This week's Power-Up update covers where you can get Power-Up for PC, iOS art, and future projects!
Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 28, 2013.
This week's Power-Up update covers where you can get Power-Up for PC, iOS art, and future projects!
Those of you who've been following these updates will know that I decided to release Power-Up for PC on Feb 27th regardless of whether or not we reach our 50% Steam Greenlight goal (Incidentally, Power-Up is currently at 47% so we didn't get that far off in the end). Well with just TWO DAYS to go until the big launch, I've been cramming to get everything done that needs to be done.
Here's what I got up to last week...
I was going for a target of 10 PC portals for the release of Power-Up on PC and at a grand total of 9 I didn't do too badly. sure, one of the slower ones might come through at the Eleventh hour but as the release is pretty much on top of us it's probably time to announce the PC portals supporting Power-Up on launch day.
1. Those following my Twitter account will know that Desura is currently taking pre-orders of Power-Up. If you want to secure your copy right now here's the link for that.
Come Thursday, you should also be able to get your Power-Up fix at:
5. Fireflower Games (Who are very kindly running a big SHMUP promotion in honour of Power-Up)
9. and The Humble Store (Although demand to be on Humble is high and there might be a bit of a release delay here).
Do bear in mind that these sites are all in different timeones too, so some will probably launch at different times to others. If your favourite indie outlet isn't there (Steam excluded of course, I'm working on that one), don't fret. I'm also waiting on three other portals to complete and get back to me, but if there are any that you don't think are on my list and should be, just give me a shout either here, via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on Twitter to let me know, and I'll take a look into it.
In additional news from this week, I've also been kindly invited for the inclusion iof Power-Up on a great bundle of games mid-march, which I've accepted and should have more info on in the coming weeks, and the quick reflexed of you will have spotted that just this morning I announced my inclusion amongst many admittedly much greater developers than myself in EFG's upcoming publication "The Art and Design of Video Games". It's a brilliant hard-backed book which chronicles the creative ideas of 25 of the current indie developers out there today and I was lucky enough to have my work covered in the book. If that sounds like your kind of thing you can pre-order a copy of that here:
On top of sorting all that lot I've been working hard on the art assets for Power-Up on iOS. While sorting out a few fixes and formatting changes meant that I didn't have time to get into the HUD re-design I was hoping to last week, I did manage to get through chapter 5's sprites and background prep in its entirety and 2-bit is cracking on with the initial implementation of the Chapter 3 enemies in the game itself, so plenty of progress there.
It's my birthday on Friday and my better half has decided that I need a break, so she's taking me away to a little cottage in the country for a well-earned long birthday week-end. That means I'll be out of the office on Friday and Monday so will effectively only be working on Power-up over this (Tuesday), Wednesday and Thursday afternoons for this coming week.
With the big release on Thursday, this is hardly going to be a solid week of work but I still intend to get as much in as I can.
With regards to the iOS version of Power-Up I'll be setting to work on the in-game HUD, making sure that the top info panel and the bottom control panel are as intuitive as they are pretty. these are quite big jobs in themselves and will probably constitute my Power-Up iOS art for this week.
As well as that, I'll be roughing out a chronology of Power-Up as a project. As you've probably noticed, for my part the majority of the work on Power-Up is coming to an end. 2bit Games will be taking over all the hard work in the porting of the game to iOS and Android and once I've handed off the artwork, sound and music assets, mine will be something of a supervisory and glitch-fixing role, leaving me mostly free to focus on my next game.
I've been asked by some friends in the indie gaming press if I would break down the Power-Up production process from beginning to end in a brief and concise bullet-pointey manner and I've agreed to do so.
I'll be handling the first, rough draft of that before I go on my break, though I'm hoping to make a little more of these notes in my next blog post which I think will also be on the subject. I'm even considering expanding that for a digital/hard copy book on the project as a whole later down the line when I find a bit of time... if there's demand for that sort of thing, of course.
This week I'll also be handling all of the final prep for the big Power-Up PC launch, making sure all of my portals have got all of the resources they need to get the game onto their stores on the 27th. This is pretty much done, but a quick once over can't hurt, right? My final launch reminders will be going out before I shut up shop on Wednesday night and then my fingers will be crossed tight throughout the duration of Thursday for a smooth and lucrative first day of sales while I get that iOS work done.
Then I'll be away for my week-end break and back in video format next Tuesday!
What about the bigger picture?
As for the coming weeks, well here's the plan... loosely.
