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  • Writer's pictureLucy Rodham

Development Log 25/2/2023

Hello there, welcome back to my weekly game development blog where I share my experiences as an indie game dev! Firstly I apologize for going quiet for two weeks and for this update post being a little late. I have been busy but have exciting news to share with you all. This blog post is a much more relaxed post, with less talk about work itself, and is focused more on how I take care of myself as a game dev because I'm only human and need to take breaks just like anyone else! The first section will be talking about the importance of taking time off and the second half will be talking about exciting new developments for Strange Folk Studios!

From the 14th-19th of February, we had a week break from university called reading week. I spent most of the week traveling and taking a break from work for a bit. I want to share the reality of game development through this blog and the reality is sometimes you have to take breaks to avoid burnout. Realistically you can't work all the time, as much as you might want to it's not healthy and that goes for game development too. So to avoid burning out I took a break from university/company work, however, I did work on some personal work in my free time for fun!

For my break I spent most of it traveling as I mentioned, I went to Bristol, Exeter, Manchester, and London! It was surprisingly nice to get out of the town I live in for university despite my anxiety about traveling. I've been all over the place to go to a range of fantastic live music events! Alongside game development I also really enjoy listening to music and playing guitar, I believe it's good to have a hobby outside of art and games to be able to take a break from drawing sometimes. Moreover, I find it helps me keep on top of my mental health by pushing me to get out of the house and go to events which might be a little scary but in the end teach my brain that there's nothing to worry about so in the future I'm able to do much more! I haven't spoken about mental health on this blog before. However, it is something I want to address from time to time because in reality it's something I do struggle with and I want to show others that it's common in game developers and they're not alone. There's a lot of stigma regarding mental health and things like crunch culture in the games industry are serious issues affecting people's health. I want to provide a space here where I can share my personal experience as a developer and that includes talking about topics other people might not want to address. No one should feel alone in the way they feel and game dev shouldn't be glamorized to be something where everybody is perfect because we're not. I know a lot of game developers who struggle with their own health and although the industry is getting better and more understanding there is still a long way to go in combating poor working conditions.

Now on to the big announcement! I'm extremely proud to be able to say that Strange Folk Studios LTD is now an official indie game company! I'm also excited to say I have been appointed as one of three Directors of Strange Folk Studios! Thank you all for your continued support and we are excited to bring you engaging games to play in the future, starting with our first indie game SpiritSweeper.

Now on to the personal workshare section of this post! I haven't got much to show except for work-in-progress pieces and sketches but I thought I'd show you what I've been working on anyway as I think it's important to show that being an artist isn't always pretty final pieces, sometimes its just sketching for the fun of it.

- Image 1: Continuation of the artwork I've been working on for a few weeks in my spare time, it depicts someone playing guitar by a window. The line art has now been completed and I have started blocking in color.

- Image 2: Shows a rough sketch of the updated design for Deku from "My Hero Academia". I'm a big fan of this new design and wanted to draw it myself. I'm thinking ill probably do a final piece of him at some point.

- Image 3: Very rough blockout sketch of my Dungeons and Dragons character Mef Smigtom, a Satyr Paladin. He is leaning on a bar with a glass of whisky in one hand and his other arm is missing. I will probably go back into the piece in the future and finish it off, though I'm not completely happy with the perspective of the piece with the state it's currently in.

- Image 4: A piece of artwork for SpiritSweeper, depicts a large spirit who rotates the Warld in the game. It will be used as an asset in an encyclopedia.

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