Friday, September 27, 2013

Four new screenshots

Making a little headway with the mobile game.  Changed some graphics and made four HQ screenshots:




It's definitely taken a step up in detail compared to my first game.  Only thing missing is the buttons for controlling your jump/glide.

Heh, this game is almost 10MB, the max limit to put the game on Scirra Arcade.  I want to make a demo for this before I go any further so I hope to squeeze in another level before I submit it.  I'm feeling pretty good about this project, it's an endless runner that plays like a platformer with branching paths and hidden and secret bonus rooms to find to increase your token count.

Torn with the jump system, as cool as it is, it sort of messes with the glide.  You have to hold the jump to glide, and I'm privy to tap once to jump then tap + hold for glide, which instead makes me air jump once before gliding.  I want to keep the controls as simplified as possible too.

Also decided on making the whiplash/flail from the first game into a powerup, where Baxter can uncontrollable whirl around for X amount of seconds smashing everything in his wake.

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Xbox giving me problems, won't let me log into Live for some reason.  Can't even play GTAV because it requires you to log in to save your progress...

Entered all my information and they emailed me back saying they can't help me.  So do I have to call these guys?  Apparently, all my personal info isn't enough...

Really am sick of the way M$ treats its customers, its so dumb you have to be on Live to save a game offline... how dumb is that?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Baxter's Venture releases in a few hours on Desura!

Baxter's Venture on Desura

And oh man are my nerves shot. 

I overshot the release on a previous post by a day, and already I saw the boxart posted on Gamespot and Metacritic.  I'm sure every indie dev has been through this point with first commercial release.  My big concern if this game fails epically.

Main concern goes to the art.  I've always been a scrappy cartoonist.  I can draw realism, but it's just something I have no interest in.  I've learned drawing from live models, perspective, lighting, everything... well before college.  The world of videogames and animation kept me very interested in the medium.   At one point in life, I did alot of webcomics.  Some were photoshop comics, then branched out to doing my own which never went anywhere due to loss of interest.  Met some very honest (albeit very harsh) critics out there.  My younger self met said critics with some venom, as I got older there became the realization that I'm not as good as I think I am.  With that clarity in mind, I took a trip back to my older works... and a DeviantArt page... and man, my naivety and inexperience showed very hard.  Like an amateur believing he's a pro...

My art always had that scappy cartoonish feel to them, even years of practice because that's the style I've been accustomed to.  It sounds self defeating, but yet there's always room to grow.  Spent years away from my craft and it showed.  I've always pictured myself as Mike Judge or Matt Groening in their early days, or any artist who's work can be described as crude and unpolished.

Maybe I'm trying to justify something that I'm hiding.  Even looking at some of the cutscenes for this game, I sit back and ask myself If I could of done better.  Either way, I pray this wont come back and bite me... well I wont let it anyway.

Second is the game's programming itself.  Had a blast learning Construct 2, made this game as simple as possible and not overly complex.  Spent every day after making a level or three, I'd go back and playtest the crap out of it.  Even after the whole thing was done, found some bugs, and patched as I went.  Further still, one of my biggest peeves was finding levels weren't unlocking, after completing them.  This happened towards the end of the cycle.  Also since this game runs with HTML5, a chug on the browser can mess things up.  Seen it one too many times over development.

Last is the game's difficulty.  It wasn't my intention to make this super hard like every other platformer, but there is a bit of difficulty.  I hope players won't get too frustrated with the game play.

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Speaking of art, I'd like to find a good Vector art program.  I feel limited with Photoshop now.  Vector art just has this polished look that I can never get to with Photoshop.  Reason I stuck with it is because it's something I knew for years.  With vector art you can resize anything without ruining quality.  Photoshop art can get nasty real quick with it's rasteried pixel editing.  Vector is what professionals use and it helps produce high quality work.

Hopefully I can find one in my price range that I can use for future projects.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Baxter Pocket Preview

Evening ladies and gents, took some time away from GTA5 to work on my next project. Here's a screenshot below! 
 
You might notice a few things.  You have a current "score" up top, with the "high score" at the bottom.   The High Score will be constant until you exceed it, as with tradition.  Your goal is to collect as many tokens as possible after all.  Next, is the green circle on the upper right.  That is your jump meter, similar to Kirby's Dreamland, Baxter can now jump up to four consecutive times in midair before running out.  This can be used on top of gliding to gain maximum airtime, and to save you from any sudden pitfalls.  

And yes, you can collect lives... which act more like hitpoints.  You start out with one generally, but you can add more when you collect the Baxter icons scattered all across the game!  Last, the poker chips from the first game won't return here instead will be the tokens that the game revolves around.  They sort of look like old Aztec currency, with bronze, silver, and gold.  Baxter coins also make a return, with larger value (and size) and will be hidden in every section, including bonus levels.

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Remember, only a few more days before Baxter's Venture releases on Desura! 
Desura Digital Distribution 
Pre-order now if you want, it's probably suicide releasing a game around big game releases like GTAV, but that was a risk I was willing to take.  
 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Release date!

Alright!  Baxter's Venture will be releasing on the Desura Marketplace September 27!  If you click this button here you can pre-order:
Desura Digital Distribution This is great, I hope you all enjoy it.  Not sure what to expect from this.  Alot of work went into this title, testing phase took longer so I hope everything works out.  I feel real nervous, first commercial game.

Oh, man!


Monday, September 16, 2013

A small preview

Figured I'll leave this here:

This is an ingame sprite for Baxter's upcoming mobile game.  What about that sack he's holding?  Well, that's part of the whole gimmick of the game.  The island from the first game is littered with tokens and Baxter has found himself rather fond of the new "shinies" appearing all over.  This may add some depth to his personality, as some kind of collectible hoarder.

