For most of the past year I've been developing IOS versions of my most popular Android apps. I've felt very much outside of my comfort zone and found Apple's developer portal to be quite difficult in some of the ways that it works. The problem has been exacerbated by the fact that I've been porting my games using an Eclipse based tool which has meant some of Apple's native XCode functionality has not been available to me. Testing, debugging and provisioning have all been quite challenging at times. Unfortunately the performance of my games on IOS has not yet been good enough to cover the cost of the investment I made in Apple hardware and developer licensing. Luckily my Android apps are still performing well enough to offset this.
I became a little disconnected from the development process and quite "out of the flow" of game development. Then around November time I became quite excited about some ideas I had for games in the Virtual and Augmented reality sector. I decided to try to make some prototypes for these games, but because I was feeling out of the flow, I didn't get as far with them as I hoped. I dabbled with Unity and the Google cardboard SDK but found being in full on learning mode again quite hard work. I did discover that Unity is an amazing tool for developers and I'm still very keen to return to these projects later. But because I was struggling, I decided to draw a line under them and shelve them for the moment.
I've now resumed the creation my third slot machine game that I'd begun developing and it feels like I'm returning home. All the tools I'm using are familiar and easy to use, I feel like I'm creating a game that will be successful and programming feels like fun again. Returning to my "comfy chair" was exactly what I needed to reinvigorate my enthusiasm for game development. In terms of the product itself, it's not as exciting as the virtual reality game prototypes I was making. Another slot machine game isn't going to make the news anytime soon. But having an interesting game idea is useless if you can't get into the productive flow you need to actually build it.