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the return of blogfeast

April 25, 2012

Is it done? Well let’s see what the chart says:

Ms Project how I miss you

Almost! The remaining stuff is pretty straight forward. I have to master the audio (so all the volumes are around the same), optimise the asset loading, fix a few more bugs, and then run a balancing pass…

It’s been a heavy week all in all, first up a message about operating electronics while under the influence of alcohol:

Dev kits R-Us

No that isn’t an amazing overlay, that’s the status of my “development kit” after a Friday at the local bar….The public information announcement for this image would be something like “don’t drink and text kids, drinking and texting kills phones…dead”. That would be an exaggeration of course to strike fear in the hearts of teenagers, as you can see, it didn’t quite die, I can even still kind of play the game on it, so long as I can put up with occasional glass splinter in my finger.

I added a whole new mode to the game last week. “Mission Mode”, which unlike the old version of the game sets you up with a couple of hundred missions, each mission has a set number of specific letters in it, and a set of rules. You get rankings based on your performance, and unlock new missions by getting good rankings. Sound familiar? That because it is. It’s just like the structure of Angry Birds, (or the other million games that did it before them). Having this structure allows players to feel like they are making progress in a more obvious way. I am not sure it is actually as good for learning Hiragana as the old method, but it does give you more regular goals, keeps you playing and allows you to progress at your own pace. I guess if people are having more fun playing it, then they will be spending more time learning stuff.

Half way through making the mode, I came up with a great way to finish up the original mode making it feel way more epic, by giving it a cute video game themed twist…but alas, it is not to be.

On Friday, I got given a pretty hard time by some folks about how I wasn’t really finishing the game…and how I had better get on with it or end up facing total destruction and defeat. The thing is I constantly have ideas on how to make things better, while I do think I was closing in on the end, it was maybe not going to come quickly enough. One guy (thanks mr. W.) mentioned that some apps have “coming soon” buttons in them…so I added one of them for my super videogame mode, it made me feel like I hadn’t cut it, but more put it off until later. If we sell more than a couple of thousand copies of the app I will go back and add it in. As a feature maybe it would have taken a few days, but every time I spend a few days on something, the game stays unfinished, and more importantly the next game remains unstarted!

One reason for this blog is to publicly display my struggles and failings, the shame of which will hopefully push me harder to not fail! I said it would take me four weeks to get an app done, which is kind of short by anyone’s standards, but I still don’t want to revise that figure, for the next game, I just want to plan better / try harder to hit it!

Anyway, I should be proud, I am not so far from releasing my first game since “The force unleashed 2….Endor”  over 16 months ago, where I made the controversial story choice of killing Han, Chewie and Princess Leia in the space of 30 minutes. Unfortunately In this game, there is less violence, you only get to make birds explode, and occasionally kill the main character by crushing her under a mountain of flying Japanese letters (the Blood/Gore element of which now resides solemnly on my Cut list).

Like all huge AAA block buster games, I need a trailer, so have been getting my Ridley Scott on, and dusting off my video editing skills, so prepare to be astounded. This also brings me to the omniversal problem all indie developers face when making a trailer, that of “the voice over”. So I have a little high pitched whiney voice, or at least that’s what I think of it when I hear it back. I didn’t think this would sound good on youtube, so I could have just gone with text, but where’s the fun in that!? For those of you that know my other life where I am consumed by garage rock and profanity, it probably seems obvious that I would fall on my back up self when doing anything involving public speaking. So now you can hear what it would have been like, had my band become as big as Chesney Hawkes or Sinita, and I was asked to start endorsing products. No doubt some people will just think the whole thing is confoundingly odd, but for me it’s entertainingly ridiculous.

Next time, I am going to talk music…

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  1. Henrique Rosario permalink

    your game looks great. very innovative. saw the trailer on IGN…got here in your blog via Google…good luck. I’ll buy it when its released in iOS.

  2. Wow, thanks! God knows how it ended up on IGN, I would never have known without your comment!

  3. Matthew permalink

    This game looks really awesome, Can’t wait till it’s done!!! 😀

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