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14 year old code, finally released to the public…internet community stunned!!

May 8, 2012

So here is where the action is at:

Final pricing policy for launch, (I might do the launch sale thing which means putting the price up later, to try and bag few extra sales)

App: free, with 12 hiragana missions and 2 songs

All Hiragana and 1 more song, 69p / $0.99 (I still think in pounds!)

All Katakana and 1 more song, 69p / $0.99

2 more songs, 69p / $0.99

Or

MegaPack! – everything for £1.99 / $1.99

Let’s hope apple approve it first time…so this game can be out there and the next one on the way…

This week is going to be a bit slow, as I am moving house. Obviously not having an income means I need to save money where possible, and living in a 3 bedroom flat all on my own is probably not the best use of my remaining funds! I can’t deny I am a little depressed about the whole thing, even though the people I am moving in with seem awesome, it’s just at 37 years old I kind of thought student life was behind me. The fact that my life has suddenly veered off in such a different direction to the way I expected it to recently is pretty crazy. I feel a bit lost at times, and just can’t figure out where this will all end up.

Anyway on to more important matters: Game number 2!

So it’s that difficult second album time, only it isn’t all that hard, because Game 2 is a port of a game I wrote years ago. The fact that it is a port should make it easier right? In recent years I have constantly improved as a programmer, I am not a good programmer, in fact I am barely a programmer at all. However, I used to be worse! I find fighting my way through old code almost unbearable. It’s like a sea of impenetrable spaghetti, where you follow one line of logic around in circles only to lose it half way through, or find it ends in a function which doesn’t work with a comment next to it that says something like “//This doesn’t work, you should fix it”.

So despite the fact that I can actually play game number 2 right now, any changes I make (for example the entire menu system needs revising) are going to take me a long time, because I spend as much time trying to rearrange my old code to make it readable as I do writing new code.

In code, it is usually the best idea to make a program across lots of files, so you have a whole document that covers one little thing, once it works you never look at it again, and you send data in to it and get the results you want out…I didn’t know this when I wrote my first game “feast invaders”. I wrote this a very long time ago, and several years later it got released as an extra on one of my bands CD’s. Here are some sales points:

  • 40 levels
  • 4 boss battles
  • Play as all 4 members of sludgefeast
  • An “epic” FMV intro featuring James in a spaceship
  • Lots of songs to be unlocked
  • Powerups
  • And Bugs! (actually I still haven’t found any bugs in the game, so I am quite pleased with that)

And here is that “epic” intro that pushed my 3d modelling skills to the max…

So I made Feast Invaders 14 years ago, and it is not the game I am porting to iOS! The game I am porting was called Alpha-Genetics, but now it needs a better name…something like Nuclien, or something with Numerist in the title…I don’t know yet.

What is the point in this post? I don’t really know, I guess it’s that I am amazed at how I’ve got a lot better over the years at doing this stuff. If I look back to when my ex-girlfriend Coirin bought me my first PC to record music on 16 or so years ago, I had almost no idea how to use a mouse. The fact that computers are such powerful playgrounds for creativity meant I just started spreading out in all kinds of random directions and playing with all kinds of things that I took an interest in. I thought making any part of a game (other than writing a song) was a dark impenetrable fortress of impossibility. But now, I can kind of almost do it. Even though I still can’t do even 1% of the things I want to be able to do, I can see why the code I wrote 14 years ago leaves a lot to be desired!

http://pastebin.com/KMLzC2jS

Even though I feel constantly frustrated with myself for being dumb, I just have to think back to how dumb I used to be to try and feel a bit better! The biggest problem is that who knows how many years I have to live?! I don’t think I can learn everything I want to in that time…but I can try.

Next week, I will show my new (old) game I promise!

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8 Comments
  1. Melody permalink

    congrats!

  2. yer mum permalink

    I would pay to be able to play classic arcade games on an iphone – ie defender – can’t think of a way to do the control buttons, but that’s not really my problem. Have a few other ideas for apps that seem brilliant the time and then I forget them. Good luck with you first release.

    • I am actually amazed defender isnt out already…I did a hunt for it. You can get pacman though, and a whole host of others…

  3. We wrote a review of your forthcoming game on our site Ziphi.com. Hope you enjoy it! All the best! Please let us know when your launch date will be.

    http://ziphi.com/hiragana-pixel-party-for-the-ios-will-teach-you-japanese/

  4. Melody permalink

    you shld make a people counter for your blog lol

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