Sunday, May 17, 2015

Okay, I'm on to something now.


Just thought I'd drop a line to show a little bit of progress.  Last week I started character sprites for the protaginist for an action game.  He looked a bit Mortal Kombatesque and ended up scrapping it.

Second design which isn't shown was a more modern setting, a throwback to my defunct XNA project that never got off the ground.  It was going to be a throwback to River City Ransom where you fight a mad pastor of a megachurch who managed to lift a portion of a state into the sky gradually getting higher and higher, because he believes they'll be in Heaven once they die in space.  It was a game where I mostly poke fun at right wing stereotypes, racists, republicans and the kind of a-holes that use Christianity and the Bible as an excuse to be smug stuck up SOBs that believe they're above being called out for doing wrong...  

Sorry, got off on a tangent there.

It started to become more of a personal grudge of mine I'd LOVE to poke fun at, but I have to remember that this has to be more than just a civilian vs evil religious cult.  Maybe I could do the bounty hunter angle.  Since in his world, law enforcement has become some sparse that bounty hunting/mercenary became a big deal in that day and age.

Geo's personality is cold, reckless, witty, and holds a grudge over the way he was treated in the past so he has a bit of a cynical demeanor.  He desires to live a carefree life, but despises the kind of people who take advantage of others... like a mad pastor hell bent on sacrificing thousands of people in hopes of getting into heaven.  His backstory gets darker, but I wont spoil it.

He works for a former Spec Ops trainer who runs a small bounty hunting business with a techie, a unreliable female hunter with a hot streak.  I have plans for the ending thanks to Suicide Squad influence.  Geo hunt's small fry rednecks and KKK wannabes and turns them in for a decent profit... which made him more money than his day job.  The mad pastor hunt will be his ticket into the big leagues, and a personal grudge he has to settle.

OOH  here is the design:

My re-re-redesign.  And good timing since I was on a Contra kick lately watching some old vids.  Hard Corps actually implemented alternate routes, which will also be a thing for this game since there are optional targets for you to hunt... with some hidden targets as well. 

I also like the animated look.  Remember this sprite is enlarged, so the real thing will be smaller... depending on the size of your monitor.

Working for a former Spec Op member granted him access to his suit and weapon.

Here's hoping I'll have a level done before the week is out.


Unless Prison of Elders keep's me distracted...  but stay tuned!

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Because it's been a while.

I'm revamping act one to resemble a casino/theme park rather than a carnival.  One thing I learned is that people see the carnival theme and suddenly shy away from wanting to give the game a chance... which is a shame, it's probably insecurity for the most part unless you have a dark tone to go along with it.

I was honestly no better until I reached my 30s and went back to the world of Nintendo and colorful graphics.

Sorry for the sudden lag, I tried to make the gifs just low enough for the more rural connections.

I've been going back and re-evaluating the game, adding animations and changing stuff.  While the game is just waiting for the greenlight over on Steam, I'm sort of stuck on where to put this game.

Even for stand alone PC, there are few places that allow me to publish without insane thresholds (Desura) or low file size game submission.  Other distributors outright rejected the game, it seems there isn't much in the way for self-publish for a HTML5 game unless you're willing to sacrifice getting some kind of compensation for years of hard work.

This game with all the effects and animations won't function on the Wii U I'm afraid.  HTML5 support on a home console is still in it's infancy and probably won't change anytime soon... the controls just a tad more complex for smartphone (No way in hell am I putting this on Android though)... though if I had the money to get a mac I could fit the bill for an app store fee I'd be all over iTunes.  

My other option is to rebuild the game from scratch on another engine... which I'd rather start a new project entirely.  In a way, I feel stuck.  Perhaps I should seek out a publisher that's interested in this game... maybe that's what I need to do.  

Any thoughts?


In other news... 

Now for those who follow, I know I made promises on games that haven't gotten off the ground.  Dodge-Fu, High School Reunion horror game, etc.  Plans for Youtube and Twitch?  Still afraid of the unknown, I get discouraged easily when plans fall though... and the weird feeling of being a 30 something male doing youtube commentary about the gaming industry.  You can blame that on being raised in a conservative hive-mind world where you have to reach certain milestones while shunning any form of creativity because it doesn't pay the bills.

Truth is, I forget to gauge the time and energy to learn a new engine and the cost of developing for other platforms.  I'm still a Wii U dev, but haven't produced anything in months because my projects wouldn't work with the current engine I'm using and I haven't been able to afford a dev kit.  I was hanging with my friends for days on end on Destiny and when back to FFXIV in time for Heavensward, but now I've found myself with free time to think things were put in perspective.

Real life I have a full time job, but every penny goes towards bills, food, my pets, rent, and debts... the price of going to college without that fancy job at the end really puts a damper on saving money... lately it's been even more so thanks to unexpected personal events.

