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WIBUT (Dec 2019 + Jan 2020)

Going to start shortening the title to "WIBUT" ("What I've Been Up To") for brevity.

Hello, whoever in this huge yet so small universe is reading this. December - Jan has been a hugely busy (and stressful, but more on that later) period, as evidenced by the fact that I missed last month's update. I've been adjusting to my full-time job, mainly focusing on balancing lots of incremental numbers and level + combat design. I'd like to talk about what I've been learning, but now feels a little too early for that, so more to come in the future.

Retrace, which I did QA testing for from last summer till November, released on January 20th - it feels a little strange to call it my first published game, but that's what it is! If you're a fan of tight character-focused narratives, RPGMaker games, LGBTQ+ rep and/or "Undertale meets Zero Escape with a generous dash of Umineko" as described by lead dev Els White, or if you'd just like to check out something cool that I got to be a part of, please take a look!

Something I've been mulling over the past month is how much QA was regarded as a temporary stepping stone, and only as a means to an end amongst my course while I was still studying. And while that was technically true for me, I really enjoyed my time doing QA, and found it fulfilling to identify issues with the game to fix, and small ways in which the game could shine brighter. I don't blame students for this mindset - I feel like it comes from the top down, and common cultural perception of what it means to make games - when programming and art and design and writing are the faces of game dev (and not all equally), QA seems like drudgery, mindless necessity compared to "the real creative work". I wish there was something more I could do to change the perception of QA than just retweeting threads on the subject.

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