Friday, October 29, 2010

Line Intersection

Apart from My Work PC suddenly dying yesterday afternoon and making my current milestone a real bear to achieve (yes virtually everything is in Perforce). It's a bear because i now have to setup a new machine, though that is waiting till i know for sure i cannot resurrect the dead one. PC Necromancy ftw! hahaha

Well, erm, onto the title of this post. Line intersecting code.
I want to do two new things in my next game, or at least in this playfull prototype i am working with. Those two things will be awesome additions to my main game cod ebase, even if i end up not actually using them in my next game.
They are:-
1. LOS check (line of sight)
2. Line Collisions (radius, or distance from a line)

Number 1 (LOS, is gonna be great for controlling when enemies can actualy see me. I just don't want that dumb loking enemy firing at me through walls etc. Looks dumb, and i am better than that. It should make a game seem so much more solid too.

Number 2, collisions to lines. This is gonna be great coupled with the LOs checking. When an enemy fires at me i can see if it hit a thin wall that i just ducked behind. I already have point vs rectangle checks for bigger objects. this will just give me some fine control.

With these new technologies added, i reckon i can make some more interesting games to play.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shoot them all up

I got sidetracked last night when i was working on some documents for an upcoming milestone at work. (i was at home, and it was late).

I altered the directional fire control in my ashooter base work in progress game to to my second joystick. Then i got to twin stick the  ashooter leveles to bits with this config. I have to say i reckon it was a complete blast and opens up some excitement from me to do a sequel already. The only thing stopping me is the fact i would still not have an Avatar in the game. Wedging an Avatar into a game like this does not feel good to me either. so not sure how i might resolve that. If A Shooter had sold even a 1000 copies i would be all over it. I have some great ideas that would make the gameplay progressive from A Shooter and add a whole lot more gameplay. Hard not to get excited about it really. a Side scrolling game but your ship would have a turret for full directional fire control. Just think of the boss fights i could do, woot!

ahh well, back to the Docs, haha


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Whats in a Name (partial Post Mortem)

Here is a post mortem on the name of my recent Xblig game.

It seems quite a lot really. Mostly it is funny how ya don't always realise what is right in front of ya nose.

Take for example my most recent game 'A Shooter'. I did quite a lot of research in game names that were popular for the iPhone. I found that a lot of games for the iphone name iBlah did rather well. In fact of the large list of games that started their name with the letter 'i', most had done rather better than other similar named games. How is this so? Well i don't know of course, but that wasn't gonna stop me using this information to make the name of my game better and more sellable.

But research is only as good as two things (well two that come immediately to mind).
1. Applying this research.
2. Attention to the details of the research.

I did not quite pay enough attention to number 2. I had all the right information, but i failed to notice one vital thing. I did not apply my research properly (number 1). I did it wrong and simply put i ... Well wait... Have you already figured out the mistake only a buffoon could make?

Let's give ya a clue....
Here is a few of the researched names.
Ad here is the name of My game,
 A Shooter

So? did ya notice the difference? Yeah... I should have made the name 'aShooter' and NOT 'A Shooter'.

It may seem like a silly and subtle mistake, but it has had some dire consequences. For example, you cannot search for my games name. If you do, you will be inundated with so many fps shooter games it is insane. It is just not possible to find my game. This is really bad, and i would suggest anyone that is thinking of naming their game, they go do a simple Google search to see if it is still advisable.

Please take this as a cautionary tale. Think first,and before you act, think again.

I removed my Xblig reserved name today ("A Platformer"). i am sure you all know why.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Game and Menus systems

I have been rewriting the way my game is put together.

It is a royal pain in the butt, though i believe it will be worth it. ya see i have a hybrid system in place that another programmer i was working with introduced into my base system. Then he never quite got to finishing it all and i did finish it, only not quite consistantly (it wasn't my vision after all). so now i have decided is the time to do the big change i want.

Simply put i want to
Separate out the Menu system from the Game system. They can converse through some nice function calling to tell each other what is happening. One of the main reasons for doing this change is that i really want my options screen to be able to appear while the game is running underneath (though paused i am sure :) ). I cannot do that the way things are in A shooter. It is work and doesnt feel like i am being very productive with the small amount of time i have. However it will make my future stuff more consistant and i believe faster to create.

I now have all the menu code ripped out and introduced a much more succinct naming system for acessing other classes etc. Getting it to compile was a pain, as i am used to C and C++ and just cos C# says it doesn't have headers, it might as well. It's all the freaking same in the end.

