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ThinkBoxly is the personal developer blog of Lucas Chasteen, author, programmer, artist, and always learning. Read more

Friday, September 22, 2017

Update 18 - VNgen: Coming Soon!


When you've spent enough time working on a project, it's funny how the end can sort of sneak up on you. No matter how long you've spent anticipating it, how many tears you've shed wishing it were here, when the time finally comes to set foot over the finish line, it sort of just... happens.

"Oh, yeah. That was it." That was pretty much my response this past week when I checked the last feature off VNgen's to-do list. It was a feature I'd been dreading for a while—not because I was worried I couldn't do it, but because of the amount of unique code it required. Tedium, in other words.

Well, now the boring slog is over, and one year later VNgen is officially feature-complete! There's still a handful of work to be done before it's ready to be called Version 1.0, but that day is coming up fast! As such, this weekend we'll not only be taking a look at the many changes and additions that have been made recently, but what you can expect for when and how VNgen will be unleashed upon the world. So what are you waiting for? Hit that "read more" button now!

Friday, September 08, 2017

Update 17 - Music to the Ears


It's hard to believe, but it has now been two weeks since the unveiling of Yugure no Kagami as the debut game of my indie career. Things have been a bit quiet since then, but don't let the silence deceive you: behind the scenes, things are more active than ever. So much so that, in fact, this week we'll be able to check off a category from the to-do list entirely—and you'll get to hear the results!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Update 16 - Total Eclipse of the Start


Well, the USA's first total solar eclipse in nearly 40 years has come and gone, and along with it my promise to formally announce the project I've been keeping under wraps for the past two-and-a-half years. Overall it was a successful day, with hundreds of visits and interactions on sites and social media pages literally no one had ever seen before. You can check them out here (Twitter), here (Facebook), and here (official site), by the way.

Now, 'hundreds' isn't a very good number in the long term, but it's incredibly difficult to penetrate all the other voices on the internet. The initial task of raising awareness is a long and slow process, and often happens organically despite any efforts you may make. As an example, this site itself didn't receive much attention until I started operating as an indie developer, where traffic is now fueled largely by sites where I sell my work—and where I've done next to zero marketing.

Marketing can often seem an enigma, so perhaps as I work and learn I can one day share my experiences on this devblog. But! In the meantime, it's been an incredibly important past two weeks for me, and this intro has gone on long enough, so let's get started reviewing the highlights, shall we?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Update 15 - Announcing the Announcement


If you've followed this dev blog for very long, you've probably seen a hint or two dropped that more has been going on behind the scenes than just VNgen. Well, the planets have aligned—literally—and that means it's finally time to take the wraps off the super-secret project I've been teasing all year.

But don't worry! Work on VNgen continues, so as is custom around here, we'll also be spending time looking at how it has changed and evolved over the past couple weeks too.

It's a bit of an unusual list this time around, so be sure to take a look after the jump!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Update 14 - Hands Off!


Last time, we took an in-depth look at some of the inner workings of VNgen and the challenges presented by adding very non-standard finishing touches on very standardized elements. It's an ongoing challenge, and one that will remain until VNgen's completion. For the past two weeks, however, that hasn't really been the priority. The problem with standard design is that it often leaves a few gaps behind, and the problem with non-standard design is that it often leaves a mess behind. This weekend, we'll be taking a look at how VNgen is cleaning up both, and how automation can make these and other tasks more convenient for the end user. Let's dive right in!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Update 13 - Shader Business


It has now been four weeks since text was first introduced in VNgen, and two weeks since the debut of X1, the site that will serve as the home for documentation for all my work, moving forward. That site is now live, by the way, and includes an official issue tracker to publicly manage bug reports and feature requests.

Needless to say, it's been a productive month all around. But as I said before, more often than not it's baby steps as opposed to huge leaps now that so much of the groundwork has been laid on my current projects. As a result, this weekend we have the opportunity to take a bit closer look than usual at what's happening in VNgen. Find out more after the jump.