Update Blitzkrieg: Planet Wars now Free on Android

10082014

I’m currently waiting on a fix to Fusion 2.5 before pushing ┬áthe latest update for Six O’Clock High to iOS. In the meantime I have released one of my older projects, Planet Wars, for free on android. The game has been free on iOS for a little while, so it made sense to do the same for all the little green robots.

Along with the free-ness, I’ve updated the game a little, adding revamped control sticks and using the latest build of Fusion 2.5.

Brace yourselves for more updates regarding projects old and new soon!

You can download Planet Wars for free on your android devices now on Google Play or Amazon App Store.

facebooktwitterredditpinterestby feather

Update Blitzkreig: Free O’Clock High / Post-mortem

20072014

Hello folks! As you may of guessed from that stunningly witty title, I’ve decided to release my game Six O’Clock High for free. It’s now free on android, iOS will follow in the weeks to come.

Along with the new free-ness, the game itself has a new build which is a little shinier. There are chartboost ads involved BUT you can disable them completely via the options menu. Anybody who has purchased the game before now will have them disabled by default.

Releasing a previously paid-for game for free is always a bit of a moral grey zone for developers. I wanted to release SOCH for free because I think there are a lot of people out there who don’t want to pay for it, but who would play it. It’s a small game so it was always to be expected. But I don’t want to screw over the people who did pay for it and support it early on, AND I wanted to keep it all in one version. When you have multiple versions of the game game- paid and free, things get trickier to manage.

So that why I’ve just gone and made the ads completely optional. I would hope that a lot of people leave them turned on because, when it comes down to it, I do need money for food. But even if you just download the game for free, you have the option of removing them.

18

Post-Mortem

So what went right and what went wrong with Six O’Clock High?

The Good-
I was and still am pleased with the quality of the core game. I still have fun with it whenever I need to test it. With some reservations that I’ll expand into further on.

I’m still very pleased with the graphics. Tonnes of thought and adjustment went into creating the ever-so-slightly-washed-out-but-still-vivid colour palette. I had some lukewarm comments on the half-pixelized style I attempted, and I would have to agree it didn’t quite come together as well as I hoped, but I’m glad I tried it.

The Bad-
Controls still remain an issue on touch screens. I think I personally like them more than the average person, but they come up a lot. At this point it would be a lot of work with little reward to go back and input a whole new control system. Sorry guys. Maybe in a sequel?

The content is light, especially for a paid game. I always knew this was going to be the case as I wanted to keep this as a small project. Every project I do spirals out of control, I end up spending 1 year+ on. I wanted to do something small and light. Yes, I thought about doing an awesome single player campaign, with friendly AI, different levels, and progress saving. If I make a sequel this will definitely be on the cards. But Six O’Clock will always be just a little survival arcade game.

As for the price (tier 1), I thought it was reasonable outside of the context of the app store. I still do. $1 for a cool little time waster is fine right? The reality is the competition is very heavy, and even a tier 1 price can be a tough sell when it’s really quite a small game and up against free-to-play titles. That’s just the reality.

The Ugly-
Bugs. Always a downfall. I think I’ve got them all now.

The looping soundtrack. I couldn’t afford multiple tracks OK? BA-BA-DA DA-DA-DA!

Performance on lower end phones. Also somewhat unavoidable. I spent weeks trying to optimize each version as much as possible. It’s as good as it can get. If you have devices made from 2012 onwards, you should be fine though.

So there we go. I hope you enjoy Six O’Clock High. I very well may return to make Seven O’Clock one day. It’s certainly a game I’d like to expand upon.

 

 

facebooktwitterredditpinterestby feather

Building Camelot the Build #6

28012014

Hi there everybody! The Camelot project is progressing well. This month I’ve been polishing it up a lot, fixing bugs and testing on android. The game is working, the AI is working nicely on both PC and android, all the UI graphics and animations are done and the sound effects are in place.

01What’s left to go? The online multiplayer is a bit tricky to get working. Currently, you have to host a server yourself via PC and other players on android or PC can connect directly to you. This often requires some port forwarding on a local network though- something which users may find off-putting. Ideally, a master server system which both PC and android can connect to via their internet connections would solve a lot of this. But unfortunately a system like that would be costly and require maintenance.

But despite this complication, the multiplayer is working when tested locally, which is great. Network multiplayer on PC and android might be a feature that’s just there if you want to dive into it, rather than a game-selling one. I hadn’t ventured into multiplayer gaming before this project, and my tools and knowledge are limited.

The iOS version will sidestep this issue by using iOS’s GameCenter matchmaking system. The iOS version is next on the list, and should be quite straightforward now I have an android version working to a good standard.

02

03Apart from that, there really isn’t a whole lot more to do. I’m still playtesting a lot and coming across bugs to squish, but I think the big ones are fixed. I’m really happy with how it looks and plays, the sound and animations really add a lot to the feel of the gameplay. The AI is decent now, as far as my ability is concerned. They still occasionally screw up on the last play, something which I’ll continue to work on.

04

This project has been great to work on, I’ve learned so much. The AI in particular was by far the biggest challenge. There’s still a bit to go- I find the last 5% of game development can often take the longest/be the most challenging. As soon as you fix one thing, something else goes wrong, it’s a bit like whack-a-mole with bugs. But we’ve really got an awesome little game for you here!

 

 

facebooktwitterredditpinterestby feather

Building Camelot the Build #5

28012014

Now that the boring AI stuff is done, I can move onto the pretty things! This week I’ve been overhauling the game’s user interface from the ground-up! I was never very pleased with my first attempt at the UI (it was meant as more of a placeholder anyway), so I’m glad the more important stuff is out the way so I can finally focus on prettying up the game.

01

I think it’s a huge improvement! There are also tonnes of new animations to accompany the new UI.

02

As far as the UI goes, there are a few more things to do- the game over screen where each loosing player will be executed by Gawain, and a few multiplayer specific elements.

03

Since I’ve last posted I’ve also been working a lot on the sound- I’ve created a sound effect for every individual building as well as lots of pleasant UI sounds to accompany the gameplay. Expect to hear the sounds of butchers butchering, swords swinging, baths being run and weavers weaving as you build.

04

Although not visible in these screenshots, I’ve moved the ‘end turn’ button to the bottom right instead of the bottom left. Instead, the ‘undo’ button occupies the bottom left space. This feels more natural as the bottom right is a natural ‘final’ positioning- if you think of it like a book, you would end up here before turning the page. The same principle applies in design.

05

06

Next on the agenda: Bug fixing. AI tweaks. Tile graphical tweaks. Multiplayer testing.

See you soon!

facebooktwitterredditpinterestby feather