Anyway, time for bed for me.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Waving Bones

After getting way too few hours to play with the new Avatar class i appropriated from UberGeekGames. I have the bone dude(Avatar on PC) waving at me as i fly him around in A Shooter. Here is a picture of him.

See him in midle right. In this version of the game i am also firing in the joystick direction. I have to say it makes this game very hard to play, haha! Though it did give me inspiration to put in a twin joystick control for A Shooter, only i would need more downloads to take the time to do it. Or i will do it in a sequel. though this would make the game easier i cold just add a different scoreboard for twin stick player scores.

sounds exciting to me anyway.
Now back to real work again.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

All Games Are Crap part 2

Not content with writing about games being crap just once. I home come back to do it again.

So if it isn't the good or bad in games that allow them to do well, what could it be. Why is it that some games do so well compared to others in the same or similar fields. Well to start with i want to say, advertising. Yup, as simple sounding as that is, it is not simple. In fact there are many aspects to advertising a game. From the posters and artwork you see, to screenshots and carefully leaked ideals of gameplay that the new game brings. some may say that advertising (and marketing) do not play a huge role in the selling of a game. I have to refute that idea right away. Why would a large publisher spend 2 million dollars advertising and promoting a game if it did not need to?

In the end a game must be seen by the potential buyer to actually get them to buy it.

Of course advertising a game that has a big 30 million dollar budget is a nescessity, as seen by the huge budgets i just mentioned. What would the sales be like of Darksiders for example if they had not spent so much on blanket advertising and marketing. Just getting that game to E3 must have cost a fortune, and in theory that is just an industry event (yeah right!).

Of course we have a microcosm in the Xblig area. Though all the devs know that visibility is still the key component in selling games, whether they be bad or not is less relevant. Having 10K downloads and selling just 5% is much better than 2K downloads and selling 20%. Of course i do believ something else...

Quality of presentation and gameplay, including music makes a better conversion rate.

This also includes crap games. It is possible to have a simple game that will do well because of it's presentation. I would offer up a particular Avatar game as evidence, but they have had plenty of press recently. The point is that it looks nice enough, the gameplay is ridiculously simple. Yet their conversion rate is high, and why not.

So what can Xbligs do to get the word out about their game? That is a good question and i have been working very very hard this year to try and get word out. I have failed, but i try. One recent group has apparently resorted to publicising their new application by ridiculing the Xblig community through Kotaku. this appears to be a brilliant move. Unfortuneatly i am not very good at that good cop bad cop and being the bad guy thing.

So far the only answer i have to the visibility is to have an Avatar in the title and game. so i will continue to play with them until i have a good game to put them in. I cannot just put them in for the sake of it, like a number of current Avatar games have.

Well thats all from me, Get a huge budget and maybe it will pay off, i have tried spending, but cannot seem to find the Xblig buyers.

Good luck to everyone else


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

All Games Are Crap

Everyone has their oppinion about a game. It doesn't even matter what that game is. Everyone has an opinion, whether it is good, bad or just meh! What is interesting as a designer is looking at all the comments you are given for your own game. Trying hard to acertain what all these opinions mean. Trying hard the whole while to put togther an image of what your game might look like. To different demographics and such.

I have heard so many comments lately about one person not liking this or that about a game. These observations were queued to the fact that the Indie games in question did not do very well. What i find interesting is that if you asked these people to give an opinion on the 60+ dollar AAA titles that they continue to buy, i am very very sure they would say pretty much the same stuff. However these AAA titles did very well thank you, AND they were Not a dollar to buy.

In the end there is only one conclusion, all games have their annoying or bits that are sub standard. However it is a very subjective area and from 20 people you would most likely get 5-10 different opinions, some total opposites to each other.

So are all games crap? Noooo, not by a long shot. But neither are they perfect, there are alsways flaws in them, flaws that cannot be taken out as taking them out would just get anotehr group of people to feel that was now flawed. I guess as a designer there is only one final choice. Stick with what you believe in, and listen by all means. Only, take all the advice and add it up. If it balances out, then you must be doing something right.


Monday, October 18, 2010

UberGeekGames Avatar Wrapper

Having been playing with the Avatar stuff these last several days (i haven't had much time for my own work). I knew i needed to write a good surrounding class to put all the crap in, the stuf that needs to be done regardless, the messy stuff that should be easy and straight forward. But before i could get to that i would need something else.

