Friday, July 26, 2013

New Launch Date - September 6

New launch date is September 6. It has been pushed back a little to accommodate some unforeseen events. Now this may sound like a bad thing, but this is a good thing. In my opinion, a very good thing.

I still won't go into the specifics until everything is signed off on, but that should happen within the next few days. Then, (hopefully) I will have the confidence to talk about it.

This is a good thing though because the game will hopefully reach a wider audience, in addition to being a better experience overall.

Exciting times everyone. Lets all hope this pans out well. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The current state of me.

I think now is an interesting time for me to explain how I currently feel about the game. I have watched many interviews with game developers, and many say that after the game is released, they become depressed. They compare it to sending a child off to school, or something of the like.

My game hasn't been released yet, but I think I am starting to feel a similar way. I wouldn't say I am depressed, but I would consider myself incredibly nervous to the point of minor paranoia. I consistently feel "butterflies in my stomach" to a huge degree. I don't know if it is because of the recent and exciting opportunities that I could be a part of, or because of the game going very public in the next few weeks.

For that matter, not many people I know are aware about this game yet. I guess you could say I am scared of what people will think of it, and of me for that matter. To increase my chances of success, I will have to show it off to everyone I know, and that kind of scares me. I may have nothing to be afraid of, but I feel this way nonetheless.

In addition, I am afraid my game will not be considered a good game. I won't stop making games by any means. I enjoy it a whole lot. Even though it may not be my main source of income, I will still do it. I also know this is a learning experience for me. It will make me a better designer, writer, artist, programmer, etc. But I still want people to like the game. I will be happy I finished my first game, but I may be heartbroken if people hate it, at least within reason. I know not everyone will enjoy the game, but I want people who like the genre to enjoy my game.

In conclusion, I am afraid. I am afraid of failure. I am afraid of what people will think of me. I am afraid of what will follow after this game.

I'm not saying the game isn't fun, and it's dumb or anything. I just wonder if other people will like it as much as I do.

Thanks for reading.

Minigame is done and included.

The mini-game I wanted to include in the game was easier to implement than I thought. It is now in working condition and included in the game level hierarchy. It still needs to be ironed out and polished, but it is working.

They are really just simple levels that break up the action every couple levels. They take less than a minute to beat, but I just wanted to include something to break up the routine every now and then.

Now I am back to my routine of polishing the game. Tweaking sounds/music, performance, stuff like that. The last major thing I really want to get into the game is a new character model that looks a bit better.

In other news, I recently said the game will release August 16. Now I realize I may have jumped the gun. I initially thought the game will be completed by that date (and so far, it will still be), but because of circumstances I could not foresee, I may delay the game by about one months time.

This is all dependent on what happens within the next couple weeks or so. When I know for sure what is going on, I will let everyone know when the new release date will be, and why it will have to be postponed.

This has nothing to do with the speed of development, but rather with an exciting offer I recently received. The offer may fail to pan out, and it may not, but either way, I will let everyone know as soon as I am able to give a definite date.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

New game modes

Yesterday I started experimenting with different game modes, and I'm going to try and make a run to get them in the game.

One mode is a one-life difficulty, which is exactly how it sounds. The player only has one life to beat the game. This wasn't hard to program at all, I just added a boolean so the player doesn't get "next level" or "reset level" prompts.

The other game mode is the mini-game I was talking about earlier this week. I as experimenting with it last night and I decided I'm going to try and include it. It's just a small addition that will occur after every few levels or so. Specifically after the player collects a part of their "brain".

The only hard part I think will be getting the minigame to load the correct level after the minigame is completed. I'll probably just have to manually enter the level every scene. Oh well, there will only be a few of these events so nothing to worry about.

I should also probably make a transition to the minigames. For that matter, a transition between levels other than a menu. Maybe a fade to white? I will have to think more on it.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Getting publicity

With release (August 16) quickly approaching,  I am wrapping up development on the game and shifting my perspective once again to marketing. To try and get the news out about my game, I have several things I am going to do.

