Postmortem: Fun With Asthma

Well, here we are, at the end of my One Game a Month challenge. Once per month, for twelve months in a row, I have managed to finish a game.

Looking back on it, I’d say some were good and some were…errr…less good. Not a single one is half as good as it could be, given more time and attention, but they are all finished.

Fun With Asthma Title Screen

But “finished” is a slippery term, isn’t it? I mean, I would currently not even think of charging money for any of these games in their current forms. (We will be releasing “Flibitz” as an inexpensive commercial title later this year, but only after extensive revisions and playtesting.) All of these games are admittedly rough, but none of them has been abandoned like so many of my pre-one-game-a-month projects.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog posts, my good ol’ friend Asthma has been being kind of a jerk to me lately. For the last three months in a row, I’ve said, “Well…this is it. This is the month I break the streak and don’t finish a game.” Thankfully, with the right combination of work, medicine, and rest, I somehow managed to get them all done.

I had been kicking around the idea of an asthma-themed game for a while, but my recent struggles were what I needed for the idea to fully crystalize.

“Should I rest now and work extra tomorrow, or try to power through?”

“Do I need a breathing treatment badly enough to put up with the dizziness it causes, or can I get by with a few inhaler puffs?”

“I’m kind of hungry, but is it worth the walk to the refrigerator?”

After asking myself these questions on a fairly regular basis, I started realizing that they comprised an interesting set of tradeoffs. I decided to make them the basis of a simulation game. I also decided to give it a goofy title because crappy things sometimes seem a little less crappy when mocked sufficiently.

It’s been a great year, and I want to end it by thanking some people for being awesome:

Thanks to all of you who have played my games over this past year.

Thanks to Christer Kaitila for creating

Thanks to Mike Kasprzak, for making Ludum Dare exceedingly great in every way.

Thanks to Jupiter Hadley for playing just about every indie game in the known universe. The community needs more people like you.

Thanks to Randy H. for loving Judge Jury and Executable WAY more than it deserves, considering that it’s about the worst game I’ve ever created.

Thanks to Joel Couture of for reviewing “Journey to the Center of the Sun.” You can read his review HERE.

Thanks to Paul Abbamondi for also writing about Center of the Sun, HERE.

Thanks to Larry Martin Jr. for talking gamedev with me on Twitter, and for being an inspiration. Larry and the rest of his team have been hard at work on their upcoming game, Violent Sol Worlds. Make sure to check it out.

Thanks to Mark and Brenda Lare for being wonderful parents, and also for supporting my decision to go to Berklee College of Music which, oddly enough, started me on my long path to becoming a professional programmer.

Thanks to my brothers, Mark, Brent, and Trevor, the best friends I have ever known.

Thanks most of all to my wife, Rachel, and my sons, Andrew, and Caleb. Thank you for understanding why I’m doing this (even when I’m not quite sure myself), and thanks for being such a joy to live with every day.