söndag 30 oktober 2016

Danger Close! has been greenlit

"If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can ever imagine."

Well, as it turns out, Danger Close! was finally greenlit in late August. I wasn't sure it was going to happen but I remained hopeful. The timing was a bit off though, since I started school in early September. So I simply haven't had the time to program the Steam functionality into it yet. I want it to be done right and not just throw it up there, which means I need to dedicate enough time for the project. Which is a problem right now since school takes up most of my time. In a few weeks I think things will look up on that front though, so I probably will start working on getting DC on Steam then with all the features I have intended on including (achievements, leaderboards and possibly data synchronization as well as the Big picture).

Anyway, it feels great that DC was accepted on Greenlight despite everything. It really feels like a big middle finger to the gang of trolls who scurry about on Greenlight, flaming every game they can for sport. They really failed, and that has given me hope for humanity again.

In other news, Humble Bundle have reached out to me telling me that the build of Prometheus outside of Steam is not working properly. As I said my schedule is packed right now, but I promise that I will look into this and fix it as soon as possible.

måndag 16 maj 2016

The future ahead

I've made the decision to not develop any more games under the Magical Hackers flag. If Danger Close gets greenlit I will go through with the release on Steam. But that will be it. At this point I feel that making another game for the hell of it will merely mean a lot of time and energy wasted, just to check another idea I've had in my head for so long, off the list. Maybe in the future I will go back and develop a game, and release it publicly or not, at some point. That game will most likely be Boom which I've written about in previous updates, since it will explore some ideas I haven't worked with before (3D FPS gameplay). But it will be a long while before that happens I think, if it does at all.

In the last couple of months my motivation for game development has been dwindling up to a point where it's nearly nonexistent. My passion is for video games and especially retro video games, being creative and coding and making graphics. But since the sales of my games have not been good enough that's a huge dent in my motivation. Prometheus is my first commercial game so realistically it getting greenlit and selling at all is a huge success, but for me continuing to do this is too much of a gamble I feel. If I kept going eventually maybe I'd "crack the code" or whatever but at this point I need more security in my career choice. I did not realize - or did not want to realize - that doing this would be so hard, for better and for worse. I read somewhere that the chance of successfully living off of indie game development is one percent, which I think is true. I would compare it to trying to become a rock star from your study at home. You hear stories like that from time to time so it's not impossible, but it's obviously extremely difficult. Maybe there is a point to some ideas just staying as ideas. Just because you can do something, doesn't always mean that you should. There is a coder guy whose name escapes me with a website where he has great pixel art and concepts for games, but he just doesn't go through with developing them. I used to not understand why despite his explanation, but it's clear to me now.

I would say that all the hate on the internet isn't helping with my motivation either. To me I feel that the main reason people hate is because they are jealous. Coding is difficult so most people will never be able to develop a game on their own and this triggers much of the negativity I think. Which of course is sad, pathetic, and still does not excuse it in any way.

I know myself what kind of games I like and what kind of features I enjoy, but I think that the video game industry right now and people's expectations are somewhere else. If I have to change and do something just because you are supposed to and not be true to myself, I'd rather not be doing this at all. In fact that was what I tried doing with Crimson Sky, and the development of that game went absolutely nowhere. Not to mention that the indie game scene is utterly saturated, especially when it comes to 2D games. How a game like Shovel Knight can thrive in this environment so to speak, I will never fully understand but I think they got everything just right and with an insane amount of polish. The PR part of this is really something I'm not good at either. Coding and graphics is what I like to do, and you really have to be a not just a jack, but a master of all trades in order to be successful as an indie game developer. The worst thing for me would be to completely lose my interest for playing video games as a hobby out of disillusionment, so I really want to quit before that happens as well.

A good thing that has come out of this is that I've rediscovered my enjoyment of coding and I will go back to school to learn Java this fall. Developing Mega Man 42 in the beginning was so joyful for me and it really helped me at a time when I didn't have much going for myself. I remember fondly the all nighters and staying up until 9 in the morning because I just had to squash that last bug. That unbridled joy when it comes to creativity is what I will take with me from this venture.


torsdag 31 mars 2016

Danger Close! released!

Danger Close! is now finally released and is available for purchase on itch.io:

It's a great feeling to finally be able to release the game. I know I've posted earlier about an upcoming game, but I'm a bit on the fence on whether I'll make another game or not, for various reasons. I will have to keep you updated on that, and on the Steam Greenlight entry as well.

måndag 1 februari 2016

Here comes the BOOM

Updates have been very scarce lately and for that I apologize. I've been going through some rough shit in my personal life lately which has affected my work as well. Good news is that Danger Close! is done and ready for beta testing. Again I'm very pleased with the result all things considered.

For my next project I've written a design document and have begun learning Unity since that will be what I will be using to develop BOOM, the title of my forthcoming game. While GameMaker Studio presumably can be used to make crude basic 3D, from advice that's been given to me Unity3D will handle this project much better. And from what I've learned so far it does seem that Unity has many advantages over GM in general as well. Aside from the general bugginess of GM, many of the features in it are bogged down by the fact that it at least originally was aimed at complete beginners (even coding in it used to be a bit of an afterthought, so to speak). Unity is much more clear-cut and aimed at configurability and customization which is a huge plus. For example, for code that gets executed in the beginning of an instance's creation, in GM you always have to have a "create"-event, while in Unity the "step"-code that gets executed every frame is in the same script which is so much easier to handle.

I think I've written about it before, but for the sake of clarity Boom will be a Doom-parody of sorts with sprites for enemies, items and weapons, but fully 3D otherwise. You will play as an alchemist in the 19th century and will be transported to other times and worlds through your ill-advised potion making. Since Unity seems very easy to work with, I think I will be able to finish the game by late August this year, or at least that is the plan.