For a game dev update up to now: I was unhappy with the enemy designs I did before, and went through two iterations of enemy designs following that. Still I was unhappy and decided to stay with the current enemies in the game as they are now. I also redid all the game sound effects last weekend, which is now of far higher quality and interesting sounding. Last night I converted to the required 3 formats I need to cover all the platforms I wish to support, ie MP3, OGG and WAV. These will be implemented in code later this week.
I also wasn't happy with the end of level bosses, and decided to redraw those too. Currently I have just level 1's new boss and it looks superb. Level 2's boss turned out ugly so I scrapped it and will need to redo bosses for level 2 through 5.
Another thought that has been on my mind lately is adding some additional boss functionality, such as pauses between waypoints and giving boss bullets a gravity effect. I will likely implement these if it's not too difficult
I apologise for being so quiet but when you work a full time job, have a life outside of work and game dev, and additional hobbies, it's hard to remember to update this blog and get some game dev time in! Luckily my wife has pushed me to get a 1 level demo released ASAP so that you guys can get a feel for how the game is right now. I'm not 100% ready for this yet, but I suspect a demo will be ready for most platforms in a few weeks from today.
So I've completed level 2 and 3's end-of-level boss designs and am very happy with them. Still working on level 4 and 5's ones. I'm currently split between two designs I've drawn for the enemies in the game. They are vastly different and I'm not sure which ones I prefer more. Anybody want to help me vote for your favourites style enemies?
Well I've made some progress on level 4's end of level boss but have to finish it and level 5's boss yet. I've been out of the swing of things due to having spent the last 2 weeks getting the demo release of the game ready and released which has been a real time consuming experience! I still have to deal with the Android and Fire TV versions, but in the meantime I'll resume drawing these bosses so I can get on with finalising the designs for some of the enemies of the deeper levels beyond level 1. Once all those are done, I need to code in the attack patterns for both enemies and bosses and then finally make a start on the end game sequence and the music for each level! Not much time left so I had better get cracking..
Hi all. Today's update report brings a fair few improvements.. Finished level 5 (final) boss(es??) as well as animating and bullets/bullet animations. Completed the win screen backgrounds which looks fantastic, if I have to say so myself Added vocals to the text that Trixie (your on-board ship computer) spews out.
I also added sound effects for the boss class too so their bullets and potentially their movements can start up sounds (useful, believe me!) - this is not yet finished but is currently WIP.
Still need to do some enemy animations and drawings, some more vocals, attack patterns and music for each level! Man, time goes by too quickly!
Since my last entry, I've managed to complete the environment enemies for all levels. Currently I'm busy integrating all enemies and mini bosses and bosses into the code. It's a slow process and for my next game I really should look at creating an automated engine/system for this part of the game dev. Once the above is done, I need to do the attack waves for levels 2 - 5. Thing is, I did it in the past, but for some reason I wasn't happy with them so deleted them all. I now regret this. Saying that, I had added numerous new features to the enemies class so I'd have had to tweak attack wave parameters anyway. For now, let me get these things sorted, and I'll have more updates soon!
Been a while since my last update here. As it turns out, I've made a fair bit of progress as mentioned in the previous post. I am currently working on the final level 5 attack waves. This weekend I completed the new vocals I added to the game, with only a few small things left to make.
The sad fact of the matter is that, as it turns out, after having fine tuned my to-do list and brought out the calculator, it seems I still have roughly 65 man-hours of work left to do. Since I am full time employed and work on the game in my spare time, this means I will likely NOT be hitting the New Year release date I was hoping for. HOWEVER, it will be close, as I plan to spend a LOT of time on the game during my 8 days of holiday during this festive period.
It still amazes me how much work is involved in game development. I don't mind that as it's part of the fun, but as a n00b game dev (erm), you often underestimate how much time things take to get done.
I have learned a lot in the past few years and it has provided me with the knowledge to make better dev tools/editors for future games, and since I code using OO methodologies, a lot of my classes can be re-used or refactored for future games which will save huge amounts of time. Then. But not NOW. Hohoho. Still! I am excited to get Spacewhale completed and submitted to the various App stores I can. That in itself is going to be a painful process, haha.
For now, just be prepared to be disappointed if you were hoping to play this on New Years day. Sorry about that. It will be worth the wait though!
Small update guys. Some might think it's a waste of time, but I found it to be quite fun and easy.. What is it I speak of? It is the fact that I managed to get my mits on a Gamestick (£20 at Game UK!!), and decided to see if I can get Spacewhale running on it. Suffice to say, it was far easier than I thought it'd be. Thanks to @jayenkai on Twitter for help and guidance on that! I need to add some graphics for the Gamestick edition, but other than that and having added some new Gamestick specific logic, the game is compatible and plays quite well considering.
Other than this distraction, as well as stuffing my face with xmas stuff, er food, I've been working through the enemy animations and graphics and correcting errors I find. As expected, the to-do list I need to get through is slow-going, but I'd rather be moving forward slowly than not at all eh? It's good to have more time since I am holiday until the 4th Jan when I'm back at work!
I'll update you monkeys when I have something of use to spout out again..
So, today I managed to fix some bugs I introduced when I redid the audio effects and code for it. Basically, the volume of the sound and music wasn't taking effect, even though set in the menu! How dare it not bow down to my will!? I also added some Gamestick specific graphics and code and thus the gamestick edition is working flawlessly! Oh yeah. So the next step is for me to get level 3's enemy graphics into photoshop so I can update the spritesheet and therefore use the new enemy graphics in-game.
For some reason time flies by far quicker when you're on holiday. What's up with that??
Hi everyone. So, I've been non-talkative for some time. Apologies for that. I didn't get much done during the month of January 2016 as I was getting my passport and holiday plans organised. Then my wife and I went on a 2 month holiday that was 10 years in the making. Suffice to say, I didn't have any time to do any game dev during this period. Kind of a no-brainer really.
In any case, I returned 2 weeks ago and had to get straight back into my day job to start bringing cash in again for the bills, but have slowly started doing some game work again! I have since my last update, finished the enemies for level 3 and now level 4. I am in the process of implementing mini bosses for levels 4 and 5 and their attack patterns. I then need to work on the end-of-level bosses and their attack patterns for levels 4 and 5.
Once I'm happy with that, I can start implementing the end sequence code.
Then I need to do the music and sound effects that is still to be completed.
Still a lot of work to do, but it's nice to be getting back into the swing of things!
Wow another age since my last update! Good news is that I've managed to do a tonne more work on the game. Mainly completed more graphics and updated some older ones. Added and updated more sound effects and fixed another load of coding cop-outs.
This week my focus is to add some end-game sequence vocals and the actual code to display the end-game sequence! Once I've got this nailed down, I will be starting on the music for the game! