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Working on some stuff! One project is a web game in Flash/Starling that is gonna be SUPER cool I hope:
The other is a new STEAM/CONSOLE game about barbarians who puke. For this project I decided to get out of my Flash comfort zone and try some new development platforms. I played with Unity and its 2D tools for a couple weeks, but it was taking me a REALLY long time to get anything done. The workflow and 3D base (even for the 2D tools) was too unfamiliar to me. C# is also a much more strict language than as3 and I was feeling bogged down.
I was able to get things working, but imagining the amount of time and continuous learning curve involved with making a BIG game in Unity was starting to freak me out!
So I did some research into some popular indie games that are under development now or released recently to try to find an alternative to Unity that would still allow us to meet our goals:
1. Publish on Steam with local multi-player and controller support
2. Have the option to publish on consoles (xbox 1 + ps4 + Wii + others?)
3. Web preview support if possible (not necessary, but pretty desire-able)
4. Mobile support (not really likely, but nice to have the options open...)
It came down to a decision between Open FL and Game Maker: Studio.
Open FL was really tempting because it's based on Haxe and uses syntax and display list-style stuff that's very similar to as3 that I'm already comfortable with (it's also FREE). I could use FlashDevelop and feel pretty much right at home with the process, but (and this is a big butt) its console support is a bit shaky and it's fairly new and not as well documented and has a small-ish community (though it's growing). I've heard that it has some funky quirks and can be tough to port projects between platforms...
Game Maker, I had always assumed, was a cheap (in quality, not in price) method for high-school kids who can't code making games with a simple drag and drop interface. I thought it wasn't a serious platform for game dev and was more of an educational tool... then I started noticing that some NICE games are/were made with Game Maker (Hyperlight Drifter, Nidhogg, Nuclear Throne, Rivals of Aether etc.) Once I saw that legit games were being made with GM, my only question was whether it would be as unfamiliar to me as my experience with Unity.
So I downloaded Game Maker: Studio and tested it out thinking that, if it was a beast to learn, I'd fall back to Open FL...
BUT MAN IS IT AWESOME!
For someone coming from Actionscript and Flash, everything just seemed to make sense immediately. What took me 4 hours to make in Unity took me 20 minutes in Game Maker and I could see the whole game feasibly unfolding from beginning to end (unlike my anxiety about unknown hurdles in Unity). Game Maker actually reminds me a lot of as2 style coding rather than as3... which is kind of a good thing for me!
So, Game Maker it is for Barfbarians! A further bonus is that GM has better html 5 support than Unity so we might actually get a web-demo of Barfbarians out there before all is said and done.
To prove how easy it is, here's a gif of Barfbarians already running local multi-player with game pad support at 60 FPS! WOOOO!
Leave me your thoughts on all this, even if it's just to say "Hi!"
It's about a very serious topic...
I wonder if @Tomfulp ever gets tired of his personal life being under the community's microscope.
It's easy to get depressed during the winter season but, for once, I'm feeling pretty pumped about entering the new year. I've got some projects I'm banging away on and not feeling overly stressed about money. Hopefully things will snowball into GREAT things in 2016.
I just read a brutal article about game development that hit way close to home by pointing out some of the mentalities I have about succeeding at being a game developer that have contributed to my stagnation. Read it at the risk of recognizing yourself in the "negative" attributes column:
I have a dream though, and I'm just gonna name names and get it out there:
I want to have my own game development studio.
I think I know enough about the industry to be able to successfully lead a small team of talented people to success. It would have to be small at first and payment to team members would largely be in revenue sharing of our first launches, but once we had our first semi-hit, I think we could easily support ourselves.
Key components of this team:
1. Performance Programmer: Up to date on the latest tech (open FL, Starling, Unity, Haxe) - Intense attention/skill/love for nerdy things like optimization, mobile performance, game engines
2. Back-end Programmer: Database, API, multi-player specialist - Not intimidated with supporting 1,000 simultaneous-user multi-player game... (this position is not necessary for start up, but would need to come in once things are financially stable)
3. Game Artist(s): Strong visual style, good animator, quirky/unique personality and vision
4. Marketing Guru: Somebody that nerds out over analytics, setting up booths at conventions, shmoozing, and social media
Requirement for everyone is to be aware of the industry and trends of what's finding success (and why) and full of ideas for new games.
For #1, I want Antony Lavelle, or Joey Betz, or Newgrounds Mike, or Afro-Ninja (but most of these guys are already gainfully employed with their own stuff) I would also probably fill in here when needed for the first few projects.
For #2, I'd take my old business partner, or PsychoGoldfish, or Tyler Glaiel (also all doing their own stuff)
For #3, I fit the bill pretty well, but I'd really like Luis to be that guy and maybe work together with me on art/animation/menus etc. Poxpower would be good to have on board too for extra retro touches. Kupaman would also be a nice addition here. Mindchamber would be fun to have on board in this slot too. NG Tyler's stuff is looking awesome lately. Oh, and Wiesi...
