This entry will be a bit more personal and full of rambling about game development in real life and how come making a tiny bug-fix update for a game takes a whole month. Stay awhile, because if you can put up with my whining, you are going to read some real advice ;)
Around a month ago severe cartilage damage and bone wear (arthrosis) was diagnosed in my right wrist-bone(s). This is a permanent change. One that quite possibly will heavily affect my future :(
I always had problems with my hand, we could call it chronic pain I guess, but it never was so frequent or so drastic that I thought something could be really wrong...
In middle school, I thought it must be my hobbies. A lot of Diablo :) and other games plus art (both classical and digital).
In university, I thought it must be my studies. My hobbies stayed with me and I started programming multiple hours daily.
As an employed programmer, software became my full-time job and I thought it must be my life-style. I started pouring hours after work into game development and art daily because I really wanted to make games, not just business software.
Probably you are rolling your eyes by now, that I must be crazy for not taking care of myself, but I'm pretty sure if you are reading this you may have a similar history and of course I always did everything I could to heal. I always took sufficient rest, sometimes totally stopping these activities for a few days taking medicinal products to recover, plus in the last few years, I used various supporters to help my hands during work.
I never experienced wild long-lasting pains.
Except for 5 weeks ago.
I heard it called pianist disease by a Doc and it is fairly common amongst musicians, artists, programmers, essentially anyone using their fingers and wrists excessively for work.
I've been doing physiotherapy and taking medication during the last month besides keeping my hand in a splint and barely using it at all. It is better now. I only experience pain if I disobey the "try not to use your right hand!" rule :P
Doctors told me that the pain will become manageable, but surgery seems to be necessary if I want to use it again for work...
Yep, you guessed it well. Even though I'm right-handed (was?) and relatively fast at typing (was!) writing this entry took me a while because I used my left hand only. That is how a tiny bug-fix update takes a month :D
Now onto the advice part:
Life will throw unexpected things at you. Even if you are at a point where everything seems to click and nothing can stop you, I'm pretty sure there is something that can. Take care of yourself and if you happen to experience similar things consult with a doctor to see if you can prevent bigger problems down the line.
Since players discovered some glaring issues lately and I just managed to repair a few long-standing problems, I decided to put out a build with important fixes in it ASAP as version 1.2.4.
Sadly the path was not "ensured" (existence of directories) in all cases when saving the game. I estimate, that this could affect quite a few people, but not many reported it so far on any of the channels for the game. I hope this means it worked for most people and not many run into it :S
If you did lose a save I'm really sorry. Please accept my apology and know that now it is fixed and works as intended.
Some items in the game are totally insane and their combinations, well let just say they can lead to weird outcomes :P
One of these is the "Carnival Mask" which can turn monsters into hallucinations. It cannot be triggered on the boss level, as there are no other monsters around the boss itself. Except when you have an item on you which can summon monsters in certain situations. Mix in some chemical X and bang! The boss can easily turn into a hallucination, preventing the player from completing the run. Funny thing is that I already had a configuration coded for items to optionally disable them against certain enemy types (e.g.: the boss), but I probably thought this could not happen.
Due to the underlying technology I used the game could not support left-handed mouse usage (left and right buttons switched in the operating system). I swapped out parts of the tech and fixed this problem. As you can guess I only realized the existence of the issue when I myself started using my mouse in this mode :|
To all the left-handed people in the world who would have loved playing I Am Overburdened with a mouse: I'm sorry for not realizing this before!
Focus on what you are doing!
There were some reports about the game occasionally capturing mouse input even if its window is not in focus. I tried fixing this before, but I never had the complete picture about what is going wrong. I'm still not sure if it is fully fixed, but I could reproduce a case when it occurred and with the input tech change, I could correct this problem too.
Special thanks to all the community members who reported and helped in the diagnostics of these issues.
Is this the end?!
This slowed me to a crawl (no pun intended), but there is no way I'm stopping game development :)
I just wasn't prepared for it. Neither physically nor mentally. It will take some time getting used to it, but my left-hand dexterity is getting better each day and hopefully, surgery will further improve the state of things later on.
It is uncertain now how long it will take, but I will follow through my plans and deliver the content expansion pack for I Am Overburdened.
Thank you very much for reading my post and for all your support.