Power-Up has been taking up 5 out of 5 of my weekday afternoons (my wonderful, bill-paying day job takes up the mornings). Over the course of March, I intend to gradually change gear as I complete the vast majority of the Power-Up art and format the sound and music for iOS. With each week through March, I'm going to be swapping from Power-Up to my next game, Diz. 5 afternoons on Power-Up will become 4, then 3, then 2, then 1.
through April I'll be focusing 4 afternoons a week on Diz with 1 in reserve for and Power-Up changes and fixes as needed. This should be enough for me to tend to the needs of the Power-Up ports while getting my focus onto learning Unity, re-learning clay modelling, and generally putting down the beginnings of Diz, but it's a broad crossover plan, and bery much subject to change depending on any priorities that turn up.
With regards to Steam codes, etc. I've been asked about this one a lot and in response I've been banging on about it on Twitter, but I'll lay it out here too...
Quite rightly, I've been getting regularly asked something around the lines of:
"If I buy Power-Up somewhere else (not Steam) to get it early, will I also get a free Steam code when it comes to Steam?"
My answer is:
After researching the availabillity of Steam codes for Power-Up, it looks like Steam will provide me as many codes as I need to fulfil my promises, so broadly, the answere is "Yes". Yes you will get a free code for Power-Up on Steam when it comes to Steam.
I wouldn't want to have to buy a game twice on the same device and I certainly don't want you to either. I'd call that a rip-off.
However, I need to be sure I'm not ripping myself off either in giving out random free copies of my game, so here's what I'll need from you.
1. If you vote "YES" on the Power-Up Steam Greenlight campaign...
2. ...and buy the game early from any other PC portal...
3. ...then finally, email me proof that you've done both of the above (screen grabs will do)
I'll put your email address on my list for a code to your free Steam copy of Power-Up. Then, when it gets onto Steam, I'll send out Power-Up codes to everyone on that list.
Yeah, I know it's probably a bit cumbersome, but hey... it's my first go at releasing a PC game. Bear with me and this sort of process will get better as I get a bit more experienced.
And yeah, I know that keeping track of all those codes is going to be a lot of work for me, but again, bear with me and I'll make sure you get what's yours. I'm a great believer in fair play. It's your belief in me and your support for Power-Up that's got it this far. the least I can do is to keep you from parting with your money twice.
This is it! Probably the last time I'll get to speak to you in any great detail before Power-Up hits the PC. It's VERY nerve wracking for me, I can tell you... I hope to goodness it works perfectly on every PC that runs it. I hope not a single glitch is discovered. I hope that it ticks all the boxes for, and utterly thrills every person who plays it.
I've had to remind myself a few times over the last few weeks that this is all real, that my first very own one-man game is actually really about to be properly released and when it happens, that it's with such great and supportive people as yourself behind it.
That gives me quite a kick, I can tell you.
Sincerely, enjoy the game.
I'll talk at you next week.
This week's Video update is invaded by our other cat Ginny, and I make a BIG Power-Up PC announcement!
How've you all been?
Me... oh, not bad.
I'll tell you what though, this pre-PC release, iOS art period is full of variety. This last week I've done everything from big press interviews to, chatting with publishers, to... well. Let's not get ahead of myself.
Just what did I do last week?
As some of you will remember from the last update, my main aim last week was to get through all the Chapter 3 sprites and backgrounds in x2 their original size for the hi-res iOS versions of Power-Up that 2-bit games is working on.
Well, I managed that, but it was no mean feat, let me tell you. I think the majority of new baddie instances happen in Power-Up chapter 3 and it took me days to get all the ships re-rendered, post produced and re-formatted in a way that optimised them nicely for mobile devices... but I got there in the end. (and right now I'm REALLY glad I decided to do them all in 3D rather than hand-draw! Imagine how long that would have taken!!)
I also output all the chapter 3 background layers while I was there. Just to clarify though. Outputting these layers is really only part of the process when it comes to the backgrounds. This is the part where I get the details I want ready for the next part of the process... The next part consists of formatting them into tilemaps so that the game engine that 2-bit uses can read them and keep them all nice and optimised. Chapter 3 alone consists of TEN layers of paralax scrolling, even when it's cut down from PC to mobile... I'll be very impressed if that many actually works, but I have a feeling that there'll be more cutting in store for it later... but that's an update for another week.
Chapter 3 took up the majority of my workload last week but, as usual, I was also busy with a few side tasks.
