A Retro of My Last 3 Years
The second post on my site:
gladimdim.org/do-not-quit-or-how-i-resurrec.. was 2 years ago.
It was a time when I finally decided to stop wasting time (having three kids just forces you to do that, each 'free' minute is not spent on tiktok/yt shorts or nextflix, but is truly dedicated to something meaningful to me) and resurrected my dream: create a game about Ukraine in XVII century (cossacks time).
You can read about my first attempt back in 2011, when iPhones were rare in Ukraine but I already created a multiplayer turn-based chess-like game with Game Center. But something stopped me. I remember I took all the art from Cossacks game by GSC (just for debugging) and then realized how much effort it would take to make my own. And eventually abandoned a working game...It is still somewhere on Github but I am not sure it will run hehe.
3 years ago we were returning from another Living History event and I told my friends about that game. They asked where was it? And I understood that 6 years have passed. It was enough to graduate from another Uni, to change the profession. Even 2 years was enough for me to learn 3D modelling and continue on the game.
As I was dirty with React/Reason I decided to use them for my interactive fiction game. Then I saw the news that Flutter is in beta and they even had an event and announced Web support (experimental). I remember I liked A LOT Dart back in 2015 when I wanted to incorporate DartAngular in the startup I worked at.
So I took Flutter, rebuild everything in 3 days and...it all worked!
Then I started from small steps
- used existing pics from our Living History club to make Interactive Fiction Stories: locadeserta.com/interactive/index_en
- created a turn-based economic game
- converted turn-based game into real time :)
- started drawing Voxel art on my Galaxy Note
- all the art went into released game Sloboda
- based on this game created another one - Puzzle Hex: locadeserta.com/locadesertahex/index_en
- based on voxel art (more than 200(!) already: github.com/gladimdim/free_ukrainian_art) started top-notch trading game called Chumaki: locadeserta.com/locadesertachumaki/index_en
- created Telegram Bot that can play interactive stories: t.me/locadesertabot
- backend to save and play stories is also in dart: dikepole.locadeserta.com/catalog
All of that was possible due to the best Crossplatform UI toolkit: Flutter.
Flutter just clicks. Dart just clicks. I was never stuck due to some weird dart language tricks (like in JS). I think for first year I even never looked at the syntax. Everything I typed worked. I could target all mobile platforms. As I am a frequent platform switcher it was a crucial thing for me: run the same game on all mobile devices nevertheless of my current 'favourite' platform.
After that followed lots of different apps done by me. One of them is still used internally by my family: Family Planner. As we have three kids it was difficult to track who goes to which place, who will bring kid back, whats the plans on weekends, etc. Now we use it on a daily basis (btw, its web flutter version!)
So, during these 3 years I have Flutter 100% of my hobby time after the work. I even created an MVP with Flutter in our company but it was later replaced by the standard web app ;)
All the code everywhere is running dart: my telegram bot, all my 4 games, backend for interactive fictions, backend for game saves and syncs. It is all dart.
I still have a dream to make a bigger game. Flutter is not enough anymore for me. So plans for next 3 years: get dirty with Unreal Engine and release a game!
Let's see what's next for me in 5 years! (Unreal Engine and C++ :D )