Friday, May 31, 2013

International audience

Today I was able to have the first look at the teasers youtube audience demographics. To my surprise, the most time watched of the video is spent from German users. This is very interesting, and it made me realize that to increase my chances for success, I will have to somewhat cater to an international audience.

At the beginning of the game I will just have a prompt as to what language they prefer the game to run in, and based on that the rest of the games dialogue and text will be translated. But what languages should I support? If I do this, I will have to support many languages. At least English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese. Maybe Mandarin as well for some of the gigantic Chinese market?

The order system I plan to use (Fastspring) automatically translates for users based on their ip-address so that won't be an issue. I wonder how Desura and Steam handle users from other countries. Maybe I will have to flag my game compatible with international users or something.

This is definitely something I should keep in mind, and I may work on it closer to release.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Another thing I found with testing

I found that testers often complain that they cannot accurately judge the distance between jumps. I am looking into how to solve this. I have a shadow beneath the player to help, but it apparently isn't helping.

I will need to do some research to figure out what I can do.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Insight on testing

Today I let my brother play the alpha version of the game as I watched. I noticed some areas he had trouble.

 For one, if I taught him to do something early on, whenever he encountered a situation even vaguely similar, he assumed he needed to do what I taught him. Now, in most cases this is good. It forces the player to think in ways they hadn't previously, which is why its a puzzle. However, it wasn't like this. It was simply not clear enough what he had to accomplish. He could indeed overcome the obstacle the way that he was trying, but it is much more difficult than the way I expected players to do it.

He definitely had the skills to overcome the puzzle. In fact it is the very first mechanic I teach players about in the game. It just seems that after he learned it, he almost immediately forgot. Maybe the level was moving too fast for most players. I have somewhat foreseen this before the beta, and accommodated accordingly. However, the issue still remains.

My brother isn't much of a platform/puzzle gamer so maybe that had something to do with it. If one things for sure, I need to be clear in goals and design. It needs to be clear what the player can and can't do. This was just simply not clear enough.

I will continue to watch him in later puzzles and monitor his progress. After just watching him play for a few minutes on a single level, I have learned much about what I need to design for.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Beta levels

For the beta levels, I am returning to my older plan. I dropped some mechanics because they were too confusing and didn't work well. So far, the plan is to have 2 mechanics introduced over the course of 6 levels, then followed by a "boss" level. The first level introduces the mechanic, the second shows what the mechanic can do, and the third is like a "test" level. After the player completes two new mechanics this way, they encounter the boss level, and then the cycle starts all over again.

Right now, I have about 12 beta levels done. This is about 1/3 of the normal levels included in the game. The second and third levels in a mechanic cycle now also include 2 collectibles per level. They can be obtained by the player without any future knowledge, but they are difficult to get to. I am not sure if I want them to reappear if the player dies or not.

Today I am going to switch gears real quick. While test playing some of the beta levels, I found some mechanics confusing. To make these easier to understand, I am going to polish them today. This also gives me time to do some art to replace some of the alpha art. Hopefully I can get most of this done today. On first glance I have about 10 things I want to polish, and I want to get at least 4 of them done today.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Advertising the game

For the larger part of the day I have been spreading my game around the internet. Currently the game is on Steam, IndieDB, Unity, devmaster, and youtube. I need to move the game to more places though.

I was going to put the game on the TIGForums, however it appears that it is deeply frowned upon for announcing a game there. Not only is my game unfinished, but it would indeed be spam. I hope not many websites enforce similar rules. This may be spam, but I need it in order to be successful.

Irritum Teaser Trailer

Here is the first teaser trailer of Irritum. The alpha version is ready to download for Mac/Linx/Windows at my website,

Monday, May 20, 2013

Falling behind on recording

I have been falling behind on recording recently because of the content  am making now. Most of the levels are trial/error, and everything else is similar. In addition, it takes a lot of time to record things and make sure it is recording and then edit, so I am cutting back on how many videos I am doing.

Besides, most of the complicated stuff is already recorded, and everything I haven't recorded is just stuff that most people will be able to figure out with a quick google search. These include things like the GUI and interface, and designing the website and teaser.

All in all, video content will probably drop dramatically within the next several weeks, especially since most of the content will be revisions/polishing.

Thanks for reading.

Alpha version is almost complete

Today I worked on polishing the alpha version a little bit. Not too much about aesthetics but I found several game-breaking bugs when playing through all the levels. I believe I fixed all of them though.

I also finished creating the website using iWeb and uploaded a webplayer of the Alpha on to the website. It isn't live yet, but it will be soon.

Lastly, today I added some music/sound effects to the game and created a teaser for the alpha. The sound effects are basic just to add a little ambience to the game. The teaser however features the most amount of music.

Tomorrow I will probably take some screenshots of the game and get a collection of about 20-30+ photos to upload to various websites. After that, I will upload everything to everywhere. Greenlight, GOG, Desura, etc. Tomorrow will be the big day to put the game out there (well, the alpha), and get some buzz going for the game.

BUT before I do that, I need the website to be made live. I'll probably work on that tomorrow as well, and hopefully everything I listed above will be done by tomorrow night.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Second Week of Work: Alpha is on the way

Today marks the end of the second week of work on the game. All week I have been fixing bugs with the more advanced mechanics and creating levels. The levels are by no means final levels, but just levels for me to test so I can figure out what works and what doesn't.

I have made a decision with my deadline process: Have an alpha done by the end of May. Put it for free on the internet and let people tell me what they enjoy. In June, polish the game to get to a Beta stage. This is where levels will be nearly finalized. Then, by the end of July, have the game ready to launch.