If I'm to ever see any income from Power-Up, be it for Xbox, PC iOS, etc, I'm going to have to get an ITIN! You heard me, an ITIN... To the ininnitiated, that's a US Tax Identification Number and there's no way around it if you want to get paid, but the process is long, arduous and takes place in slow and painful stages.
Well this week saw another of those stages. I've managed to pin them down on the phone and sussed out how to go about making an appointment to meet with the right people for getting my passport copied and certified so that I can send off the copy and yadayadayada.... It's not very interesting, but it's essential, it's in progress, and it took up far too much of my time this week!
I also gave a nudge to some of the PC portals that have not been particularly responsive, while trying to fix some of the problems that Power-Up has been having with some of the others. The result is...
x7 PC portals ready to go on launch day, though one of them is very big and bogged down with releases, so can't promise to release on time, on 27th... still, I don't mind. I consider myself very privelaged that they saw fit to include Power-Up and am holding out a lot of hope for it in the long run.
x1 portal is right on the edge of being ready. I'm just waiting for a confirmation that they have everything they need and that their finger is hovering over that big red launch button for the 27th
x3 are mid process, some more broken than others.
x1 eventually got back to me and is putting me through to the right person to get the ball rolling with.
and the rest, as you know from previous update, are either "no"s or conditional on getting Steam status, so...
Looking good, and close to the ten-portal target that I've set myself on Power-Up's PC launch. Of course, this is all dependant on the Greenlight campaign getting to 50% of it's target, so let's keep it moving up everyone.
I was also contacted by two publishers this week with regards to Power-Up!! It never rains but pours! Without saying too much, my first initial impression is that one is big, old, made lots of games that I love, but is approaching things in a slow and tentative manner, while the other is young, eager, very communicative, and also with games that I love. Both are brilliant. Both have great reputations and at this point I'd be happy to come to an arrangement with either of them if the arrangement's right for me.
Now, I probably won't say any more about that until there's something worth saying, as anything I could say beforehand would just be wild speculation and that won't help anybody, but the bottom line is that I've been having a chat with some very cool people who know their games and I'm chuffed to see that Power-Up is drawing new attention on the potential publishing front of its own accord.
So what about this week??
As logic would dictate, I'll be moving onto Chapter 4 with the Power-Up iOS hi-res art this week. I'll be attacking the baddies and prepping the background layers in much the same way as I did with Chapter 3 last week. I don't think It'll be quite as big a job as last week's but I'm not certain that I'll get through it all before the week's out, and here's why...
It occurred to me that if this 50% thing comes off and Power-Up does come out early on Feb 27th, the PC release is kind of a big deal, right? Right! ...Well, up to now, I've been punctuating these fairly big checkpoints with trailer releases. First, there was the "One-Man, One-Year" trailer that I released on November 5th 2012 when I finally had enough content to show off the game, then there was the "Take on A Titan" trailer which I released when I finished the bosses. When the XBLIG version arrived, I created a short but content heavy release trailer for that, so it only seems right that I start working up a nice new one for the PC release...
And that's what I intend to do this week! Yesterday I played Power-Up for close to four hours while I got all the bits of footage I needed for the next trailer. I reckon I've got another half an hour of play to do today before I've got everything I need to get editing underway. With a bit of luck, by tonight I'll have the bare bones of Power-Up trailer 4 and before the week's out, it'll be ready to hit my YouTube channel with the release of the game on PC, come Feb 27th.
Sure, it might hold up the Chapter 4 art for iOS by a few days but this is the sort of juggling act a one-person studio finds themselves doing, but it keeps me limber in a multi-skilled sense, and I wouldn't have it any other way really.
Finally, I've had a few requests for Power-Up desktop backgrounds for PC, iOS, etc. It's an idea I quite like, and luckily, I did the key art for Power-Up in a decent resolution... well, some of the early ship textures are a pit pixelly for my liking but hey, we live and learn. My point is, I think I can do it, and over the week end I did a bit of research into the most common screen resolutions out there at the moment.
Now, I'm not saying I'll be able to fit it in this week, but it's something that's definitely on my list to investigate, though there's at least a day's work in it and right now there aren't enough days to put into creating this particular freebie... but I have a feeling I'll get to it.
So, there we are. I'm on top of my day jobs, I'm working hard on Power-Up and I think we'll all agree that all is well. Thanks so much for the continued support everyone.
I'll speak at 'cha face to face next week!
This week's Video Update is all about hitting more PC portals, upcoming shows and iOS progress.
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)