What does this have to do with anything?  Well, I just haven't decided on if I should raise money for my projects... I was expecting Baxter's Adventure to be on Steam to help fund the Wii U stuff, but as you can see that isn't going to happen anytime soon.  Porting this game as it is won't suffice either, it's too big and resource demanding.

However, I'm willing to give it a chance on NEW projects.  I have a plan to start a GoFundMe campaign, a seemingly inexpensive one... to get the funds needed for 3 Wii U projects.  I'm not going to do Kickstarter, I don't have the means to reward backers and it's more for small team projects than solo ventures like GGWorks.

I'm looking at doing 2-3 prototypes in Construct 2, real simplistic, possibly retro/arcade themed games of long forgotten franchises.

-A "Shatterhand" themed game that takes bits from Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania and the first TMNT game.  Think of a faster paced "Bad Dudes"

-Zelda themed dungeon crawler with a female protagonist, it'll feel like Link's Awkening and Adventure of Link

-Adventure Island or a remastered port of Baxter's Pocket Venture

These will act like mini trailers of what to expect for the Wii-U.

With the three prototypes combined, I am Captia... *ahem*  I mean this will give donators and idea of what to expect for the Wii U gaming console.  I'll work on one at a time, and place them on the E-Shop.  I know there is a market for these games, even though Wii U has the smallest install base, it's perfect for me since I'm one person and not a team of people.  And the fans of the console really appreciate indies and the niche games rarely found on other platforms.

The funds would cover:  Dev kits (possibly both for future Unity projects, my biggest goal is to learn Unity if I ever get to quit my day job haha.) music and sound for the games, overhead (I'd like to own my own studio away from home.) production costs for both games and software for youtube (better quality trailers so I'm not using movie maker and bandicam) Software and Dev kits are the biggest expenses obviously, and get top priority and music for royalty free websites.  There are a large amount of chiptune artists out there who make great music just begging to be used!

As far as incentives, I'll work on that.  I'll start with inexpensive stuff like t-shirts and such.


I have considered Patreon, not sure if I should do that since I'm not really a content creator with a well established fanbase.

Anyway, what do you think?


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Some tidbits

Baxter for Super Smash Bros!  (At least an assist trophy.)

...once again, I dare to dream.

For starters, new title screen!
New logo and name change.  I had to debate this for a while, since it bears the same name as the old vanilla version on Desura, this is a remake and while it is a "Director's Cut" the game is a true adventure title.

The old title card is part of the intro cutscene, which makes sense since it still explains why you start out at the carnival act.  Also, I like how the background doesn't distract from the title and interface like the old one did, and the "Lucky Sack" is resting on the Director's Cut indicating the change in story compared to the old game.

Also worked on some small animations, like a space bar prompt for certain Act 3 parts and tokens pop above your head when you acquire them now.
Promoting this game has fared pretty tough, I can understand people's reluctance to play this due to the art style and all.

It's a shame, but I'm going to pester the press again until I get a bite.  On the good side is that I've secured a paid email address to get on NeoGaf.  It's a great place to get exposure and feedback since it's a very well known forum for devs and gamers alike.  

I want to try Kotaku or Polygon, but the kind of gaming news they cover I don't think a simple mascot platformer would be a priority unless there's some kind of buzz surrounding it.  Maybe this week I'll attempt at setting up a new press kit and see what happens.  It's a pain when you're too poor and work at a place where it's hard to take time off to do the convention thing to gain attention.

Oh well, back to the grind!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

WARNING: Huge animated GIFs

Working on some gifs.

Seems to be a trend among showing off parts of games these days, so I found a converter that converts clips into gifs.  Hope to one day spot this on NeoGaf, haha!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Baxter's Venture new trailer!

Hey gang, there has been some activity lately.

I'm putting another effort in getting Baxter's Venture Director's cut out there, this time going to reach out to Youtubers instead of the press.

For starters, here is an updated trailer:

It gets better, but I've finally managed with my pitiful budget to put a better quality video.  FRAPS no longer functions with Google Chrome, or Construct 2 so I had to opt for Bandicam.   The results were pretty good, and even using Movie Maker didn't ruin quality like it did with my FRAPS recorded vids.

So, tonight and tomorrow I'll be contacting Youtubers interested in playing my game, while it's mostly completed, I've done plenty of changes to the textures and adding gameplay elements.  

Dodge Fu is still a go, just so you know.  Not going to back out of that, I'll be continuing with using Construct 2 for this as well as now that I've finally become familiar with more of its features.  Perhaps if I reach a point where I can quit my day job, I'd LOVE to try out other game makers and see what I can do with them.

That's all for now, take care!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dodge-Fu! Smartphone/tablet game

Yes, I did sort of announced a horror themed game, but quite frankly it's another large scale project that I feel more comfortable working on when I'm familiar with a better engine for it, like Unity.

