Friday, January 27, 2012

Game Development Blog #65

Game Development Blog #65

"Fancy Blog Title"

What's up there, Planet Earth. Good to see you all once again. Been about a month, so I suppose it is time to settle in for a couple few and do the ol' update routine. Here goes.

Things are alright. Quite busy over here, as they usually seem to be. I am finding myself without too much free time these days, and though it is ultimately a good thing (it means that I am being productive) that also will allude to a certain level of burnout. I really, really need a break from things soon, because I am having some days here and there where it is just getting quite hard to turn out useful work, and to find the raw enthusiasm to throw myself into it. Just the same, my main projects are shaping up fairly nicely, and that's quite a big motivation if anything (momentum often is!) so it's keeping my sails winded, or however you'd say. On that note:

Trapdoor is finally nearing it's end stage of development for Android, a lot of work has gone into this little project in the past couple of weeks and it's gone from a rough little toy to feeling like a pretty fun game, to be honest! When I have something that's at the point where I can play a full session, GAME OVER, and then instantly restart to try again.. and again.. and again, that's a very good sign (and an excellent feeling as a developer/producer). For me, it's the sign that the soul is intact there, and it becomes much easier to envision the other little elements which must be put in place to enhance the existing game experience, less of a case of "hmm, guess we will tinker with X Y and Z to try and see what happens." Honestly, this game just needs a nice shiny coat of UI and it's ready to call it a day, and I am happy to unleash it. Those interested to see a WIP of what I am talking about can find a preview posted on our YouTube page - it's still fairly rough, but you should be able to get the gist.

I am looking to produce an iOS port of Trapdoor as well. If anyone out there can help, please drop me a line! If you want to straight-out charge me for the work, we can talk - but if you'd be interested to profit share, that would make my life entirely so much easier for the time being!

GunHead - The beast continues development! It's been sidelined a bit as TD has taken the fore, but I have still been actively involved in pushing for this game. At the beginning of the month I started on a mad tear to try and burn through asset production; they are coming along very well, but I am far short of reaching my "art complete by Feb 01 2012" goal. Steady as she goes! Meanwhile, the gameplay is still finding it's footing as we wrestle to properly configure the control layout, great strides have been made in the mobile game in the past few weeks and it's required some heavy re-planning on how certain important fundamental elements will work. We're almost through this phase, but not out of the woods yet. My whole purpose of developing this game is that it must play absolutely perfectly on the touchscreen, which is contrary to the case of any other platformer I've seen on the device thus far (insert my usual rant about lazy, crummy virtual D-pads as a weak accepted norm here). I am very anxious to get through this part and onto the next phase, where we can start laying down the actual level structure (this is obviously dependent on the final control setup to be in place, before we can proceed!) and then there's a whole 'nother chunk of development to battle through!

I'll take this aside to mention that I've been really enjoying having a jailbroken device for the course of this iOS development; waiting on builds from the programer, going through provisioning profiles, getting stuff signed, etc - you can easily skip all of that when you have a JB. My coder can just through the latest raw build up on the DropBox, and I can suck it off of there and install straight to my phone, without ever involving the use of a PC! I just figured out how to do that last week, it's wonderful! Android had spoiled me with that and now I have that ease of deployment on iOS as well. For those interested, you need to use iFile (the Cydia app, not the "App Store" one) to synced to your DB account, then (also in iFile) drop the .IPA where Installous can see it - then install from the latter, and that is it. Marvelous.

Hop Cop - I think I have mentioned this game on my blog a time or 2 in the past. It looks like development of this title is shortly to get underway as well, this will be a vastly different endeavor than my usual method of doing things (do I have a usual method of doing things, actually?) - to the point where it's very likely not going to be a Headcase Games release, but a different label for various reason. Don't worry, still me, still my game! In an insane turn of events, this game might make it to market faster than anything else currently in development right now, but as usual, we shall see. Stay tuned.

Other news: Gearing up to go to PAX in Boston this April, which will be an important time for me as I'll have much to promote (and hoping to have it all launched by then!) I am going through the process of trying to secure a speaking panel for myself and some others at the show, hopefully that will work out (I need that kind of exposure). Lots of talking in the background about plenty of other things, a bit of freelance work to pay the bills in the meantime, and really - just trying to keep my S together. There's plenty more to say about all of this and more, but I think I have said enough for now, and so I leave you. Thanks for reading.