The default animations for the Avatars are very nice. But apart from allowing a game to play Simon with them, i do not think there are many other uses. so i did a search to see if any kind soul had put out any other anims, namely i wanted a run animation. Well lo and behold Microsoft had an avatar animation pack. It took m a post in the forums to find it, but i did get it from the new app hub in the end. This pack supplies a bunch of stuff and a run anim is one of them, woohoo!

This however opened up a can of worms. Ya see, to get custom animations into the Xbox (yes, these new ones are counted as custom, cos they are not built in). ya have to go through some severe pain. Namely you have to have a content importer, and of course this means work, cos well. why would anyone wan tto put this into a real nice tidy simple to use wrapper? I mean, why bother. I know i should not complain, but it seems to be that they did the work to make this system, and then just stopped short on a few things that would make it so much tidier and nicer for new and old developers.

Anyway, this casued me some consternation and i figured i would not bother, until i also decided to search for an Avatar animation class, feeling like maybe someone had already done some of this work. And woah, there it was. Lying in wait for me at UberGeekGames was an avatar wrapper, and also some extra goodness.

The extra was in the form of they had made it so on the PC there were the bones of the Avatar displayed. This is big, as Avatars cannot actually be rendered on the PC, and as most Xblig devs do a high percentage of their work on the PC (like me), this should prove a real beneift. BONUS!!!

I have now integrated the wrapper class into my test application, with much trouble over the oddites of having to have two separate libs for the skinnedModel class. Once i was over these issues i can see the dudes rotating on my Xbox screen. funnily enough getting it working on the PC was real fast.

Thanks very much UGG, you folks rock, along with the other people that helped you give this to the community.

You can check out their Blog here.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

My partner in pain is back

Yup, it is true. My newly married aprtner in pain and of course work buddy is back from Vegas. Now a married man and ready to help me through the data mining i have to do for my current conversion at work.

He is a top lad and as i expected having someone else look at my code would reveal the bits i had been missing, and this held true and he pounded out the thing that i had missed. Of course i could be sad i didn;t notice it, but i am not. I am actually rather happy for a couple of reasons. Number 1 is that i now don't have to keep banging my head against that wall. Number 2 is that he came back after a week of getting married and was very quickly productive. This is a great feeling i'll bet.

Now i expect we can manhandle the data and the only major issue we should face will be the parallel workflow that we really need to achieve asap.

So the moral is, you can find excuses to be sad, but when something good happens. Try to see it that way.


Friday, October 15, 2010

I know i shouldn't

But i could not help myself.

I had to start playing with rendering Avatars. This was going extremely well and i had no issues watching them dance around my screen and generally frolic around in their 3d world.

Then i decided i should stick them in my Ortho Viewport, so i can use them in a more 2d way. Then i started to have issues. I have spent more than 1.5 hours on this, yet it should be so simple. I have given up for the night, but i just saw a tweet from a friend called Mikebmcl(twitter name), saying he had recently done this. Woot! He is gonna find me some code it seems.

Isn't it wonderful that we cna get help in this way, and at this time of night. I loves my tweeple. Maybe i am getting payback after giving a ride to a fella hitching a ride into Simi valley. Wowza if so, cos that pay it forward stuff worked Quick!

G'night everyone

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Some web sites make me feel good

Here is a web site that decided to offer  something that everyone with an Xbox should be interested in.

I have to say i am very proud to be on that list.

LIST of Xblig Worth Checking out.

Apart from that i have to also mention that my job is currently kicking my Butt. I am working extremely hard trying to reverse engineer some combo binary data packets and then grab the vert data that is in them. I am even having trouble finding vert dtaa at all, never mind extracting it correctly. Now these are binaries created for a PS2 game, but geez, i usually handle this stuff no problem. Instead i feel weak and annoyed.

I certainly hope tomorrow goes better, as two weeks working on deciphering this is getting real old, fast!


In Game Instructions are under rated

I know nobody really reads in game instructions and i am no exception of course. I just go for it when i get a new game. Usually games are pretty easy to pick up these days. However to really master a game you might have to go deeper into the game knowledge base and learn some useful tips and tricks. Hell, ya can learn some more buttons you had no idea what they did etc.

So lets take A Shooter. I took a while to put these instructions together and was quite proud of all they said. But as the weeks have passed since the game went live, i have come to realise there is an error in my ways. I am missing vital bits of information and if a player wants to know them, he will somehow have to find his way to this blog most likely. That is just not optimal.

