From Jay is Games
by elle on March 12, 2014 04:00 AM
by elle on March 12, 2014 04:00 AM
by Ferret on March 11, 2014 10:36 PM
When will the next GemCraft release? It’s a question we hear a lot here at Armor Games, almost as much as “Where is Sonny 3?” The answer is soon, very soon. In celebration of it’s coming release we’ve posted it on Steam Greenlight. Help us launch GemCraft Chapter 2 to the gaming masses by giving us that big thumbs up.
If you haven’t played GemCraft before it’s a unique tower defense game, where, instead of towers, gems are your main weapons to fight the endless hordes of monsters coming for you. Here are some features coming in the new version…
You can play the original GemCraft games here!
by email@example.com (Robbie Clark) on March 11, 2014 10:25 PM
by JohnB on March 11, 2014 08:00 PM
by Chris on March 11, 2014 07:29 PM
FGL is happy to announce a new guest post on our blog. This post is by business consultant BB McKinsey. Mr. McKinsey has a very unique perspective on the industry and, though it is NOT necessarily representative of what FGL thinks, we feel it is important to get many thoughts and opinions out there for everyone to discuss.
About BB McKinsey – Mr. McKinsey has over a decade of game industry business experience. He’s worked with the top game developers in the field, and is proud to have never been influenced by they’re creative and non-money-focused imaginations. His specialty is in making developers millions of dollars by reminding them of the core purpose of game design: making money. His current focus is on Indie Games and Indie Game Developers.
BB McKinsey – business consultant to the game industry.
I was thinking the other day that the problem with the internet is that there’s not enough me on it. I pondered for a while on how to solve that problem and it hit me. I need to put more of me on it. So here I am.
My first Article will be on a subject very dear to me: In-app purchases.
There’s been a lot of debate lately over in-app purchases. Should developers use them? If so, how should they put them into their games? Are they ethical?
Here’s my advice: when used a certain way, in-app purchases are a vaccuum whose hose you can put directly into your user’s wallet. And as such, I approve of them heartily. Of course, there are ethical ways to use in-app purchases. But those won’t buy you a new sports car.
I mean, come on. Sure, there are developers who design their games in a way where they don’t have any psychological mind-raping tactics to suck money from their unsuspecting userbase as quickly as possible. I have an affectionate name for those developers. ‘Poor.’
You are never going to make $1million a day trying to convince people who have never played your pixelated piece of crap to fork over $1 based solely on screen shots and a description. And if you use some “responsible” form of the freemium model you will never be able to blood-let the pocketbooks of the less than 1% of addicted gamers that account for most of the spending in freemium games, who we commonly refer to as ‘whales.’
As indie developers you may think it more honorable to instead of making $1million to have 10 of you make $100,000, but that’s because you haven’t stopped programming “Kumbaya” long enough to consider how much a Rolex costs.
Yes, you could put a cap on the total monthly spending in your game. Perhaps reward users who meet that cap every month with some sort of reward. Yes, you could partner with other developers to cross promote your games so that – instead of running your game like an ever-starving black-hole who lives solely for arbitraging players – you help players find fun content while simultaneously contributing to the health of the indie community and movement. But why the hell would you do that? Tell this to any sensible business man, and they will laugh in your face. And you will have deserved it.
I often have arguments just like this with the FGL team. Which is why they kindly let me start guest posts here. They were sure the community would agree with them that my ideas have flaws, but I’m sure to prove them wrong.
Who’s with me?
by Eric on March 11, 2014 07:03 PM
by LDora on March 11, 2014 04:00 PM
by JohnB on March 11, 2014 01:00 PM
by Tricky on March 10, 2014 10:00 PM
by Kyh on March 10, 2014 08:00 PM
by Eric on March 10, 2014 07:48 PM
at March 10, 2014 07:08 PM
Today was the start of the big UI push, which I've been putting off. One thing I really wanted in the game was video clips to show the different power-ups so the player could select which one they preferred and could see it in action.
As we're using a combination of Away3D and Starling, I can't use stageVideo. Because it's always displayed beneath everything means trying to cut a mask out would just be a nightmare and not even worth thinking about.
My first thought was to use a sprite sheet, just load it in on demand and update a sprites texture every frame to make a cheap and cheerful video clip.
I made my grab ( Using Screenflow, OSX only I'm afraid, but the best there is ), imported it into Flash and spat out the png frames. Nope, even with it just being 256x256 it blew the 2048x2048 texture size and it was only a short clip.
Ok, let's try FLV using the native display list. It's probably going to run like a pig but best to test these things. Unbelievably it performs well, the clip is really high quality albeit small, but it worked much better than I thought.
Cool, problem solved. Let's just get it looping and... hang on, what now ? Looping it ( Check for it to be finished via an event and then tell it to seek(0) ) makes it glitch really badly, there's a delay, sometimes a fraction of a second, sometimes a whole second. It's a 68k clip loading from a SSD, and it's not streaming quickly enough at the start. For fucks sake.
