Devolution is complete and the result is more than I hoped for. That makes eight games in as many months! Woohoo!
It’s not quite the game I first thought up (as is always the case in 1GAM) so things had to be cut in order to get done in time and with the level of polish I try to aim for. This time I actually didn’t really mind so much – the game that came out of it is really cool and I’m proud of it.
Click to play (with speakers preferably)
Big thanks go to my friend Aaron who acted as a fantastic sounding board throughout the whole month 😀
All credit for the music goes to Gurdonark who I found over on ccmixter. The two tracks used are ‘Sawmill’ and ‘Exurb’CC BY 3.0 and perfectly compliment/enhance the mood I was aiming for.
I’m not thrilled with this month’s result and probably won’t take it further. I had a bunch more ideas to add to make it more ‘juicy’ but opted for polish instead. Some of the polish came in the form of sound effects, something I haven’t often had the time to include, so I’m pretty happy to have achieved that. Looking at the game in it’s current state I just don’t have the urge to do more to it, I’m yet to get a lot of feedback though so I guess I’ll wait and see if a consensus emerges.
The game is playable now over on GameJolt and is up and running successfully on my iDevices.
Click to play over on GameJolt
July is going to be very busy, with other commitments likely to take up almost a solid two week block of time. With half the month more or less gone before it’s even begun, my plan is to create a choose your own adventure game book using inklewriter (something I’ve mentioned previously). This means I don’t need to be cross disciplined for the month as programming and art requirements are pretty much eliminated, freeing up all the spare time I have for writing and refining. It’s going to be a challenge as I don’t consider myself to be that great of a writer, but that’s what OneGameAMonth is about!
This month didn’t start off particularly well. I had one idea planned out in my head ready to go. I wrote out my to-do lists on the whiteboard as usual and got started with some temporary art to use. Then things went downhill…
The idea was okay, nothing groundbreaking, but okay and I think that was the issue; I wasn’t inspired by it enough to muster the creativity needed. Everything I drew I hated and when I moved into the editor I just hated it more. After a few days of struggle I decided to start fresh and I think I’ve found something potentially cool.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce ‘Jumper.’
I’m trying to keep this game super simple in terms of input but adding touches of complexity via power ups and bonuses. Overall, I want Jumper to be much more addictive than Jelly so gameplay needs to be challenging to the point where the player is pushed but not left feeling frustrated. I’m particularly happy with how the touch controls (tap anywhere above the character and he’ll jump up, tap anywhere below him and he’ll jump down) are helping this goal by giving some degree of freedom and even purity to the player’s response – they assess, strategise and react as quickly as possible.
As I write this, I’m currently trying to figure out how to best handle difficulty as I’m using procedural generation again. At the moment the plane formations are designed prior and spawned at random. My plan is to take these formations and rank them by difficulty – eventually trading out easier ones with more difficult ones. I’ll see how that goes.
I’ve had a bit of a wobbly start but the game is really taking shape. Right now I’ve got more or less all of the core functionality working (including some sound effects!) and will soon start work on adding some of my desirable/secondary tasks next week.
You get it? Bloodthirsty = 5 kills in a row in Black Ops 2 and I’ve made 5 games in a row! Hilarious.
Jelly is done for the month, woohoo! I think it’s safe to say this has been one of the best months to date. I’ve had a tonne of fun, I’ve boosted my confidence and created something I’m really proud of.
You can play a web build over on GameJolt. I can’t speak any more highly of GameJolt it is simply fantastic. I put Invasion and Wordsmith up only yesterday and have already gotten a bunch of plays and great feedback! I recommend it to any indie developers – they accept a bunch of build types and even allow you to mark games as works in progress.
I would really like to take the game further, with the penultimate goal being the app store. At this stage my plan for the next month is to spend 2 weeks or so on a simple new game (will also be iOS based) and the rest of the month continuing with Jelly. However if I find June game’s needs more attention I will definitely spend as much time as it needs (one game a month is my goal after all).
So the month is over and while I do have a game, it’s not quite at the level I was aiming for. Of course I can’t beat myself up about it – it’s just part of learning. By the end of the month my enthusiasm was seriously waning and it’s more than likely this is why I haven’t achieved as much as I had hoped.
I had a goal to get animations working but ran out of time to get them to a point I felt comfortable with. I did however get some sound and GUI art in which has helped add a smidgen of much needed polish.
The game needs lots of testing. Unfortunately I ran out of time, and made progress too slowly to for it to be feasible I’ve made some little tweaks based on the feedback of a few helpful family members but it is for the most part untested. Basically this means I have no idea if it’s too hard, too easy, or honestly if it even makes sense to anyone beside me… That said, should you play it I’d love some feedback!
There are a few graphical bugs that I have been, annoyingly, unable to squash and it overall needs a lot of refinement but hey it resembles a game so I can’t be too unhappy!
Click to Play
In more exciting news I got a macbook this month so if things go well I’ll have an iphone game to show off next month!
This month has ended on a bit of a high with the completion of Wordsmith (completion for now that is). Outside of game dev, the month has been a busy one – add on top of that a bunch of issues I had to weed out just to get a playable build out and you’ve got a challenging month.
I’m not entirely sure what my problem was but the game played perfectly in editor, yet every time I built, changes would seemingly be ignored. Long and frustrating story short – I was using null references to check a few launching conditions (for example if no start screen, go ahead and let play commence) and apparently the webplayer was ignoring them. It was probably a silly way to handle things anyway so I changed the conditions over and all was well. Or so I thought. The next issue was massive loading times when returning to the main menu. I spent the morning debugging like crazy and squashed that sucker with great satisfaction.
I didn’t make it through as many things on my ‘desirables’ list as I would’ve liked but that doesn’t matter, why else would I put them under the heading!
The game has a lot of potential (potential which has thankfully been noticed by others also – thanks guys you know who you are ^.^) and I maintain my goal of taking to touch devices when the time, and funds, allow.
The music track is called ‘Silent Motions’ by morgantj and while It does the job, it’s not exactly what I was after. The levelling system is also another area that could use revisiting – firstly it’s untested so the XP, speed and accuracy are all only based on my skill level it could also stand to be more complex. That said, I never done levelling in a game before so I’m pretty chuffed with how it turned out.
Anyway enough gibber jabbing – you can play the game below.
With February finishing quite successfully, I came into March with some anxiety – was that a one time deal? I spent days trying to figure out what I wanted to do for March and eventually settled on taking that rapid prototype I did last year for an alphabet game (No idea what I’m talking about? check it out here). I’ve had plans to revamp and 1up the game since the coming up with it really so that’s what I’m hoping to achieve this month.
Ladies and Gentlemen let me introduce ‘Wordsmith’ a game where you forge weapons using the alphabet. If you haven’t yet realised, the game was essentially built off a pun (blacksmith = wordsmith genius right? RIGHT!). The core gameplay is super simple; hit the letters in alphabetical order. I am however attempting to add another element by keeping track of speed and accuracy, and equating that to weapon quality. Throw in player XP and levelling and I hope to have a neat little ‘Brain-training’ style game that should prove helpful to all ages.
If time permits I’m also hoping to have different game modes – namely Mathemagician where, you guessed it, mathematics is the focus.
At the moment I’m happy with the prototype as it functions thus far. I am still having some teething problems with the art style at the moment but there is still plenty of time to get that sorted.