Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Heroic Patterns Artist and next?

It looks like I might have an artist for Heroic Patterns, and he is talented AND we came up with what we think is gonna be a cool look. Like a circuit board, but more stylish, like Tron. Then make the patterns something to do with resistors.. As I am not an artist I am good with the description and now I can just relax a bit knowing he will do a real nice and tidy job, dare I say artistic job :)

Now I have, or Nearly have this under control I am putting more thoughts to what could be next...

I had lunch with a great mate of mine today called Chris, and what I might do next came up in conversation. I thought I would be doing an Android version of the distilled games, but I always wanted the distilled series to be at least 3 games. so far I have two of course, so do I go create the third? Or do an Android version of the existing two, or maybe I should start doing a few other interesting things like friends list enhancements. This means that as you are playing I will inform you how well your friends are doing in comparison. This is supposed to not only incentivize you to play more, it is also to help you connect with your friends. More social should equal a better experience for the player.

So at this time I have no solid idea what to do next.. Though I am sure it will be posted on this blog soon enough. Maybe it is time for distilled game number 3, the Geo location game?

Da Voodoochief

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Colorful Animated Backdrops

With my distilled gameplay games I am making them simple, yet fun. As it happens simple can also mean that the games can be a bit static and boring, and I dislike static and boring.

So as with Heroic Buttons I am busy trying to get a nicely animated backdrop for Heroic Patterns. Let me go back to Heroic Buttons for a moment and describe what I did with that game. I have these lovely animated stars and I randomly place and animate them in the backdrop of the game, underneath everything that matters on the game screen. This supplies me with full screen colorful animation. I will add to this that drawing so many alpha'd sprites can wear on a machines ability, so on machines that are not as powerful I place few stars.

Now back to Heroic Patterns. Due to the nature of this game there is more real estate taken up by the patterns and also with the game the way works I really don't want to distract the player from the job of following the patterns. So what to do? Below is a picture of one thing I was trying, and although I tried to fraps the animation, for some reason the video has flashing in it so is useless.

Did I mention it was colorful? hehe.
I play this animation of an explosion rendered in various colors. This does in fact look incredible, only it is a bit distracting for the player, so I cannot use this. I am still not certain what to do. But something simpler is going to be necessary.

Ahh well, hopefully a picture soon of the final look  will be in this blog :)

Da Voodoochief

Thursday, November 14, 2013

1 Piece of art, can make a big difference

I have been busy doing more work on Heroic Patterns, currently being worked on for the iOS platforms. Mostly I test this on my iPad, as my eyesight is not as good as I would like it to be, also my fingers are not sharp, haha!

Here is a before picture of the game,
Although I had some reflection in the photograph, it is possible to see many things. From the unfinished title to the rough blending of the patterns themselves.

Here is a later version from last night,
This one, as well as being a better photograph shows just how much can be done with a single piece of artwork from my friend Sean. He made me a circle that alphas out from being solid in the center. This is a white circle and I have used it in a couple of places in the above version.
1. The main place it is used is in the pattern colors, now they blend really well along their length, and I am really pleased with this enhancement. It is as good as I had hoped for.
2. The second usage is the lighting on the active pattern areas. This lighting is using the same image blown up to many times it's size, and it looks like a light is shining on the patterns. I alpha this up when a pattern becomes available.

As you can see this piece of artwork makes me happy as well as shows this game in a whole new light....

Da Voodoochief

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I got me a Mac

It has come time. Time to take responsibility for my own Apple uploads and more.

Yup, I finally did it, I bought meself a Mac. In this case a Mac mini capable of running the latest iOS SDK. This means I can now rebuild the iOS extension at my whim, I can also upload my own ipa files. This last fact is very important to me as my mate who has taken responsibility before for all my iOS uploads has just had a new baby boy. I do not expect him to be concerned with anything beyond his newly grown family.

Now I have to admit that I don't know much of anything about Macs. Yeah I have used them, but so sparingly as to be a none starter. Now I guess it is time learn. First thing I have to do is update the Os, as the one I just bought is currently set at Lion, and I need Mountain Lion, then grab the proper SDK for that build. Also then grab the Marmalade SDK for Macs.

After that.. well, I will try hard to upload the IPA for 'Heroic Buttons'.

It is an exciting time!

Da Voodoochief

Sunday, November 10, 2013

iPad smear test

As I looked across a few mornings ago at my iPad, I could easily see in the reflection two distinctive finger marks, or smears. These excited me as they showed what had recently been going on with the screen. Here is a bad photo of the iPad.

