This week's update is all about Greenlights, bullets and more expos than you can shake a bunch of indie games at!
Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 28, 2013.
This week's update is all about Greenlights, bullets and more expos than you can shake a bunch of indie games at!
Welcome to the update. Let's get down to it.
You probably noticed that last week was the beginning of my Kickstarter for my next little game, Flix The Flea. As is the only way when it comes to a Kickstarter campaign, I've been hustling hard to get Flix in front of as many people as possible, putting Flix's best foot forward and offering the best bang for a backer's buck when it comes to rewards.
Starting at £1 for a copy of the game and working up from there, I'd say those award tiers are pretty fair, but getting publicity has been plenty of hard work, so first I want to say thanks to Gamer Hangout for being so positive about the Flix Kickstarter. They do an awesome show and they're massively supportive of the Indie community.
I also had a good long chat with the guys of The Night Shift at The Mature Gamer Podcast. The show is also out there and my fingers are crossed that plenty of people will be hearing it very soon.
Flix is now up on The IndieDB with the Kickstarter news story featuring on both their site and their sister site Desura... I'm just waiting for Flix The Flea to be authorised on Desura as a game in the hopes of generating a bit of further interest from there.
Some of you know I'll be attending a number of shows and expos in the coming weeks and as the RetroCollect event recieved such a great response for the Power-Up Greenlight campaign, I've just designed and ordered a set of similar QR coded cards for the Flix Kickstarter page too.
But hustling for the Kickstarter campaign isn't the only area I've thrown my nightly efforts on Flix. As I've said before, Flix is my free-time project, but I've actually managed quite a lot of work on the game's visuals over tha last week, completely redesigning those ropey, temporary level maps to show off my very own hand-painted environments. So far I've added a stoney,mountainous cave, a cave of shiny pebbles and thick leafy plantlife, a cave formed from the twisted growth of trees and a cave made up entirely of dripping slime! Nice! Thanks for all the positive feedback I've been getting from those. I'll be continuing with the various cave designs over next week too.
If you'd like to back Flix and haven't yet. Here's the place to go...
Power-Up for iOs has been moving along as well, though not quite at the pace I was hoping. We had another minor batch of bugs which crashed the game out while I was testing my adjustments to the enemy spawns for the first three Chapters... not that we let that sort of thing hold us up much.
Power-Up has multiple endings, depending on which difficulty you complete the game on. Well, while I was waiting on the gliches to be fixed in Power-Up's levels, I was able to finish off all of the art assets along with any text-reference for story bits around the game's endings. I've also just started creating reference movies of the ending sequences as this is clearly the best way to get the flow of those sequences accross. If spawning gets held up at all this week, I'll be defaulting to that as my secondary job on Power-Up iOS, with a lovely big list of other back up jobs lined up too... But more on that later.
I've been banging on all week about how made up I am with Power-Up's progress on Steam Greenlight. The game spent the majority of this week at 73% of the yes-votes it needs to get into the top 100 and to be eligible for consideration for a Steam release. ...so I was a bit dissappointed this morning to find that somehow, Power-Up had actually managed to slip backwards, dropping to 72% of its required yes-votes. A strange thing to happen, and one that I can only put down to the stiff competition at the top end of the voting ladder. Maybe someone overtook it or something. Anyway, I suppose there's only one way to battle against slips like this... more yes votes!!
So, if you haven't voted for Power-Up on Steam Greenlight yet, please do. It's free, and the game needs all the support it can get.
Finally, I've been putting a few afternoons into learning more about Unity and the complexities of making games with it. While I'm at it, I'm putting my new found skills into the creation of my third game Diz, which I'll probably be releasing early next year for PC and then on other formats.
If you watched my video update last week, you'll know that this one's a gravity orientated platformer, somewhere in the region of the classic Jetpac style of games. By last week, I'd figured out how to make my character walk left and right while interacting with a floor. well, after that upate I also managed to build a level and scroll around the space, using rudimentary jetpack controls to ping off the walls, floors and ceilings. Brilliant! I've been amazed and enamoured with Unity as a game development tool, and Diz is becoming more and more playable by the day.
