Bear Box Blog

Game Development

10 days???

Has it really been 10 days since my last post? Wow…

Well I decided that sleep was for wimps, and so I spent the last week really knuckling down, fixing any bugs I came across, and adding the art into the game. I really was hard work, but I feel it was totally worth it.

The down side? My body seems to think that it only needs 4 hours sleep… so yeah, Go to bed at 10, wake up at 2am… can’t sleep again until the next night. Some people may think having 4 hours sleep would be great, but they’d be wrong… oh yes, they’d be wrong.

Black eyes, slurred speech, and slow brain function.

In any case, I finally finished Internal Invasion and just now submitted it for approval through Tizen. Fun! It was a bit tricky, as it’s still in development there are a few hurdles to jump over, but Tizen looks like it’s going to be pretty good indeed.

So yeah, my game’s currently going through approval, so let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.

Again with the prototype

It’s been a lot of fun working with the old prototype. I’ve had a few people try it out, and the comments are largely positive, which is a great feeling when you’re showing something off for the first time. I’m even getting positive feedback from people who, in my experience, have generally dismissed certain projects, so in that sense, call me a happy chappy.

HOWEVER!!! As this is aimed at being a mobile game, I thought that I had better test it out on my mobile device… Oh dear…

I managed to get 5 frames per second with my lighting system turned on, and only 30 with it turned off. Now this confused me, as the game is not complex in the slightest. Very confusing. My other game, Internal Invasion, is working out at around 50fps on mobile devices, but it is substancially more complex with the sue of larger layouts, dozens of sprites, music, a lot of physics, particles, background objects, etc… and yet it manages to play at a better rate than this basic prototype. No idea why, but it means I have to strip everything back piece by piece to figure it out.

Enjoy the video :p

While I wait…

It’s always a good idea to keep yourself occupied. While I wait for the last of the graphics to be created for Internal Invasion, I’ve decided to work a little more on a prototype I started a few months ago. Hopefully I’ll be able to turn this into a game, as I had a blast with it in its current state.

Have a look!

On another note, the artist I’m working with has recently created a new laser for Internal Invasion, and I think it’s brilliant. Very happy indeed!

Before and after…

This is the game as it was during the Kickstarter promotion…

… and here’s a look at the game so far, along with an in engine look at the code and how things are all pieced together… as well as some beautiful commentary!

Be careful who you hire!!!

A few months ago, I posted this game on Kickstarter. I really wanted to get some decent music in the game, as what I had made so far was pretty tame (or so I thought). However, the comments I received from the game was that the music was good, the gameplay was good, but the graphics could be improved on.

I think the problem stemmed from the fact that I had used the placeholder graphics for so long, I convinced myself that it was brilliant. After all, I was having fun playing the game I had made, and that surprised me. So I considered doing it myself, but finally decided on getting some quotes from other people. The average quote was about £2000 to get someone to redraw the graphics I had already done… An estimated 2 weeks of work. I was about to give up when I got a quote for $1000 to do everything. I was sold. I saw their work and was happy.

However, an important thing to note! Get everything in writing, and give them a deadline! I said that I needed it in 2 weeks, but idiotically added “but I’ll happily wait until it’s right” on the end. Of course I meant that if I wasn’t happy with the design after 2 weeks, I wouldn’t mind them making changes. They took it as though I was willing to wait indefinitely.

So, 2 weeks passed, along with 5 deadlines. They hadn’t sent me ANY usable sprites and either ignored my messages, or fobbed me of with one excuse after another. Eventually I got fed up, cancelled the deal and asked for my money back. After 2 hours arguing, and telling me how invested they were in the project, they finally gave in and agreed to give me a refund.

2 months later, they still hadn’t sent me my money, and were now refusing to do so. I went through Pay Pal (who sided with them as it was a digital product, and PayPal don’t deal with that) threatened them with legal action, but finally got my money back through my credit card company. Haven’t heard from this (no other word for it) thief since.

I’m now working with another graphic artist who is quite simply brilliant. Not only are they more than capable, they are quick and provide fantastic feedback and ideas. My game is coming along really well, and it’s a lot of fun adding in the new graphics and watching it all come together. I’m really looking forward to finishing it off.

This is the story of a game maker wannabe

About 9 months ago,  I quit my job. I had a nice steady income, but things weren’t changing in a good way. Instead, as I’m sure the case usually is, both the workload and the hours increased, but the pay stayed the same.

About a year before that, I’d purchased a little program called Construct 2, and within a few hours I was in love. Construct 2 allows people of all abilities to rapidly make games. It’s a lot of fun to do, and surprisingly simple. Strangely enough, I’ve never really gotten into programming… I just kind of look at the code, get the general meaning, but only piece by piece, and never the whole thing. Construct 2 gives me the ability to make great things without the need to understand programming, and for that I love it.

So, I quit my job and went self employed to do what I love. This free time has allowed me to enjoy my work a little more. Less stress, less disappointment…

Anyway, after 9 months of working on it part time, I’m nearly ready to release my first ever game. I intend on documenting these last few weeks, as well as posting stories that lead up to this point, and details on a new project I’m working on. You’ll be able to see what’s happening with development, as well as share in my failures and my successes. I also look forward to your feedback.

It’s going to be a fun ride!