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).
10 days into may and this month’s game is going swimmingly (return here in a moment to chuckle at the genius of that pun). I proudly formally introduce Jelly, my first iOS game!
Jelly came out of a weird fact I heard about a type of jelly fish that is considered immortal as it never seems to die from natural causes. Put two and two together and you get a simple survival game where the player directs the protagonist away from danger for as long as possible.
Click to play a web build
The game is really easy at the moment as I am yet to add the difficulty element, and has a few bugs but should give a decent idea of what I’m going for. With most of the core functionality more of less out of the way (including, you know, getting it on to an iPhone) I should have plenty of time this month to refine and add some juicy extras.
It has been really fun being able to just hand my game to people this time around and get instant feedback – expect iOS games to become regular from me from now on!
Hopefully I will be able to figure out TestFlight at some point this month so I can get the actual final(ish) product out for some testing.
I’ve been surprised how well things have gone thus far and am still waiting for the inevitable ramp up in confusion/frustration/difficulty…