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Finished with LD30
Aug 24th, 2014 by Joe

I made a game for LD30 and it is titled ‘Super Galactic Trader’. It’s a puzzle game about managing resources while connecting planets together.

001 002 003 004

Porting A Game of Numbers
Apr 12th, 2014 by Joe

I have started the process of porting ‘A Game of Numbers’ to Windows 8 Store interface. I’m using Monogame to do the port, and it should be relatively easy, as I used monogame for the Mac and Linux builds, but the version of .NET you have to use is very different and requires a lot of code changes.

I also have been very negligent about posting here more often. I just have been suffering from some serious game development burnout and haven’t really been working on anything. I’m hoping getting a Win8 version might give me a little jump start, but who knows.

Working on a some art
Jan 19th, 2014 by Joe

One of 2014 goals is to get better at creating art assets for games, so I have been doing a little practice. Here is something that I made a couple weeks ago.

I’ve also been experimenting with making small little scenes/random collections every couple days. I’m really trying to go beyond styles that I’m comfortable with and experiment with different palettes and layouts. Here are a couple of the scenes at 3x.

scenes

 

I tend to be a lot more comfortable working at very small resolutions, such as 8×8, but perhaps I will try larger tile sizes in the next couple weeks.

The Future
Jan 15th, 2014 by Joe

Reflections on 2013

So 2013 was a pretty good year for me in terms of development. I feel as though I made some decent things and accomplished several of my goals.

  • I Posted here 25 times
  • Finshed 2 Ludum Dare Games, one of which finshed in the top 10 in several categories and was #14 overall
  • Officially finished and sold my first game (get it here: A Game of Numbers)

Basically since the release of AGON, I’ve been a little burnt out and haven’t done much development, but that’s been changing recently as I’ve been kinda getting the itch to start working on something again. I’m not really sure what it will be, but I have lots of ideas that I would like to play around with.

Goals for 2014

I enjoy setting goals as they do a good job keeping me motivated and focused on tasks I want to accomplish.

  • Post on this blog 36 times – It’s only 3 times a month, so it shouldn’t be that hard
  • Participate in 2 more Ludum Dares – I enjoy them and they are good learning experiences and great opportunities to experiment with new ideas
  • Release something for a mobile OS
  • Finish another game
  • Get better at art

Not a huge list, but definitely pretty ambitious.

Update on Stuff
Nov 15th, 2013 by Joe

I have kinda been sucking on the development front recently. My goal was to make some mobile version of A Game of Numbers, but I haven’t made or really even started them. I don’t really know why, I’m just lacking the motivation to work on them. I think a big reason is that the resolution change will be a pain to work around and will require a decent amount of work to get all the levels working well. I’ve been pondering a Windows 8 Store version, as I have a developers licence for it, and it would be super easy to make and not require any resolutions changes. Who knows, maybe I’ll do it, maybe I won’t.

So in all the time that I’m not working on A Game of Numbers, I’ve been thinking a lot about what my next project will be. At first I was thinking about some kind of space based traversal RPG thing (Think something like FTL), but I think I’ve changed my mind and decided to go back to ‘Grab the Loot and Run’. If you aren’t familiar with the project, it was a somewhat casual roguelike that I worked on a while ago. The original project never really had a definitive plan and the design was always kinda nebulous. This time around I have really hammered out a lot of details about the design and how the game will work. I’m currently working a Design Document and I’m thinking that the game could be pretty fun. I think I would describe it as a mixture of Desktop Dungeons and Rogue Legacy, which is weird combination, but I definitely was inspired by various elements of both games.

I also would like to write a detailed and complete post-mortem with sales numbers for A Game of Numbers, but I just need to find some time to actually sit down and do it.

Been a While
Sep 30th, 2013 by Joe

After the release of A Game of Numbers and the last Ludum Dare, I’ve been taking a break of sorts. I’ve been doing a lot of brainstorming, but haven’t really actually started work on anything. I think I just got a little burnt out. I am starting to come around and think that I will start up again soon. In fact, I think I will participate in the October Challenge and try to actually complete and release the mobile version of A Game of Numbers. There really isn’t a lot of work that needs to be done to make it work, but just several technical issues that I need to solve that I’ve been avoiding. I also want to go ahead and issue a huge thank you to everyone who purchase the game or mentioned it on twitter and Facebook. The game was a lot more successful than I anticipated it being and it’s mostly due to it’s propagation on social networks.

On an unrelated note, here are the results for SpaceSweeper in the last Ludum Dare:

image

It didn’t do as well as A Game of Numbers did, but I’m happy with the results, especially if you consider that it was basically a 14 hour game after I quit on my initial idea. I’m also happy that it did well in the fun category, as that’s generally my focus with most of my games.