Borrowed inspiration from some game characters like Nabbit from New Super Luigi U and the Goblin/Qiqirn beastmen from Final Fantasy XI and XIV.  Something about creatures that hoard just appeals to me, maybe because I can be a bit of a packrat myself sometimes.

The game will be an endless runner, somewhere along the lines of Jetpack Joyride and Temple Run 2.  You have two buttons, one for jumping/gliding and one for his tail/flail move to break obstacles.  He moves automatically so no need for controls.  You just collect stuff to get a high score as possible before you die.

You start with one life, but I'm going to see about how you can accumulate more lives along with cool powerups to prolong your play.

Also I'll be experimenting on making it not so linear.  Each "level" will have multiple branching paths and secrets, which will also include hidden bonus rooms and warpzones.  It makes sense since you're literally trekking around the island so you're going to eventually come full circle.  Speaking of trekking, you can unlock different starting points the farther you progress.  My idea is to make every level interloop including boss levels.

Reginald returns to try his hand at capturing Baxter while he fulfills his new found hobby.  What will Baxter do with all his shinies?  Depending on your progress I plan on multiple endings so if you die after collecting 10k tokens you'll be treated to an ending compared to when you only had say 800 tokens.

There are also plans for ingame achievements.  Something I never did with the first Baxter game.  The achievements will be seen as some sort of "objective" and you just need to fufill the objective to complete it.

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Still waiting on Desura if "Baxter's Venture" is approved, I've set a new release date and I'm hoping to hear from them soon.  Not sure if it's difficult converting a Construct 2 game to something they can use.  I feel repetitive talking about it, so this will be my last post about it until some new news comes down the pipeline.
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GTA5 comes out in a few hours!

I honestly didn't think I'd be hyped for this, considering my utter disappointment GTA4 was.   Add Insult to injury that Saints Row 4, despite it's fun didn't satisfy me as long as I hoped.  I played the hell out of SR3 long after it ended.  Didn't even last long with the Skyrim DLCs as my interest slipped.  I hate feeling like I'm tossing money away but I have a good feeling about this one.  Everything that made me lose interest in GTA has been rectified:

Mission checkpoints
Cars that don't drive like bricks on ice
Hopefully no mandatory side missions
Better AI for NPCs

Main mission is rumored to be over 30 hours, that's over twice as long SR4's main story and there's so much to do in the game.  I might end up picking it up after work!

See you later!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sorry for the late update

The release date for Baxter's Venture slipped past the Sept 4 release window due to some last minute checks on the game itself, and I became heavily sidetracked the past few days.

As I type this, the game is  uploaded on Desura and waiting approval.  Cool thing about Construct 2 is that there is a mac exporter as well.  Once all is said and done I'm going to upload the mac version and see how it fares.  Node Webkit was a pretty ingenious exporter plug in.

There's also a windows 8 exporter too, I'm going to look into it.

Anyway, once the game approves I'll post an update with link and price and hope that everyone who purchases a copy will enjoy it!  This is a huge milestone for me, something I've wanted to do since I was a child has finally come into fruition.  It may not be a game on Nintendo, but it's a start.

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Saints Row 4 was a wild ride.  It feels... shorter than 3 main mission wise.  Even did all the side missions and I dunno, it still felt pretty short.  I had alot of fun that there were some pretty memorable moments with the loyalty missions and rescuing your homies.  Haters be damned, I love a good game that doesn't take itself too seriously. 

Too many gamers these days only seem to care about serious games, and Saints started out as a huge GTA clone and went its own way.  Games like The Last of Us,  Alan Wake, and LA Noire are good games in its own right, but in a taste of opinion I find them too boring when you're too grounded in realism that it doesn't stay fun anymore.  It's a breath of fresh air from what I'm used to but these games always remind me why I like games like Fallout and Saints Row.   There are thousands upon thousands of games that are grounded upon reality, rather than whine and complain how this game "lost its roots" you should try another title.  GTA still maintains it's Second Life crime simulation for those who want it, stick with that.

Speaking of which, that's coming out in a couple weeks isnt it?  I hope they added mission checkpoints and not make stupid side activities mandatory like they did with GTA4 and started with San Andreas.  Escort missions were just as bad, I recall that near last mission I could never pass because that guy runs in and gets killed before I could take out all the mobsters... after driving all the way across the damn map to get to where I needed to go... not cool Rockstar, not cool.

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I... think I sort of lost interest in A Realm Reborn.  Speaking as a veteran of XI, I'm very big on exploration and not so much on grinding.  The thing that turned me off is that pretty much every dungeon or strong hold you need four people minimum just to go and check out, with a time limit.

in XI, you're free to roam anywhere except for small boss chambers as long as you can survive.  XIV feels too grindy.  I was enjoying myself until I got further into the main story missions and there are too many duty finder missions to complete.  It started to feel like work again, and after lvl 32 I've started to distance myself away and had to think about if I want to continue this.  Good thing I had that free week to use up after beta but there goes money spent just for some of the spoils. 

It's my fault for assuming this game was going to be like XI in some ways, I was wrong.  It's still fun, but for the exploration guy in me who likes to solo it's a bit of a turn off that all the cool looking dungeons require a party to navigate through.  Also had the itch to level a DPS instead of a tank, but DPS have the hardest time doing story missions because you're a dime a dozen.

I think if you're past a certain level Duty Finders should be soloable, or with an NPC who you pick a class for like the Adventuring Fellows in XI... now THAT would be cool.   Probably not going to happen though.