So for now, I'm redirecting my focus on another smartphone/tablet game dubbed "Dodge-Fu".

I'm keeping the concept a secret until release, but its NOT an endless runner.  I cannot disclose the engine as I'm working on three different engines to see which will be the best to port the game to both Android and Apple platforms.  

The game will have a few dodging mechanics, at least three modes of play with some unlockables.  The first mode will be a simple practice room where you try your dodging skills with counters for dodges and hits.

Second mode is endurance mode where you have to last as long as you can before getting knocked out.  It's more for scoring purposes and to see how far you can go before fatigue sets in.

Third mode is the real doozy:  Master's Challenge mode is similar do endurance but the speed gradually increases, and there is no end either, so this is more for hardcore dodgers who want to test their reflexes.

I've already found a great idea on how to market this game, and unlike Baxter's Pocket Venture I'll make sure to send out press kits/free games to willing Youtube personalities rather than wait for a bite from the game journalists on a slow week.  I want this game to be hectic enough for them to react, and a bit controversial if I play my cards right.

Speaking of BPV, if Dodge-Fu does well, I'm going to look at rereleasing BPV DX with updated graphics, achievements, and new areas to discover while collecting coins.

Oh, and none of this FTP stuff either.  I prefer to make games you buy and feel you have your moneys worth, ad free.  So I'm committed to that.

That's all for now folks, see you next time!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Back to the drawing board.

Happy new year to all!  Good riddance to 2014.

So, over the past week I've been toying with some ideas for my next game and came to terms with I want to experiment on a type of genre that's foreign to me:  

Survival horror.

I had all these ideas for an action RPG, though to be frank I don't want to spend a year on a game since I may not have time for an epic scale story.  So I've been checking out some horror themed games, newer stuff as well as classics and remembered I had ideas about a game where you play cat and mouse with a stalker type character.  Hell, I have designs for the stalker himself actually.  I'm looking at incorporating my female protag as the main character still since it seems more fitting to have a male stalker vs a female character.

Any of you remember Maniac Mansion or Dragon's Lair?  The game will be 2D and the best way I can accomplish this is using that format

The setting of it would be either a high school reunion or a college that's demolished one fateful night in an explosion, following three months reports of strange lights and gunshots were heard from the now abandoned school while you as an investigator search the school for clues since the police is unable to act upon this deeming the murderer to of fled the scene but is at large, and without much evidence it would be hard to convict him.  Though a college would make more sense as it's bigger in scale.  Sure it sounds Law and Order cheesy, but I'm confident I can make it work.

As you enter the school ruins, you come to notice that it's possibly haunted, covered in blood and cobwebs you come to find proof that a dark ritual has taken place.  Symbols are etched all over the school grounds, and you will see images of ghosts and possessed crows trying to peck you.

Enemies you need to worry about:

1. Possessed ravens:  These black birds with red eyes swoop down and try to peck you.   Just use your melee to swat them back.

2. Acid spewing rats:  Rats that spray acid, sprinkle some crackers and they'll be distracted.

3. Traps:  Traps have been placed all over campus preventing you from finding the secret.  Tripwire explosives, alarms to alert the Stalker, bear traps, wires in water, etc.

4. Ghosts:  These are meant to be jump scares if they touch you.  Use the flashlight to make them disappear temporarily.

and the big one...

5:  Stalker:  A grown man obsessed with killing you, for reasons unknown he blames you for why his life turned out the way it is so he is demanding restitution. As a side quest you collect pages of his manifesto to get the reasons why he is still hanging around the haunted school.

The mechanic of this is, when you spend more than five minutes in one area, he enters the area and patrols looking for you.  You have to avoid him at all costs while you investigate where the ritual has taken place.  Stalker uses the security cams to track where you will be then patrols until he finds you.  I'll have music cues if he's close, and one when he finds you.

The main part of the game is to locate the ritual and contact the authorities with your evidence and the killer's confession, if you can survive it.  All you have is a smartphone equipped with a flashlight and camcorder but battery life is limited so you have to be very diligent with it.  You explore parts of the school and take pictures of rituals and other oddities taken place.

I want to make this a bit more interesting, since the school is in ruins, you have to navigate al a Tomb Raiderish by hanging on ledges and jumping across small gaps.

The smartphone allows you to also save your game at any point.

I'm still working on items you can collect, I'm really trying to avoid the old "get key to enter area" trope that's way too common in these games.  Maybe I can take a cue from the Arkham games and use alternate means like ventilation, open windows, or tricking Stalker into unlocking a door.  Maybe an electronic combination lock you can hack with your smartphone once you are able to get the right app.

Also, Stalker taunts you by sending creepy texts as you progress.  Keeping with true stalker fashion.

My goal is to make this game in less than two months, my challenge to myself.  Sort of a game jam to test and see where this game goes.

Who's with me!?