LD27 Game Finished
Aug 25th, 2013 by Joe

It is titled Space Sweeper and is a space shooter type of game. I guess somewhat similar to BubbleTime, but no where near as polished. I had lots of ideas, but not enough time because I wasted most of Friday and Saturday trying to different idea.

Here is the Ludum Dare Page: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=4628

Also here is a direct link to the .zip

Here are some screen shots.

LD27-010

LD27-009

LD27-008

LD27-007

The release, future plans, and other random thoughts
Aug 19th, 2013 by Joe

So the release is over and overall I am very satisfied with the results. The game didn’t really sell a ton, but I didn’t expect it to, so not really anything unexpected there. I was actually a little surprised at the amount of feedback that I received and the general support of the people who purchased the game. I got lots of emails from people telling me that they enjoyed the game and they appreciated my work and stuff like that. It’s been a fun experience and I learned a whole lot about development and what it actually takes to release something. There also weren’t that many technical problems either.

  • My initial windows installer was built as a 64-bit application, so anyone with 32-bit windows couldn’t install it. Several people ran into this issue and I had to manually send them a 32-bit installer while the humble store uploaded the new installer. When building an installer on 64-bit windows, you specifically need to tell it to generate 32-bit output or it will default to 64. Lesson Learned!
  • One person tried running it on Linux and had some issues, but I managed to resolve them. It was just a problem getting the prerequisites to install. I actually used a Linux Mint Live CD to boot into Linux Mint and test to see if I could get it working. It was very seamless. I tried to make a .deb file that would automatically install dependencies, but it was way too difficult to figure out and I just assume if you are using Linux you are probably technical enough to figure things out and get it working. I did bundle a text file that listed all the needed dependencies, so it’s shouldn’t be that tricky.
  • One person had a Mac issue where when running the application it did nothing. This was a result of Mono not being installed and I was able to resolve the problem. On OS X, typically when you try to run a Mono based application without mono installed it will popup a message box directing you to download mono, but for whatever reason that wasn’t happening. I’m not really sure if there is anything I can do about that, as that functionality is built in the launcher script that Xamarin Studio uses for App bundles. I still need to investigate this, but overall it’s a pretty low priority issue, as it shouldn’t effect many people.

Moving forward, I am currently working on version 1.1, which is mainly just bug fixes and a couple small enhancements. It will probably add an ability to scale the game up, because it can be a little small on large monitors, and I will also add a way of controlling the game with a mouse.

In parallel to version 1.1, I am working on the mobile version of the game. I already have a build that works on my phone, but the UI needs a lot of work to be touch friendly. I also will probably cut the editor from the mobile version as it just doesn’t really work well on that platform. I am hoping that I can complete this in a couple weeks, as I am ready to start working a new project.

Also, Ludum Dare 27 is coming up next weekend and I am super excited! I don’t know what I am going to make, but I am thinking something top down, actiony, or perhaps some kind of tower defense. I always have wanted to make a tower defense game, but the theme always leads me to make something else.

Lastly, I have been brainstorming ideas for my next project and I am really starting to focus in a particular idea. I have been playing with the art style and mocking things up and I think it could be pretty cool. Can’t wait to start working on it!

It’s Released
Aug 13th, 2013 by Joe

You can now get A Game of Numbers here: http://agameofnumbers.com

It feels really good to get something released! I worked really hard on this so I hope that people enjoy it and find a worth their time and money!

7 Days
Aug 7th, 2013 by Joe

Yeah, I’ve sucked at actually posting these. I think my time is better spent actually working on the game than writing these posts, so I haven’t done one everyday. It’s still kinda crazy the amount of work that I have to get done in the next seven days, but I think it is manageable. Honestly, there are probably 2 or 3 big things that will take about 5-8 hours each and then all that will be left is the seemingly infinite amount of small things that I want to fix/implement/improve.

Stuff that I did today:

  • Level Pack Creation Screen is finished – I implemented this screen a while ago, but it sucked and was no where near complete. It’s now complete and somewhat user friendly.
  • Editor Screen Improvements – I added a lot of improvements to the editor. Mainly this consisted of on screen buttons to modify blocks. Previously the only way to edit blocks was to use the keyboard (Arrows/WASD). It’s still much fast to just use the keyboard, but I suppose it’s good to have some on screen buttons for people who don’t want maximize their efficiency.

It’s a little depressing that the list of things that I did tonight is so short, but I promise those things were a ton of work and took forever to do. Next thing on my list is handling browsing uploaded levels. I already handle Level Packs nicely, but I’m not really sure how I will be handling levels. I’m also not sure if individually uploaded levels will have user ratings or not. It makes it a lot easier if they don’t, but then the collection of levels would probably become an unsorted mess. I need to think about it a little more.

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