The solution I came up with was to make a feature of it ( As I'm not going to be able to fix it ).
I grabbed the last frame and used the excellent ImageGlitcher to make it look distorted on purpose. Not ideal I know, and I'm going to have to screw around doing this for every different clip and manage all that, but the best I can come up with.
I should really comment about what a fiddly pain using Flash's own perspective is and trying to align that with an image in Away3D ( Or just trying to get a grab that's loopable ), but I've been moany enough for one post.
by starchild on March 10, 2014 01:00 PM
by JohnB on March 10, 2014 01:00 AM
by Satori on March 09, 2014 04:00 PM
by HopefulNebula on March 09, 2014 02:00 PM
by LDora on March 08, 2014 09:00 PM
by LDora on March 08, 2014 05:00 PM
by kimberlyfelix on March 08, 2014 02:00 PM
by JohnB on March 08, 2014 03:00 AM
by jesse on March 07, 2014 10:33 PM
GDC is almost here. Cannot wait for the the great meetings and talks about the future. I am ready to rock and roll with a brand new game Sea Frenzy for mobile! So happy to finally switch from flash to the mobile market. I am looking forward to marketing this game myself and offering a great unique gameplay to the world. Please back Sea Frenzy today and download it.
If you would like to meet up and have a beer, please shoot me an email. You can also find me on linkedin. Cheers
by LDora on March 07, 2014 09:00 PM
at March 07, 2014 05:46 PM
The past couple of days haven't been the most productive. Some of my linked list related speed ups came back to haunt me, so lots of time spent looking at Scout and swearing.
Next week I'm going to have to crack and work on the UI, which I'm not really looking forward to as it means both design and boring coding, so today has just been simple things, code speed ups to try and replace the ones I lost due to the above mentioned weirdness and I added the force field in.
Performance wise I'm happy with the game overall, it's not always able to stick to 60fps but that's on an iPad3 so not the end of the world, and there are still some ways to try and eek out some more performance ( It's never really bad to the point of affecting the game play ).
It's going well overall, I'm just spent this week, it's been a long one with lots of bits here and there to deal with ( Fixes to the html5 game, pitches to quote for, Skype chats to have etc. ).
by kimberlyfelix on March 07, 2014 05:00 PM
by Eric on March 07, 2014 02:47 PM
by LDora on March 07, 2014 02:30 PM
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Robbie Clark) on March 07, 2014 01:00 PM
by LDora on March 07, 2014 05:00 AM
by JohnB on March 06, 2014 11:00 PM
by email@example.com (Robbie Clark) on March 06, 2014 01:00 PM
by JohnB on March 06, 2014 08:00 AM
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Robbie Clark) on March 06, 2014 12:23 AM
by JohnB on March 05, 2014 11:00 PM
by Eric on March 05, 2014 07:04 PM
by starchild on March 05, 2014 07:00 PM
at March 05, 2014 05:37 PM
Just a quick update today, in fact I think this grab will pretty much cover off what was added today
The bullets graze the player ship ( See those grey ones ), but don't actually hurt it yet ( The collision checks are in, they just don't call anything ), so tomorrow we'll get the player ship getting destroyed and we're that bit closer to it being a real game.
by email@example.com (Robbie Clark) on March 05, 2014 11:30 AM
by elle on March 05, 2014 05:00 AM
by JohnB on March 04, 2014 11:00 PM
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Robbie Clark) on March 04, 2014 08:14 PM
by LDora on March 04, 2014 05:00 PM
at March 04, 2014 04:59 PM
The past couple of days I've been working on some of the UI aspects of the game, the level complete sequence in this case.
I thought adding a star rating would be a nice touch, adds a bit of replay ability and enables me to add a simple achievement or two. Little did I know what a complete ball ache it was going to be.
I wanted to use Away3D to display it as I wanted perspective on the panel. In the main game the camera is constantly rotating around, so I thought I'd just figure out where the camera is looking and position the panel relative to that, updating it's position every frame so it appeared static.
Simple in theory, but totally beyond me. I just couldn't figure a way out to work out where the camera was looking ( There's camera.projec()t, which I guess is the way, here's the docs for that ). After dicking around for hours, I cracked and binned that approach, the maths is beyond me.
So let's just add another view and another camera and treat it as a separate entity from the main background. Sweet, all done. Now let's add some love to our texture, a specular map and some nice lighting. Sweet, that looks awesome, I'm really pleased with it, and I dropped some lens flares and moisture effects on top using Starling, looks great. I guess I should test it on the iPad now...
...ah, it runs at less than 30fps. Bollocks.
I've just spent the last hour or so removing all the sexy love I'd added in there, it still looks pretty good ( The grab above is from the cut right back down version ) but it was painful to do.