For #4, I have no idea really... these guys are tough to find and tough to trust, I might have to fill that role for the 1st few years.
So what's stopping me? Mostly fear of failure, some is just not having the right combo of availability of the right people, some is not having the finances to tempt some of the more successful guys.
What bothers me is that, most of the guys mentioned above (and including myself), are all struggling (or at least only mildly successful)... mostly independently as freelancers, some are beholden to a list of regular sponsors/publishers. Most of them are hoping to make the next big hit, but don't have the resources to pump it out and promote it properly. If only we could join forces into a slightly bigger, but still surgical, team. A team needs that perfect storm of abilities and availability to reach a tipping point and break out of the endless loop of scratching up a bare subsistence... some kind of key change or power boost to break out of orbit on our individual planets.
That said, I've also witnessed quite a few "teams" rise up from our ranks and then fizzle and crash. What made them fail?
Anyway, that was something I had to get off my chest and reveal to the sunlight of the world for scrutiny. Tell me your own game devolpment secrets, aspirations, and fears!
Hey y'allz grab Super Chibi Knight for pennies ($2.49) for the Steam Christmas sale. Now's your chance!!!
I finished my university semester! Woo! I just have an internship to go and I'll have my degree done! I had a bit of a miracle happen with my transfer credits from my old university finally being assigned correctly which waived 12 credits of classes I thought I had to take next semester, that is a HUGE burden off my shoulders!
I'll be interning in the Fall, so I have the next few months to work FULL-TIME on a game project that I'm really excited about! It's still in very early stages, but I think will be one of my COOLEST games yet... oh and it will be released on the web! Just like the good ol' days! Sneaky preview (lots of temporary art here):
One of the classes I took was a "ceramics" course. I had never messed with ceramics before and I LOVED it. I think I'm hooked! I'm considering getting a throwing wheel for my home and joining the local public ceramics studio. Here are some pics of my final project:
Think I can submit this kind of thing to the Art Portal? It really needs multiple pics to get the full effect...
I submitted my first full-on VIDEO to Newgrounds! It's a little Christmas stop-motion video made by my little nephews who asked me to edit it all together for them:
Finally, I'm finishing up a project with @Luis that we started long ago and we decided to refresh for Pixel Day. I think you'll LOVE it!!
That was a big update, but I'm feeling good about stuff and excited to be back in the game groove after a lot of boring school!
Leave me a comment and get me even more pumped up!
Hey fellows, my game, Super Chibi Knight, is now ON SALE on Steam for just $4.99. That's 50% off!!!
This is a limited-time offer, so grab this totally cool game for radical dudes while supplies last!
Play the web-demo here: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/661076
It's been around 2 months since I've posted... sorry! But I'm alive, just going to school and working to make ends meet = very little free time to post on NG...
PAX was awesome, met tons of cool people, I don't think I'll miss it again in the future!
Are you still alive?
Feeling a bit stressed with the first week of my new university semester starting RIGHT AT THE SAME TIME AS PAX!!!!!
But gotta breathe and do my best to meet all obligations.
Doing a 13 hour drive tomorrow from Nevada to Seattle... good timez!!!!
Hey you guy-uys!
It's been a while, but I've been busy! I drove 30 hours to Austin TX to attend RTX. I brought my best friend with me and towed a trailer full of furniture to my mom's house in TX. My car didn't come with a trailer hitch so I had to install one myself... it was a huge pain in the butt (but that's another story). It was 85 degrees F in Phoenix at 5:00 am before the sun came up... at 7:30 am it was 102...
Here I am wondering how to set up my booth space:
Here are some peeps at the booth:
Close up of booth running:
Meta inception or something of me playing a guy playing my game:
My buddy got this girl to pose in an SCK shirt in front of the booth:
It was really useful to see people playing the game in real life. I made a list of things to tweak and came home and put up a new version on Steam with all those tweaks immediately. It probably would have been helpful to do a few shows before releasing the game just to make the game that much more solid for launch... oh well... NEXT GAME!
Speaking of which, have you heard about BARFBARIANS? Check it out! Team Bobo from Abobo's Big Adventure is getting back together to tell the story of barbarians who get physically ill at the sight of violence, so they use their acidic stomach juices to vanquish their foes!
Much <3 to you all!
I posted the web version of Super Chibi Knight on Newgrounds today!
Vote 5 to be my best friend!
I have some other new stuff starting up... I LOVE starting new things... I love having OPTIONS after a big project is done... I have a lot to learn and a lot of work in front of me, but I'm really excited for the future!
PEACE my brothas and sistas!