So what will I be doing this week?
Well, I'll be continuing with all three of my projects.
This week I hope to get the basics of shooting projectiles into Diz. If I can get some basic bullets firing off left and right in the couple of days I'm dedicating to the game, I'll be rather pleased with my next week's work. I'll look into refinements after that before I even consider moving onto the likes of pickups, baddies, win/lose sequences or front end menus.
With regards to Power-Up, I'll be focussing on Spawns again this week. As some of you might have spotted last week, 2-bit and I have managed to get the game's dialogue running and I've been feverishly applying it to the iOS version's spawn maps, in all the places that dialogue happens in my original game. Overall, some of the chapters are pretty good ports of the original, but there's still a bit of tweaking to do.
If I get Chapters 1-3 to a point I'm happy with this week, I'll be moving on to Chapter 4 which I'm told, is now ready for my first basic pass on enemy spawns. Great stuff. I doubt I'll run out of things to do there, but if I run into any game breaking bugs on my travels, as I say, I'll switch to getting all the game's ending assets and references ready.
Next on my list will be to start breaking down the finer features of Weapon-F's ship controls, speeds, weapon stats, etc, so that 2-bit can again, get it all as close to the Xbox and PC versions as possible... but I doubt I'll be hitting that particular job just yet.
And as for Flix, well, I'll be dedicating a few more of my evenings to re-drawing the rest of the game's backgrounds, while finding new and wonderful ways to get the Kickstarter campaign in front of more lovely backers. I'm hoping to get Flix onto Steam Greenlight nice and early in an attempt to raise general awareness of the game... not to mention pushing a few more backers toward both campaigns in a way that doesn't leave me waiting around for months for a Steam release as I've been doing with Power-Up.
I'll also be continuing to update the Flix Kickstarter's overall in-game screenshots to something that better represents the new, improved art and possibly later, I might even update the footage in the Kickstarter's intro movie to do the same.
Finally, it'll be another working Saturday for me as I'll be showing off Power-Up for PC to a whole new bunch of people and hopefully bagging the game a load of fresh yes-votes at The Update Show over at Manchester's MediaCity. I'll also be shamelessly promoting the Flix Kickstarter too, via a batch of hot-off-the-press QR coded cards. sure, it's not loads to get excited about for my stand, but hey, one of these days I'll have a budget and there'll be all kinds of treats to be had. In the meantime, you'll have to just make do with playing my games. ;)
So if you're in the area and fancy a blast of Power-Up... not to mention all the other awesome games on offer, at the event, come along and check it out.
And that's the lot. As you can see, I'm mad busy ...and er, I'd better get back to it.
See you next week for the video update.
With the release of my new Flix The Flea Kickstarter, I went and forgot to release last week's update on the Power-Up page too. Well, I'm an idiot... Better late than never eh. Will see you tomorrow for this week's Text-based update though and hopefully this isn't a mistake I'll make again.
This (last) week's update is all about porting my first game Power-Up, Kickstarting my second game, Flix and getting the very beginnings of my third game Diz up and running. ...Busy week.
So my last text based update got a bit out of hand. In response to that, this weeks text based update is going to be much shorter and to the point. here we go...
It's true to say that Power-Up iOS is going on a bit with a lot of changes and responsibilities that I wasn't expecting at my end. The spawning of the in-game baddies, etc. Last week I got all those in for chapter 1 to 3, albeit in a rough, almost-there kinda way. 2-bit Games and I are working on getting those to behave like my original counterparts and it's all definitely getting there, though pushing Diz back some three weeks and counting.
As well as my work on the Power-Up iOS baddie spawns, last week I also managed to output all of the different Weapon-F player ship variants for Power-Up iOS' unlockable paintjob rewards. No easy task that, and one that required a few extra evenings of work. But it's done, and I can tick it off the list.