Here are a few examples just to give ya more of an idea of what i am talking about.
1. Going for a high score in the game. In easy mode you can earn approximately 2.1Million by completing the game from the start. for normal it is about 2.5million and then 2.8million and finally for hardest mode 3.1million. this information would have been invaluable for people trying to win my top score competitions.
2. Practicing a level you just failed on is the fastest way to learn a new level or Boss and progress through the game.

So although those examples are quite different to each other. They are both really important. I chose those two because they are so different.

Any time anyone gives you feedback about your game. Any question at all, you should note down the possibility that you need to add it into the in game instructions. Don't be lazy, just do it, and you will be rewarded with understanding of the game and therefore more likely to get good word of mouth.

good luck

Monday, October 11, 2010

Top Score Competition Post Mortem

My main 3 Event competition is now over. Sunday night was it's last hurrah. In the wake of this ending i am going to try and do SorceryGames first Post Mortem, and it will be based on the competition i was running.

Although a lot of this stuff might cross over into the actual games post morten, i want to get this part out first, as best i am able.

What went right...
Got organized before the game went live. A lot of stuff gets left on the shelf when developing games. Not just ideas but also other useful materials for marketiing and such. I knew quite early on that i wanted to run competitions once the game was ready. I did not know quite what to run at that time. But i made it a priority to keep writing down ideas before the game was live. This really showed in the fact i had rule ideas before i needed them.
High Score Sharing was introduced to the project development. This was a real boost to the game, as i grew up playing arcade games in actual arcades. Racking up a top score and seeing it there along with my initials the next weekend was a great feeling. Though with todays leaderboards most people experience a version of this more readily. With the development of this score sharing i was able to set my initial competition goals for the high score.
Knowing what is going on out there is also paramount to being able to create new competition ideas. With the sharing scores i could see people playing my game and make some quick adjustments for competition ideas etc. That was how the first person to score on my leaderboard was created. I just got so excited to see the first shared score. Now if that had been multiple scores at once it would have been more interesting. I shall also use that sharing feature to give out a prize for the first person to complete the last level of A Shooter. Something i find very exciting.
The Press release was a big hit, it went everywhere and a lot of sites listed the fact there was a competition. A lot of the Indie sites i know and love also did special posts to help get the word out that there were prizes to be won in this game.
Life is about Stories. Ones you can tell your friends or wife or children. I was very blessed when the competitions second event produced a real fight for the top of the leaderboard between two brothers from Germany. I got to follow this unfolding rivalry live, even though i am 9 thousand miles away. I of course already wrote about this particular story. It was exciting and i am not sure that it would have been so epic if there were not a competition involved.
There was more interest in reviewing A Shooter than i have recieved for all my other games combined. Some quite large web sites actually asked for review copies and press packs. This was amazing and i put that down to the fact i was willing to run competitions based on my 1 dollar game. This pleased me a lot and felt like a real boon provided by the competition.