As you may see in this photo the two smears are pretty obvious, one is a straight line, and the other is a wavy line. The two gameplay test patterns for the Heroic Patterns game I am currently working on.

This test went so well in fact that I am moving forwards with  the game and already have 5 patterns on the game screen. That leaves me with one more to go and then I have a bunch of timers and sfx and graphical effects to incorporate into the game. Very exciting, I ma liking this game rather a lot.

Laters all,
Da Voodoochief

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Heroic Patterns Screen Layout

I have been busy working on my next game 'Heroic Patterns', which is my second game in my series of distilled gameplay games. The simple idea is to make simple games, by distilling the gameplay I am interested in down to what I think are it's barest essentials. Then anyone can play my game, easily and quickly. No need for complicated instructions pages etc. Just jump right into the game.

I am still working on getting the first distilled game 'Heroic Butons' onto the iOS market, but having a few technical issues with that at the moment. Meanwhile I am busy working on this new game. I need to prove that the distilled gameplay actually works you see. So far so good. Below is a layout of the proposed game screen, only the name is wrong of course.

As you can see I have laid out a number of patterns across the screen. And I think they looks pretty good.... Only, I also want to add on a name for each pattern along with a score for each one. Then the final part that is required is to print on top of the patterns their own timer.. Well now that is pretty messy sounding, and in actual fact it is very messy. I have only a couple of the patterns currently setup and they look very messy with all their baggage. I have no clue at the moment what to do about the clutter.... Still the game seems fun, so I will simply have to sort out the layout. I think I will ask for some layout help from an artist friend of mine.

Have a good one,
Da Voodoochief

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

GDCNext what's that?

I got an invite yesterday to meet up with someone from Marmalade at the Los Angeles Convention center. I was a bit bemused at first wondering what on earth he meant. I wasn't aware of any show going on at this time.

So I quickly looked up GDCNext on the internet and to my pleasant surprise and also chagrin I discovered that there is indeed a GDC and ADC going on in LA at this time. I looked over the list of exhibitors and also browsed the conference titles themselves. All very exciting for someone in my position, as this GDC really seemed to have a great focus on Indie and Tablet development. Right up my alley as they say. Still I have an important meeting at work and Wednesdays are pretty hectic for me with my family commitments and such, but the dates for the event ran from Tuesday through Thursday.. I must be good right?

Next up was to check prices, as I really only want to visit all the exhibitors and talk to a lot of people about middleware and opportunities for promotion, publication, hardware and other help wherever possible. I didn't need the 1K tickets, the conferences will have to wait for another year. Yet when I went to look at buying the expo floor passes, I was dismayed to discover they do not cover Thursday, only in fact Tuesday and Wednesday. what a downer, as there is really is no way for me to make Wednesday at such short notice.

I am very excited this event is now local to me, and I really would love to talk to real people about my situation and how I could help these publishers etc and how they could help me. I love the idea of getting in a mutually appealing relationship with a publisher for example. I guess I will have to wait for the next one, which right now seems a very long time away.

My only wish is that I had noticed this event coming up a week ago, as I would have been there and of course promoting it on my twitter so I could hopefully meet up with as many of my peers as possible. so many of my Indie peers still engage on Twitter and I have never managed to meet any of them... yet!

Da Voodoochief

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Nice conversation with Nokia

Last week I received a call from Nokia. A nice English guy named Russel got in contact with me to see if there was anything they could do to help me get more WinPhone 8 apps/games released.

Now as it happens I have not created a windows phone game now in nearly 2 years and that is because I have moved away from XNA and onto the tablets and phones using Marmalade. Marmalade now supports win8phone development if you have the right license. Another detail is that I own and use a windows 8 phone myself and so have the perfect test machine if I was to develop on that os.

The conversation went very well as he had done his research, and he knew my brand, knew what I had created on the Win8Pone and my other creations. This I liked a lot.

The question of what could he do to get me to publish once more on this platform was a bit difficult to answer in some ways. I really only need to own and windows 8 PC to develop on, but I am currently setup in a very stable environment in win7. For me to change and upgrade to win8 will be a pain, and I simply need some sort of incentive to push me to do it.

We never actually came up with an answer, but he gave me someone to contact with my situation and they would see what they could do, and in my case that means giving me enough motivation or reason to upgrade to win8.

Now how many developers get that kind of call I wonder, it was nice I have to say.

Da Voodoochief