I also spent from Thursday to Sunday down south. On Thursday I payed a visit to the IRS walk in centre at the US Embassy to make my application for an Inidivdual Tax Identification Number. They made no promises that I'd get it but sent off my filled in application along with all the extra bits I brought with me for it. Now it's a 6-10 week wait to find out if I got the number and can start getting payed for my sales through the US portals.
I then spent Friday and Saturday at the IGC/IGDA Game Developer's conference in London. It was a rather intimidating affair in which the UK indie games industry's biggest and brightest stood up to tell little guys like me just how it's all supposed to be done. I was actually really overwhelmed by all of the different techniques and approaches to game development that were on display at the event. I heard some great talks on soma, SCRUM/AGILE, the roles of publishers and producers, not to mention a heckload of talks on the production of many great indie games.
But I'm a shy sort by nature and networking is not my strong point. At best, in a networking environment I'm sociable but arkward and usually stressed to the point of forgetful. Even so, I had a good time and chatted with lots of great people. Mike and The Git, I'm looking at you. ;)
...but nothing beats that cozy, welcome feeling of getting home to my quiet little office and settling down to a bit of game dev.
Finally, last week was also the week which Power-Up spent on the brilliant Groupees bundle. I'm yet to hear from the guys there with regards to how it did, but I'm looking forward to finding out.
So I'm back in the office and after a messy, drawn out Monday of checking emails and doing the more domestic tasks of said office (though I really should've taken the day off as I'm still knackered), I'm back to it.
Mainly, I'll be focusing on Power-Up for iOS first. I'm hoping that now I've learned all the processes (I think) relating to nice neat spawning of baddies, I'll be able to finalise pretty much all of the spawning for the Chapter 3-5 baddies. I understand that Power-Up's in-game dialogue will need to share the baddies' spawn map when its ready to go in and the latter two bosses are still to be included on the code side, but for me, these are small details compared with the main task of getting everything else to spawn and move to their proper timings and speeds... and I hope to have all that done before Friday.
I'll finally be dedicating Friday to learning the basics of Unity... something I've been meaning to do for weeks and have had to push back in favour of the more pressing jobs. This week is the week for that... I can feel it in my very bones.
In my free time I have been, and will continue to be working on improving the performance, audio/visuals, and overall playabillity of my upcoming game Flix The Flea. If you're following my twitter account you'll already be familliar with this little guy.
The Kickstarter campaign is ready to go and will be kicking off right on schedule, on Tuesday April the 1st. ...Yep, that's April Fool's Day, but this ain't no April fool. That's also just one week from today, so no doubt I'll be shouting about it in my next video update.
Watch out for that.
And speaking of next week's video... Catch you in it, next week! :D
This weeks update covers Retro Events, Greenlight jumps, and a lovely new game to Kickstart!
This week's honourable mention goes to...
Yanim Studios and their ambitious project, Red Goddess.
POWER UP, THE GAME FOR PC - Once I've finished the Xbox version and seen the benefit of all that lovely QA, I'll be able to put a few months into making the game work for PC too. If you'd like a digital copy of that version of the game, but aren't into seeing your name in lights, just pledge in this tier.
YOUR NAME IN THE GAME - I can't release Power Up without hitting that target, so I'll be especially grateful to anyone who puts in that little extra... I'll even etch your name into my credits for the ages!
POWER UP, THE GAME FOR PC and YOUR NAME IN THE GAME - Pledge in this tier and and you'll recieve a digital copy of the game for PC as well as having your name in the credits. Obviously, this will come a few months after the Xbox release but hey, it's darned good value in my book.
POWER UP, THE GAME FOR PC and THE POWER UP SOUNDTRACK - A late addition to the tier selections, you guys requested it and here it is... If you'd like the DRM free game and soundtrack but are happy to remain anonymous then this is your tier, right here!
THE POWER UP SOUNDTRACK and YOUR NAME IN THE GAME - Power Up will have at least 6 game-level and boss tunes... Maybe more if I have time, so it makes sense for me to add an extra tier here. Make a pledge in this tier and once I'm done, I'll email you a DRM-free digital copy of all the in game music. you'll also get your name in the credits.