In my other recent iPad project I found that scaling images seems to cause a real hit on the first time, I don't know why, mipmaps being created on the fly ? Which means that you have to display your meshes scaled up but hide the textures with alpha=0, wait one frame, hide the meshes and restore the textures, that makes it skip that initial performance spike.
All in all a lot more painful than it should have been, but it does look good in motion, those stars fly into it and have a little impact shudder and as you can see a shower of particles. When I get some sound in there the impact should feel nice and weighty.
And that's what my last two days have been.
by elle on March 04, 2014 02:00 PM
by email@example.com (Robbie Clark) on March 04, 2014 01:00 PM
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Robbie Clark) on March 03, 2014 07:28 PM
by starchild on March 03, 2014 07:00 PM
by email@example.com (Robbie Clark) on March 03, 2014 05:32 PM
by grinnyp on March 03, 2014 02:00 PM
by Eric on March 03, 2014 11:12 AM
at March 03, 2014 09:25 AM
I think I mentioned one or two times how much I don't like the maker of Flash. I really wonder what kind of morons make the decisions there. Even though I mentioned my utter dismay with Flash one too many times, I still think it's a great piece of software that deserves better than what it is getting from it's makers.
Remember the "Flash is the gaming platform for the net" blurb? So what has happened so far?
I really wonder why they don't start to push Flash more, trying harder to establish Flash as multi platform development environment and getting rid of the "all you can do with it are annoying ads" notion.
(And just to mention it: who the fuck is responsible for the shit UI in CS6? ... No I'm not sold on Creative Cloud either and I *never* will be)
Anyway the point of this post is closely related to my move to a new PC and the re-install of CS6, as after I was done installing it (ok, just Flash, Photoshop and Dreamweaver out of the Master Suit), I had a look at the autostart panel in windows' (8.1) TaskManager.
Big A has added 6(!) new entries to the list:
WHAT THE FUCK is all that shit? (This is a rhetorical question).
I like to mention that everything still works fine without these.
All in all, 17 entries have been added to startup by various applications, of which all but 5 remained, plus one I set up myself.
Some of the entries that remained:
While I was at it I gave the registry startups a good bash (using CCleaner) and found more Adobe entries to kill (Adobe Bridge to note one) and if you are as annoyed as me about Acrobat adding his dirty fingers all over the system with adding "Convert to PDF" to each and every context menu you can get rid of it with this:
(This is for the 64 bit version AND cs6, but you should be good to adapt for other versions quite easy)...
regsvr32 /u "%programfiles(x86)%\Adobe\Acrobat 10.0\Acrobat Elements\ContextMenu64.dll
To run this little gift, use "Run as Admin" while starting CMD and reboot afterwards.
... and now have a nice week, I'll be coding like a mad god on non-game stuff.
-- Oliver / nGFX
by LDora on March 03, 2014 12:00 AM
by LDora on March 02, 2014 10:00 PM
by grinnyp on March 01, 2014 07:00 PM
at March 01, 2014 04:25 PM
We don't normally pimp things on here, but I think Flash devs need to stick together with the whole world telling us that Flash is dead, so here's a cheeky couple of lines about Roberto's game ( Which I promised to talk about months and months ago ).
It's an educational game for younger players, available for your favourite device:
That's it, give it a try and give the guy some feedback.
by JohnB on March 01, 2014 03:00 PM
by LDora on March 01, 2014 12:10 AM
by kimberlyfelix on February 28, 2014 02:00 PM
by JohnB on February 28, 2014 12:00 PM
at February 28, 2014 09:48 AM
I've been doing 16h coding shifts for the last couple of days (shipping deadline ahead) so I couldn't face touching the prototype game afterwards, which means no update on that this post.
Anyway, after Christmas I decided to rebuild the CSH22 MOC I've done some time ago (the original post is here). One thing I noticed while building the model with "real" Lego parts that the base and the roof (which looked OK as digital model) are not very stable or buildable, the obvious conclusion was to redo them before building the model.
The old base, without roof.
That said, it took the better part of 5 evenings to redesign the base and the roof, keeping an eye on stability and making it buildable. To say I went a bit over the edge with it, barely covers the amount of new parts - roughly 760 to be precise - adding up to 1254 parts for the whole model.
The new base, again without roof. The pool is all new, too.
Yesterday the last bag of parts finally arrived (Lego Pick-A-Brick is your friend here) and so while having my morning coffee I started to build the base plate and was - mildly - surprised how fucking big it is. For some odd reason I always have that with Lego models, wondering how I could have underestimated the size by that much.
That's a) a bad picture and b) 32.5cm x 31.0cm of base-plate goodness.
To end this post with something to look forward to, next post will be about messing up a game's items with exposing values to the Unity editor and how something I call the "ItemFactory" saved the whole enterprise.
... and now: there's a deadline ahead, ahoy.
-- Oliver / nGFX