Free Licenses! And an artist understanding his role.

Eric just discovered that the Unity iOS and Android licenses are available for free, at least for now.

This is astounding news. Eric and I can make Shaped and wont have to pay another dime for development costs.  Thank you, Unity – you guys just earned yourself mention in the credits for being hands-down awesome.

Development is coming along for Shaped iOS. Eric has been flexing his coding muscles and porting the game over to touch controls. It now runs as well as the PC version – just on a smaller screen and with touch controls. Over the coming weeks we’ll be implementing our other ideas for adding content to the game and making it worth the $1 we want to charge for it on the app store… more than $1 worth, if I have any say in the matter.

Here's what my afternoon looked like.

I was thinking of different ways to diversify the audio experience of Shaped and the idea of layering the soundtrack as the player progressed through the game came to mind. After an hour or so of composing I sent something Eric’s way and asked for his feedback. Part of me wasn’t certain that what I came up with fit with the game. It was good, it fit with the game sounds but it was also… upbeat. Too much so, for a game that was birthed out of a sense of loneliness. Eric’s honest criticism said as much and we’ve agreed not to make it a key part of the game… but perhaps it has a place as an unlockable.

Here, take a listen. Let me know what you think: Shaped – Building Soundtrack Demo

As I told Eric, I think part of my effort to tinker with the soundscape was prompted by a desire to shape the game creatively – something I haven’t really done recently. My greatest direct footprint had been left during the 20 hours of effort during Ludum Dare, my other contributions had been really nibbling around the edges – correcting the orientation of an audio listener or replacing a broken texture – or indirect contribution, bringing issues beyond my coding ability to Eric’s attention and watching him fix them. That’s how these things are supposed to work, after all; an artist is usually not a programmer. And I have other roles to play on the business development and marketing end of things. But part of me still wishes that I could execute things as I conceive them, directly, so I can carry out my usual work strategy of “tweak, tweak, tweak.” This is why having a good partner is so important – If I can’t do a thing directly, I can happily depend on my partner to help me figure out another way.