The first thing is that I will be giving out many copies of the game. Probably at least several hundred in total. I will post codes on Facebook, Reddit, Youtube, IndieDB, etc. Hopefully this will drive awareness of the game and get people to be interested enough to purchase it. I am planning to have at least 200 codes, and divide them up based on audience download rate around different forums and stuff like that.

The second thing that I need to contact press members with my personal story. I think what the press may really latch onto would be that first of all, I have created this game all by myself (so far) without spending a dime on making the game. The second thing, would be that this game was only created in the span of about 3 and a half months. The third being that I am creating a game that revolves around the topic of suicide(loosely), which is very rare concerning the current state of the game industry. The final point being I am only 21 years old (I will be 22 on August 16) and have done this much work alone and in this short amount of time.

That's pretty much it. Within the next few weeks I will create the official Steam Greenlight page and promote that, try to get the game set up to be sold on Amazon, and look into the Apple app store to see how to get included in that (though I've heard horror stories about that so I am reluctant to get involved with that).

Best outcome:
Game is available on my website, Desura, Steam, and Amazon at least. Hopefully It will be available on Gamersgate and GoG at a later date. That would be my goal to get the game out there.

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Most of the game is done...

.. now just for the polish. The game is in a functioning and working state that I believe is able to be released. I can't think of any bugs at the moment, which is a good thing, and the gameplay has been streamlined and polished.

However, the game won't be releasing just yet. You may remember my last post saying I was in crunch time. Well that still stands. I want to put so much more into the game than what I have now.

Some examples, I want to include some kind of opening cinematic kind of thing, which shouldn't be too hard, and a credit scene. Both of those can probably be done by the end of the week, if not tomorrow. But what I really want to include are transition levels.

As the game stands now, the player beats a set of levels, grabs the part of their brain, and then a new set of levels is unlocked. I would really like to incorporate a mini-game in between these two events. A small, maybe 1 or 2 minute break from the game, to change the pace.

The other big things on my plate are polishing some things, and increasing the average FPS. Sometimes the FPS dips below 30 frames on my macbook, but I want the game to run an average consistency of 60 fps on my machine. That way, lower end machines will still get good fps (I consider my machine in the mid-lower range).

I also want to make the player texture a bit nicer, and change the particle system currently on the memory collectibles.

One very large thing, is the music. I absolutely NEED to add more music to the game. Currently I have mostly ambience, but that needs to be updated. Most of next week will probably be dedicated to solely that. Honestly, the music also quite worries me. I have limited access to decent music programs, and I have not music savvy by any means. I guess we will see how it turns out.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Crunch Time

I am going to consider the next month or so up to release as crunch time. I have tons of new features I want to put in the game, and I have lots of polishing to do. The main topics I need to include are listed below:
  • Polish. I need to round out some corners and make the game more appealing to look at.
  • More game modes. I plan to have at least 1 more game mode included. A 1-life game mode where the player has only 1 chance to beat all the levels.
  • Achievements. I want the player to be able to have goals to beat each level. Such as within a certain time, or certain amount of deaths, etc.
  • Story. I also need to weave in the second story. This story really involves the outward audio that the player hears while in a coma. 
  • Story, again. I need to incorporate heavier story elements. Specifically I need to figure out how to incorporate the different parts of the brain into the "brain" levels.
  • Music. I need more. much more.
  • Final level. An endless, final level.
  • New player model. Lastly, I need a new player model, and I need it to animate correctly.
As you can see. I have a lot to do. I feel overwhelmed. 

In addition, so far people that have played the game appear to be enjoying it. They are frustrated with the controls and such, but most people do enjoy it. No preorders yet though. I'll probably do some giveaways on reddit and elsewhere to try and build some more buzz for the game.

Brainstorm: I can make a second character. The character can be an angel-like entity that guides the player. She can teach the player how to jump and stuff, and then fill them in when they get to the brain. This helps fill a few gaps in the design.

Thanks for reading.