What went wrong...
Although i was organized before the game went live, there is no actual control of when a game goes live. Thanks have to go to a lot of my Peers who really helped the game come out about the time i needed it too (Thanks you Xblig Peers, you rock!). So organizing a competition was fraught with danger, what if i failed reveiw for example. The desire to have a competition running when the game goes live had risks for sure, but it also added  alot of time to development. I placed A Shooter into a lot of playtest sessions and did a ridiculous amount of testing for the stuff that fails games.
High Score Sharing is wonderful and i started with JWattes high score sharing component (much like everyone else). This however turned out to not really suit to my needs. It has some issues like garbage collection and to be honest was a lot more than i needed (version 2 is out now btw). I already had a high score class written. I just needed something to interface with that and then share scores. So i took it upon myself to rewrite the component, and now it isn't even a component, and i am not sure how much original code there really is. It is however pretty solid and there are no hiccups when sharing. So i can share while people play the game. However all this took a long time to rewrite and test. I also had to buy a second account so i could connect two xboxes together to truly test my sharing code (i borrowed a second Xbox off my friend). The live account and new cco membership were real money.
Knowing what is going is a great thing, only... It can also tell you when nothing is apprently going off. there are times when my game over the first weekend had not a single highscore shared with it. This was ultimately a very depressing time. Whenever an hour went by without a connection i felt more down about the release. This was more unpleasant than not actually knowing.
Although the Press release went everywhere, it was also late. I never checked with my press release guy and he was on vacation when the press release needed to go out. DOH! that was stupid on my part and so the release came out after the weekend and not on the friday (again delayed dated releases for Xblig would be good!). So i missed the best opportunity, but still it wasn't awful. The worst fact of the press release is my games name. It is very hard to find a press release for 'a Shooter' as any first person game released in the last 10 years has that combination of letters in their own press release. So it is actually hard to find mine.
Life is about Stories and as you know i had 1 epic one last weekend. However since then and before then there has not really been any stories, except maybe between my artist and myself. I should really type that one up at some point soon. So although the one i have is great, i have only one story from my high score events.
Although there was more interest in reviewing by the larger sites, not one of those larger sites that asked for a press pack and review copy actually seem to have printed a review. All the friendly Xblig covering sites did a bang up job and i am very pleased to be a part of their community (i do not care if the review is good or bad, everyone has their opinion). However asking for that kind of information from me and then just not doing anything with it bothers me and makes me feel taken for granted.
*edit* Advertising in Game is not allowed on the Xblig games. It is an imediate fail. So i was not allowed to advertise my competitions directly to those people that had taken the time to download the trial version. I would have hoped that this knowledge would have had two effects. Making a better conversion rate and also allowing this Xbox players to tell others that one of the Xbligs had a competition running. I truly believe thios would have helped my conversion rate by about another 50% and also my downloads by about 25%.
Although i got a lot of press telling people that i had this competition running. I am ultimately not sure it was worth it. I had quite the time investment and commitment creating the background functionality and setup to handle running this competition. Each prize cost me money along with time. Money that so far i have not gotten back. Now of course i do not know if my game would have done worse download wise if i had not got this competition running. Though at this point i do not know how it could have been worse, as it now stands as my lowest downloaded game in its first two weeks. It appears from where i sit that even with all the coverage i feel i got about this competition, I just did not reach the Xbox players themselves. Posting on Facebook, Twitter and various Xbox fan forums did not seem to significantly effect downloads.
If people had downloaded it and just didn't like my game, then fine, don't spend ya dollar. But it hasn't been that way with a 20% conversion rate and one that is getting higher each day.

Final thoughts...
I do not believe i will be running more competitions on future games unless i find a way to get the actual Xbox owners to know about it. I believe they are a great idea, but not worth the investment till i can reach those potential buyers.

Thanks for reading. I hope this give other devs out there some ideas to do better than me. Good luck.

Da Voodoochief

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Shooter Competiton Event #3 Winner

In a great turn of events, Lohen has gone and posted a higher score than anyone else this week. Congratulations. Even outdoing his brother. That is such a glorious thing. Below is the hallowed winner picture :)

He managed to get himself onto a completely new level to pound that score out. His skill is now evolved and I wonder if completion is possible. Certainly i believe the brothers can complet the game together. However multiplayer scores are not shared.

There will be a posrt tomorrow about the competitions and information relating to its success.

Thank you everyone for your interest in this game.

A Shooter sunday Competition Event #3

Yes sunday night at 9pm pst it will be time to annouce another winner.

I see several people playing up the leaderboard near the top. Who will win?

I know this is a small post for today, but i am ill and after Indiecade i am also really tired.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pellmell stuff

In last nights post to this Blog i mentioned that i was working on Pellmell. Well just to remind ya, here is the short list of stuff to do.

1. Add Auto-fire and double the refresh of the bullets
This is now done and makes the game much more of a shooter, only it makes the first 20 or so levels way easier than the original design. I am not sure if this is ok or not. Is it so bad that people can easily play through a whole bunch of levels. I guess it is aok if they are enjoying themselves. for myself though, there needs to be some level of challenge. Needs more wowork.

2. Research how many levels to fix.
This one is about 20 levels. research shows they are now too easy. Even the next 6 or so after this provide little challenge, but at least some. I am not sure what to do. The first version of this game took so many hours to balance. Changing this seems a bit drastic right now. Needs more work.

3. Reduce the size of the ccgame file.
Done, now at 19MB and counting back up as i improve and add stuff.

So now i need to find a new challenge in those first 20 levels. I am not sure i can change my initial game vision that much. It might make it a completely different game.