I have the alpha build nearly completed, all of the menus and transitions between levels are in place. Next week I MUST start doing music and sound. I pushed it back a week because I was unsure of how to approach it, and I am still no closer. This weekend, as I upload videos, I will probably keep researching for more ways to make music/sound effects.

 After the alpha sound effects are integrated, I want to create a trailer, and finalize my website with a webplayer version of the game, and then uplink the website to the internet. After that, I plan to spread the game to all other gaming sites and press sites and try to get people to play the alpha. There are two weeks left in May, so I think this goal is realistic.

My hopes are that people will play the webplayer and let me know what they think of it. That way, while I start work on the beta version of the game, I can receive feedback on what people like about the game and what they don't. I still have some polishing to do with the menus, but not much at all.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Finally uploaded the first videos

The good news: Tonight I finally got around to uploading the first youtube videos.
the bad news: Youtube doesn't let me squeeze video clips.

I will have to find another avenue to upload youtube clips that I have sped up. I will probably work on this tomorrow so I don't get so backlogged with the videos.

As far as development goes, it is moving smoothly. I have fixed many of the player animations and have started work on the first few levels. These levels are pretty much placeholders for better levels that will come after the first batch of testing is done.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 10, 2013

First work week is over

It is just after midnight (early Saturday) and this officially marks the end of the first week of production.

Today I was able to model, animate, UV map and import a character model into the game from Blender. The only problems right now are having the jump animations play at the right time, and STILL the double jump mechanic.

 I may end up dropping the mechanic after all since #1, it is pretty much a repeat mechanic of the "boost bubble" and #2, I have no idea how to get around working with the mess of Javascript files Unity came with.

I am importing all my recorded videos into iMovie now, which will take probably well into tomorrow afternoon until they are fully done, and then I will dub over them and upload them to youtube.

So, all in all, after the first week of development, I have completed all of the mechanics (except double jump, pending approval), the players model and animations, and most of it all hooked into Unity.

Come Monday, I will polish the animations and see if I can make smoother transitions between them, etc., create a basic working menu, and maybe start on a demo level. After the demo level is pretty much done, I will switch gears to start working on the sound effects and the music. I hope to have the demo level, sound effects, basic menu,and a polished animated player all done by next weekend.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Most mechanics are finished

Most of the mechanics have been implemented. Production has slowed because some of the more advanced mechanics were hard to get to a playable state. However, the only mechanic remaining is the double jump.

This will probably be difficult because the character controller is programmed in UnityScript, and I code in C#, but I will make do.

Tomorrow, after I get that mechanic working, Iw ill try to work on third person mode again. I want the player to be able to scroll forwards or backwards to change the distance the camera is to the player, anywhere from first person to a distant third person angle.

I feel like production is on track, and that I am making good time.

Another thing I want to talk about is the mental/physical toll development is having on me. My body has been degrading over the week, and I can feel it get worse every day. My back is beginning to ache due to my poor posture. I also have pain in my knees which I have no reason why I have gotten it.

I can also feel my mental awareness diminishing. I almost feel like I have a lack of sleep, even though I have been getting healthy amounts of sleep. I feel like mental exhaustion is a driving force in these feelings because of how demanding coding is. Problem solving consistently all day for the whole week has left me literally mentally "out of breath".

However, I can continue developing. Tomorrow I will add in the last mechanic, try to incorporate third person mode, and start working on a player model for the 3rd person camera. On Saturday I will spend my time editing, uploading and dubbing over my recorded videos to share on youtube. This will probably pour over into Sunday as well.

Next week, my main focus will be the player model, UV map, and animations, and polishing third person mode.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

First day of Work

Yesterday was the first day of work on the game. I got quite a lot done. I will upload videos to youtube later with a dub over them, but I will wait for the weekend because iMovie takes absolutely forever to do anything. I can't put many videos to youtube directly because many are quite long, and I want to speed them up.

The three main problems that have arisen are:
1. Third person camera. Right now I can use a FPS camera and controller, however I want the option for players to use a Third person camera also. I will implement this before I do a trailer/teaser or demo.

2. Laser obstacles. The Line Renderer used in Unity isn't that appealing. The lines are far too think. I ended up modeling in Blender a simple line but it won't take the materials correctly, it is really weird. I may just end up using a temporary cylinder from within Unity.

3. Double jump. Since I am basically recycling a FPS controller, a double jump function isn't already included. I have to code it myself, and this proves to be difficult because the controller was scripted in JavaScript, while I script in C#.

I hope to update this blog once for every day I get work done.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Last day of finals

Today was the last day of finals, which means tomorrow will be the first day of development.

Today I will probably just create the asset folders and everything to keep the game in, edit and upload a few videos to youtube if I can, and in general just get ready for a busy summer.

My post on here will probably be a little shorter than they have been previously, mainly due to me wanting to devote most of my time to the game.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New videos every weekend

I have been thinking a lot lately about when to spend time uploading and editing videos to youtube. This will be a very time consuming process, and I have to take care of it after every little thing I do, very little will get done. For that reason, I will probably only upload videos on the weekends.

This is because my part-time job will be on the weekends, so I will have little time to work on my game anyways. However, those days I can still use what time I have to edit videos together, dub over them, and then upload them to youtube.

This will be a huge amount of content. I have no aim for minimum / maximum amount of videos per weekend, and it depends on how long I can make the videos. I will probably aim for about 10 minutes per video, and just do a time lapse of my work.

Thanks for reading.