POWER UP, THE GAME FOR PC and THE POWER UP SOUNDTRACK and YOUR NAME IN THE GAME - In this tier, you'll get all the perks of the previous tier, but this one also includes a digital copy of the game for PC! Don't forget, there will be a bit more of a delay here while I finish it up but hey, this is a Kickstarter. You'd expect that, right?
POWER UP, THE GAME FOR PC and THE POWER UP SOUNDTRACK and YOUR NAME IN LIGHTS - If you'd like your own copy of the game and the soundtrack, plus your name in the credits in a colour of your choosing, then this is the tier for you. Just email the colour you'd like to me at email@example.com and I'll make sure you stand out. If you're not bothered about what colour I use, I'll assign you one at random.
9 backers Limited (21 left of 30)
A CONCEPT ART PRINT and THE POWER UP SOUNDTRACK and YOUR NAME IN THE GAME - Pledge in this tier and you'll be sent an exclusive signed print of one of my Power Up concept art pieces. I'll also email you the DRM-free game soundtrack and include you in the credits.
7 backers Limited (23 left of 30)
POWER UP, THE GAME FOR PC and A CONCEPT ART PRINT and THE POWER UP SOUNDTRACK and YOUR NAME IN THE GAME - Again, this tier is like the last but includes a digital copy of the PC version of the game. Again, this comes a few months after the Xbox release as I'll have to finish the PC version first. Still, a great deal for just an extra £2!
4 backers Limited (16 left of 20)
POWER UP, THE GAME FOR PC and A CONCEPT ART PRINT and THE POWER UP SOUNDTRACK and YOUR NAME IN LIGHTS - By popular demand, this new tier includes all the good stuff from the last tier but makes your name POP! ...in colour! If you have a particular colour you'd like to see your name in, put it in an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll oblige... if you don't, your colour will be assigned at random.
2 backers Limited (18 left of 20)
POWER UP, THE GAME FOR PC and A CONCEPT ART PRINT and THE POWER UP SOUNDTRACK and YOUR LOGO IN THE GAME - Want to see your company affiliated in the Power Up credits?... Simply pledge in this tier, then send a high resolution copy of your logo to me at email@example.com. I'm sure it goes without saying that any inappropriate images won't be allowed in... If in doubt about your logo, just throw me an email and ask.
1 backer All gone!
HAND DRAWN CONCEPT ART and THE POWER UP SOUNDTRACK and YOUR NAME IN THE GAME - If a piece of original, signed hand drawn space shooter concept art is your bag then this is the thing for you! Basically, I'll be tidying up my innitial design sketches to create something much more presentable. These are very limited so that my drawing hand gets a rest. If you pledge this category, you'll recieve (at random): *1 of 5 pages containing level baddie designs. or *1 the 5 level boss designs. I'll also email you the DRM-free game soundtrack and you'll recieve a particularly honourable mention in the game credits.
2 backers Limited (1 left of 3)
POWER UP, THE GAME FOR PC and HAND DRAWN CONCEPT ART and THE POWER UP SOUNDTRACK and YOUR NAME IN THE GAME - If you'd like a digital copy of the PC game to go with that bit of original concept art and your honourable mention, then for an extra £2, you can have exactly that! Just remember, you'll have to wait a little bit longer while I finish the PC version of the game.
0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)
POWER UP, THE GAME FOR PC and HAND DRAWN CONCEPT ART and THE POWER UP SOUNDTRACK and YOUR NAME IN LIGHTS - Make yourself stand out with a splash of colour while also bagging yourself all of the goodies from the previous tier. Just bid in this tier and email your choice of colour to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don't have a colour preference, I'll assign you a random colour.
4 backers Limited (1 left of 5)
POWER UP, THE GAME FOR PC and HAND DRAWN CONCEPT ART and THE POWER UP SOUNDTRACK and YOUR LOGO IN THE GAME - If you're a company, why settle for your name in Power Up when you can have your logo in it?! Just bid in this tier, then email a high-resolution copy of your logo to me at email@example.com, and you'll see it in the credits as well as recieving all the cool stuff listed here.
- (30 days)