time you can check out the game in the link bellow.

Ludum Dare 43: The Sacrificial Liam

The theme for LD43 was “Sacrifices must be made”. I made a little game where you played a clone named Liam. It was a comedic puzzle game where you had to kill yourself in strategic locations and then use your dead body to get past obstacles. You can download it for free from the link below.

What worked:

  • People seemed to like this one. It scored higher than any Ludum Dare entry I’ve made before. It’s final score put it in the top 100 entries and it got 5th place for the funny category.
  • For the first time ever I textured almost everything in substance designer which was great practice, and might be my new go to for game jams to do ease of use and speed.
  • I narrated this one which I feel added a lot as opposed to the text on screen option that I usually opt for.

What didn’t work:

  • I ran out of time. The game ends abruptly after three stages with a screen that just says “I ran out of time.” I really need to work on my time management skills and preventing scope creep.
  • The game came out really weird. There’s some stuff in this one that I just have to chalk up to being pretty sleep deprived.
  • There’s a bunch of glitches. I couldn’t get the gravitational death thing to look right so I played around with gravity a lot. The outcome is that jumps have a weird feel to them and can have unintended consequences.

All in all I guess I have to be proud of this one because it did really well by my standards. I just don’t know why. I feel like personally this was one of my weaker entries for a Ludum Dare.

…And lastly a big thank you to everyone!

There were a bunch of other events and booths and projects that I had the opportunity to participate in this year, but for everything that I’ve written about and for everything that I didn’t get to write about there have been people who have helped me every step of the way. From setting up booths, to play-testing my games for me, to helping me record audio, to just coming out to one of my events and saying hi. Thanks a lot guys. It’s been a really great year!


So what’s coming for me in 2019? Well once again I’ve started the year out doing something I’ve never done before, I got engaged! I’m extremely excited and I imagine planning for that will probably take up a decent chunk of my time. That having been said I still plan on joining some game jams, posting some dev blogs and working on VR games. I’ve recently started dusting off a project of mine that I haven’t worked on in a really long time. Keep an eye out for some new Milo’s Many Nightmares updates soon!

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