Monochrome Heights Devlog #10 – An Unexpected Break

I’m making my first commercial indie game, Monochrome Heights. It’s a 2D “tough-as-nails” platformer.

This week I took a bit of an unplanned break from working on the game. While I have actually done some work on the game, it hasn’t been anywhere near the amount I planned for this week. Nor was it the kind of work I had set out to do this week. But I’m not too worried about it. I don’t think I was burned out or overworking myself, but this has been a welcome pause, nonetheless.

In April, I finished a build that consisted of 23 levels and had several individuals playtest it. I began working on fixes for various issues and also began generating a few additional levels and new mechanics. I had communications and meetings with folks who are helping out on various aspects of the game, such as the narrative, the music and the art. It felt like a really productive month that pushed the game forward. 

A GIF of Happy the Robot sitting and listening to music on his headphones. IMAGE CREDIT: One Frog Games.

I told myself that in May I’d focus on getting the narrative sections working, and building the systems for that. To be honest, it has felt like a bit of a daunting task. Not because it will be incredibly hard, but because it will require building some new code from scratch and creating lots of new objects in Unity. It will be time consuming and requires some planning. There are a number of ways I can approach this, and there’s not exactly a right or wrong way. I’ve begun this work, and at the beginning of the week I was chipping away at it, but as the week wore on, I let myself get swept up in other activities not involving the game.

And I think that’s okay! I still need to, and plan to, tackle this aspect of the game this month, but I need to do it when I have the energy and thoughtfulness it will require. I haven’t completely abandoned the game this week. I still managed to work a bit on some artwork, watch a playtester work through the game, listen to some of the music the composer is working on, and other small but important things.

The work and activities I’ve been doing outside the game have been important for my financial and social life too. Ultimately this unexpected break shouldn’t cause too many setbacks. In fact, I think it’s made me really ready to face the next challenge eagerly next week. I’m taking this week as a reminder that after a big milestone, such as the April playtest, it’s good to plan for a bit of downtime.

If you’re interested in following along in more detail, sign up for the Monochrome Heights mailing list here. You’ll get exclusive access to early demos and additional short updates. Until next time. Thanks for reading! 

Share any thoughts on the game in the comments below or come find me on the Boss Rush Discord.

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