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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.

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.

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

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12 Days
Aug 1st, 2013 by Joe

Still working like crazy, but I’m starting to get more confident about things. I went through all the levels last night and refined them and really figured out how many acceptable levels that I have. I counted about 66, so I don’t really need to make that many more. I also start ordering them a little bit, but I will probably tackle the majority of that this weekend.

Today I spent some time working on some general polish. I added a toggle button for music and sound effects to the main menu screen. I cleaned up the level pack display when you are browsing for levels. Here is an image of the change.

downloadBox

The old style is on top and the new style is below. It obviously has more information, but also looks a little betting in my opinion. The yellow bar on the left indicates that the level pack has already been downloaded, as opposed to actually writing it out in the old style.

13 Days
Jul 31st, 2013 by Joe

As you can see, I missed the 14 days post, so I’ll combine it with this one.

This big news is that the Humble Store widget is up and you can now pre-order the game! I spent a decent amount of time yesterday working on that site.

>>Click Here to Pre-order<<

I also fooled around with different graphical themes. I really shouldn’t be fooling around with the graphical style this close to release, but I just wanted to see what it would look like if I mixed in some of Oryx’s 16 bit tilesets. It looks pretty good, but I’m not sure if it is worth it, because it kinda clashes with the UI. It might be an option that can be changed, or perhaps custom levels could change their theme.

Today I’m going to be working on polishing levels and probably do some ordering of them. This is a slow process, but probably the most important thing that I have left to complete.

15 Days
Jul 29th, 2013 by Joe

Apparently I’m writing a post everyday and documenting the process of releasing my game.

Today I worked a lot on the Server Browser, and web services that are needed to support it. I also added the web services for voting on a Level Pack. Users will be able to rate level packs in two categories, difficulty and how enjoyable it is. I’m hoping this will provide a good way for the better level packs to rise to the top and be easy to find.

Also, you can now delete level packs that you have installed, so that is good.

Hoping to have the preorder widget working sometime in the next couple days.

That’s a pretty good rundown of the stuff that I got completed today. The really big items that I still need to finish are cleaning up the editor and getting the levels ordered correctly. I also have a TON of small things that I need to do. I think it’s doable, but it’s going to be a lot of work over the next 15 days. Wish me luck!

16 Days
Jul 28th, 2013 by Joe

I am 16 days out from releasing A Game of Numbers. It still seems like I have a ton left to do so I am a little nervous that I’ve officially set a date, but having a deadline can be nice sometimes. Also I will be done in time for the next Ludum Dare!

I noticed today that on twitter there were a ton of tweets about my game in Spanish and I couldn’t figure out where they came from. It turns out it was posted on this site: http://www.microsiervos.com/archivo/juegos-y-diversion/laberintos-matematicos.html. It’s so cool to watch something spread and see that people are enjoying it enough to share it with others. I also added a notice and link to the Web version so that people would be aware that an enhanced version is on the way. I won’t know for sure exactly how many people have played it last few days (web stats take a couple days to update), but it appear to be at least 3,000 people, so that’s pretty awesome!

On the development front, today I will be working on finishing the UI for browsing and downloading levels and level packs from the server. I already have it parts of it functional,  but I need to clean it up and make all of it work. This is pretty boring work, but stuff that needs to be done.

On another note, I did get the porting to Mac and Linux done yesterday. It pretty crazy how easy it was thanks to monogame. I will probably write a post about setting up the linux development environment for monogame because the documentation about getting up and running is all either incorrect or outdated, it was basically a lot of trial and error on my part.

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