Lead & Zeppelins

25062013

Just a small update this week. Six O’clock High has been coming together nicely though. I’m in the middle of adding a little story element which is told through graphic novel style intermissions (in a similar way to planet wars). I’ve also done some currently unfinished character art for the two main characters.

And most importantly, I’ve added Zeppelins!

In the week ahead I’ll be finishing the art, optimizing performance, general bug fixing and polishing before attempting to make some background music. Erk, that’s going to be either a lot of fun or a complete disaster. Maybe both?

Zeppelins ahoy!

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Camelot The Build

16062013

Some more exciting news this week! Board game designer Wotan Games has chosen me to develop a digital version of their upcoming board game ‘Camelot The Build’. It’s a very cool medieval themed tile-based building game, I’m sure fans of MegaCity will love it.

Wotan have an official development blog detailing the game here. I recommend having a gander if this piques your interest. I’ve played the game with them and I think it’s going to work really well in digital form. Wotan are launching a kickstarter to fund this project, so stay tuned for more info on that and the game itself.

Camelot the Build is from game designer Julian Musgrave and continues Wotan Games’ theme of the Arthurian legend. It is a tile laying game of medieval castle building with all sorts of dubious stratagems, cunning tricks and subtle ploys.

‘I have enjoyed the games from Cole Powered and found Cole Jefferies great to work with.’ said Laurence O’Brien, Director of Business Development for Wotan Games. ‘Looking at the quality of his production and games it was a logical step to work with them.’

‘I’ve enjoyed working with Wotan Games, they are incredibly passionate about their work.’ said Cole Jefferies, the power behind Cole Powered. ‘I am excited at the prospect of developing a digital version of Camelot the Build with them.’

Wotan Games is a British board game design and publishing studio established in 1984. For 10 years they produced titles such as King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Excalibur and Merlin.

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A Six O’Clock High Update!

SOCH

Good afternoon! Well, June is here and although I had originally planned to get my recent project ‘Six O’Clock High’ out by now… I haven’t. This isn’t due to anything other than me under-estimating the amount of time involved. BUT it’s definitely getting near a release now.

It’s playing well, I’ve improved the graphics slightly and there are now 5 different enemy plane types. The player’s plane upgrades are all in place apart from one, and yesterday I started the menu system. I’m for a simultaneous mulit-platform release later in the month, perhaps even at the end of the month at this rate.

Here’s some more recent screenshots:

soch_01 soch_02soch_05 soch_03

The game looks better in motion, so I’ve made some gifs to showcase the gameplay in action!

SOCH in action!

SOCH in action!

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Preview: Six O’Clock High

23052013

Hi Everybody. It’s been a little while since the last update, that’s because I’ve been working on a really cool small project. So I’d thought I’d share a small preview with you…

So this is a action-packed 2D dogfight game, which at this stage I’m calling ‘Six O’Clock High’. It’s a much smaller, less ambitious and more focused project than I usually do work on– and something I’m going to complete by the end of the month.

SOCH 1 SOCH 2

I’ve wanted to make a good little aircraft shooter for quite a while now, I remember making a similar attempt at one when I first started making games years ago called ‘Dogfighter’. It was terrible and never released but the idea remained at the back of my mind.

Six O’Clock High on the other hand is quite different. First off, it’s ultra-simple.  In the game you take control of a two seater biplane, the player is the pilot with the gunner being AI. The game is all about piloting, dodging enemy fire at high speed while manoeuvring into a good position for your gunner to get a shot on the fokkers.

I’m designing this with touch screens in mind. One thing I definitely wanted to avoid was on-screen buttons. I’ve never found them appealing as a control mechanic, as it always feels like I am playing something that would work better on a controller which bugs me. So for this I had to come up with a control scheme that made sense without traditional controls.

What I came up with was a system that  turns the plane around your touch relative to the aircraft’s position. To turn upwards simply touch above the plane, or down below the plane. While this scheme takes a little getting used to, it soon feels quite natural to me. I hope others will find it easy and accessible too.  Another thing to note is that there isn’t a fire button- your forward guns will fire if there is an enemy infront of you, and your gunner will fire if there’s an enemy within their field of view. I didn’t want to have to make the player fiddle around with fire triggers, in this game it’s all about the flying.

SOCH 3 SOCH 4

The graphical style is something I’ve been working a lot on. I first mentioned I wanted to experiment with a mashup of painted and pixel art style graphics a few weeks ago in my dev blog, and this game is very much the result. The colouring is also something I’ve been tweaking a lot, I’m going for a slightly washed out colour palette which makes the whole game look like an old technicolor film. These early screenshots and the graphics are subject to change, but I’m quite pleased with how it looks so far.

The gameplay itself is wave-based survival. At the end of each wave your aircraft will receive a repair and you’ll get experience points to put into a tech tree to upgrade your aircraft. I’ve yet to flesh out the upgrade tree itself, but this should add a little strategy to what is otherwise a very fast-paced action game.

Since I’m using Multimedia Fusion 2 to make the project, I also want to expand the game to play on other platforms. I’m planning to make a free Flash version, and minimum-cost XBLIG, Android and iOS versions. Windows Phone too is a possibility.

Stay tuned for more updates on Six O’Clock High and a release in the not too distant future!

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