I have another exciting year to enjoy, mostly due to the fact that I’m releasing my first commercial product to the mobile app market. It’s also scary because if it doesn’t get anywhere on the app market, we’re going to have to make the next game on another small budget and probably making something not that great, just to put something out to make money – that’s not what you get into game development for (well, I didn’t). Not to mention sacrificing your lifestyle to fund it.

Anyway, less negativity and more happy thoughts, please!

I have been doing some freelance work on and off while I’ve been working on the company’s game, that’s been alright. We might refocus the company to do freelance work after this game as well if we feel the need.

I’m thinking of putting together some projects in my spare time, either continuing the RTS, or making a Tower Defence, or some physics mechanics for a hover car like in Wipeout and Star Wars: Podracer. Work on the companies game is only going to get busier so I may not even find the time till after its release. We’ll see.

My 2015

My year in a nutshell:

  • Quit my IT job.
  • Started and finished a post-grad course in management.
  • Started a games studio/company with fellow graduates.
  • Almost released our first product to the world.

The post-grad course I graduated from was run by AIE. It was called Incubator. We were in a semi-formal office, with other groups and companies that were making their own products. In our time there we did a Vocation Graduate Diploma of Management (Learning). It took us through researching market/industry trends, prototyping, pitching, production, business automation – a whole lot of very useful stuff. All the while, we were producing our very own product. A huge bonus being in the Incubator was grant money, given by the college. We used this to pay for an accountant to set up our company and for traveling to PAX, in Melbourne (where we showed our game). We also used it for renting our Google cloud server.

It was a great year, nothing really seemed to go bad for me now that I’m looking back on it. I met so many awesome people and made loads of business contacts in Melbourne, attending GCAP and PAX. A representative from a publisher showed great interest in the game, if we have a good soft launch we may be working out a deal with them to really push it in the market.

I haven’t posted here for a while, not about the game or even the company, so expect to see more posts very soon about that. According to the stat tracker, I had over 700 views for the year… that’s a lot more than I expected. Now I’m definitely going to post more often this year!

So, here’s to an even better year!

New Art, Clouds and Rocket Testing!

Happy New Year! This is my first post for 2015. Exciting.

Jess has been updating the art of our game Jump High, Don’t Die! I’ve added a rocket that can be picked up. It will send you sky high! I’m still in the process of tweaking it but it works very well. We’ve also added clouds to spice things up a bit, don’t they look great? They tend to make things a bit harder…

New art and rocket pickup.

New art and rocket pickup.

Traverse the clouds to get higher!

Traverse the clouds to get higher!

Game Jam – November 2014

Start of the level

Start of the level

My college, AIE, was holding a game jam event for the weekend of Halloween. The theme was ‘I think I’ve been here before’. Jess and I had to decided to team up. We had been discussing designs to try and she wanted to try and recreate Icy Tower. After playing it I thought it would be achievable to do in the 48 hours we would be given.
When I say I thought it was achievable, I mean to say that the base design and features would be possible.

Those features are:

  • Randomly placed and sized platforms.
  • Level is constrained by 2 walls.
  • Moving the player sideways and bouncing/jumping off the walls, making you jump higher depending on the speed you’ve built up.
  • Score system.
  • Life System.
  • Ghost System – When you die/fail, you leave a ghost behind. If you can get back to the area you failed at, you can touch the ghost to reclaim your lost points. Similar to Dark Souls! We did this to correlate with the theme of being there before.

Icy towers features many different platforms such as platforms that drop when you jump on them and platforms are invisible. It also features a moving camera that the player has to keep up with, or they will fail when they go off screen. Our game has the one platform type: the branches. They are limited to being attached to the bases of the trees. We wanted to include clouds as the player got higher but time did not allow it. Our camera also only has one function, which is to follow the player, unless they fall down.
We also wanted to build it to our phones but we just left it with a PC build. I’m going to port it to the phones another time. I’ve since created a web build which you can play right here.

We were pretty happy with the resulting game, it had animations, sound and a never ending level. We finished comfortably with about an hour to go before the submission time, so no stress!

My Computer

One of my hobbies is building computers. I don’t get to do it that often, so when I do I make the most of it.

I finished building my computer at the start of the year but I never took any pictures of it – until now!

Side shot in the day

Side shot during the day

Side shot at night

Side shot at night

I also put this together for my ex. She’ll probably call me some day saying it’s leaking. Ha!

Leak testing

Leak testing