Tomorrow i go to Indiecade so long as i am well enough. You can meet me at the Sony booth, Home section. I would love to meet anyone that follows my blog etc. And it's ok, we don't have to just talk about Home.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pellmell needs some loving

Taking what i have learn't over the last year or so and applying that knowledge to Pellmell is my current undertaking. I love the basic premise for my game. I love what i did with all the extra effects and transitions etc. But there are a few obvious shortcomings i wish to address.

So players found it annoying that they kept running out of bullets. Well the game was supposed to be a choice between shooting now or later and dodging now or later. By balancing the two ideas, one can achieve harmony with the game. However this is not wanted. Soo the game will change slightly. It will become more shooter oriented.
* Add Auto-fire and double the refresh of the bullets

Players have complained they can simply push their dude to the right and really run Pellmell down the level. Yes they take hits, but they finish the level. Where i bestow upon them a huge health boost. So nullifying the damage they took running there. This is a tough one, as the levels are balanced with the introduction of new enemies as you get through the levels. Bringing in new enemies into something like the 40th level (off the top of my head). So whatever i do, i cannot make those later levels (where you cannot possibly just run down the level and make it) harder than they are. So i need to fixup the first 20 or so levels.
* Research how many levels to fix. Maybe only refresh you life at the end of the level if it below a certain amount, or maybe i start off giving you nothing and then each level up the amount of health i give back.

Price point is too high? Well i haven't really had any complaints about this. But i would hope that if i made the price point only 1 dollar it get a few more downloads (currently about 20 a month).
* Reduce the size of the ccgame file. This is now easier due to better handling of assets etc.

55MB, not sure i have the space mate. Ok, so it was a bit large, but it has a lot of music in the game. Now with the newer Xact i can compress that way down. YAY!
* Already reduced the ccgame to 19MB, a much more appealing size.

I am not sure what else to do to the game at this point. I will examine some reviews and any feedback i missed in the previous playtests and reviews. So after working on it for 2 hours, it is time to say.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A shooter Update Now on Xbox

YAY! Thanks have to go to my Peers who got this minor update through in about 4 days or so.

Now there are a number of minor tweaks and fixes, the most obvious one being shooting the Purple Asteroid to retrieve your powerup from inside it. I hope this makes the frist several levels much more enjoyable for new players.

don't forget about the competition ending this Sunday evening, and you can check out my videos for playthru's of both level 5 and 9. although watching them will teach you how to also play the lower levels.

Good luck

Da Voodoochief

A Shooter Level 5 Playthru Video

I hope this helps those people that might be having issues on Level 5. Good luck and if ya practice, the kills and skills will come.

Good night.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What Next ?

Is anything next? at least for my lovely Xblig?

At the moment i think not. With only 2000 downloads it seems very few are interested in what i do. I will however do a post mortem as soon as i can. detailing decisions i made for the game that have ultimately stunted its spread.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Competition Event #2 Winner

Here is what i saw at 9pm pst tonight on my xbox.

A very definitive win for sure. Placed directly below my own new score and my artists score. I am very pleased to see someone win who has improved on last weeks score. This makes me happy people are improving at the game.

Well after all my internet and virus problems this weekend i have to call it a night. I look forward to sending off a T-shirt to Germany no less.

Don't forget that next weeks competition is in a wekks time.

Good luck and please pass on the competition info to anyone you know with an Xbox360.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Win - Competition Event #2

Can you take the Highest score for the Day on A Shooter?

Today at 9pm pst I will be declaring the winner for the second prize giveaway. Get your copy of the game Here. Read up on the competition instructions Here.

Then get practising and see if you can knock off the current top place person.
Please note Terminhater, Voodoochief and Gontyanbaby are not eligible for this weeks competition.

Below is the current status of my Global High Score Table. as you will see i have low lighted ineligble players. This mean that Lohengriehn is currently ahead.

Good luck to all those people playing for the win.

Please remember the score must be shared and appear on Voodoochiefs Xbox. To that end, it will be left on acquiring scores all day.

Da voodoochief

Bonus:  And just to help get someone else into the mix, here is a code giveaway. DVBWQ-P4M7P-GY99V-CFHTD-HMC8Y

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Global High Scores Competition Story

Today has been a rather exciting day from my perspective, and also from at least two other people i know of that live i believe in Germany.

So it is time for a story...
This story begins with A Shooter and it's global high score sharing. It is also important to know there is a competition runing each week for someone to win a T-shirt by having a great score on the game.
One of my regular tweet buddies and also someone who posts regularly in this Blog has been playing the game (we shall call him Lohen). He has been working his way up the leaderboard and gotten to level 9 on the game. I have commended him on this and can see that below people that workwed on the game and last weeks winner. He has the next highest score. so he is in a winning position with about 25 hours to go. Sweet you would say, but he has been spreading rumours about his brother (we shall call him Bohdel). His brother who was going to come online this weekend and kick his behind and take away his hard fought for T-shirt position.

Well now it is this weekend, and lo and behold his Bohdel has played the game. Not only that but as i tuned in every hour or so to see what was happening a wonderful scenario and story enfolded. Although i was not in Germany watching these two brothers go at it. I could see their scores screaping up. Every hour Bohdel was getting closer and closer to his Lohens score. I thought it was getting inevitable that he would be overtaken when Blammo, Lohen himself posts a higher score, mere thousands higher than his advancing brother.

I then went out tonigth for food and finally got a virus on my PC i had to clear. while i was doing that the brothers were obviously neck and neck and fighting for the better score. Germany was a hive of activity as Lohen and Bohdel pitted their finest joystick wrangling and button bashing against each other.

So when i got back home it was sleep time in Germany, though i am sure both brothers stayed up waaay too late. but what of their status? While i was out eating i had relayed this story to my wife (my kids had already ben eagerly following the saga unfold during the day, exceitedly i might add). She thought it sounded pretty cool, and when we got back in we all checked the High Score table... What did we find ?

It seems that Bohdel had increased his score quite considerably, but Omgoodness so had Lohen. Lohen had actually increased his score enough to get above last weeks winner (very nice). So the days battle has ended with Lohen actually residing i 3rd place on the leaderboard about 30,000 points above his brother. This is very exciting and i am anticipating more to come tomorrow. Who can leave this weekend a winner? Will someone random from lower down the table come and steal the Glory?

All these questions and more will be answered come tomorrow at 9pm PST.

Good luck to everyone that tries. And good luck to Lohen and Bohdel, may the best brother win.

Da Voodoochief

Edit:- (response to the recent comment)
Hi Lohengriehn,
It really is a pleasure to hear from you. I also loved the experience of making A Shooter and having you and your brother enhance it in such a wonderful way. Alas, as you might have read my some recent posts by me, until Microsoft allows me scoreboards online (leaderboarsds)  then i cannot do another game. all my designs really need people to see how well others can do and compete against them. If MS do allow real scroebaords, then i will redo A Shooter with those added in. Then we can have some real fights going on, with new players as well.
So glad you are doing well, Live life and have fun :)
Da Voodoochief

A Shooter Update and Competition

Is now in Peer Reveiw. Not bad being about a day late for me. Still i have not made that many changes, and the ones i have made are small ones. Though my testing cycle is very lengthy.

It should be stable and ready to go, i hope it goes through quickly and then players can appreciate how the powerup asteroid was supposed to function. I just wish i had noticed it, instead of accepting it. Hindsight eh!

So any Peers, i would love it if you can check out my Game and push it through asap.

At least this should free up my weekend a bit to actually playtest some games myself. I did get a few done this week, so that's a good thing. Still never gonna be able to do as many as i would like.


So I wonder who will Win this weeks Competiton. Event number #2 is now brewing and less than 48 hours left. Woohoo! I am quite excited, and currently Lohengrehn is sitting in 4th place on the leaderboard, behind My co-devfeloper and Myself, and of course last weeks winner. Will someone pass him up for the T-Shirt?


Friday, October 1, 2010

A Shooter Level 9 playthru

I have noticed people are getting stuck on various levels. So i thought tonight was the night to get a First video playthru of a level done and out into the internets. I picked level 9 for a few reasons. One is that a number of people are stuck on the level, and these are people that are vying for the T-Shirt Event #2 etc. also the level is late enough that it will allow people that want to progress under their own guile and creativity will not be too worried about it. Next up will have to be level 5, cos boy o boy that seems to be stumping people. I am not sure why, Maybe i need to ask for feedback here.

Here is the Link to the Youtube Video, complete with my Instructional Voice-over :)

I was going to post how i got my Update out to the Peer Reveiwers, but tbh it isn't ready. I have a good excuse in that i have been too busy at work, and playing a bit of Deathspank with my daughter :)

So go check out the video, then come back and tell me what to do to improve the instruction for the next level i do. Yes, you could also tell me which level you would like me to do the most.


P.s. I find it easy to instruct my levels because there is actual strategy to each of them.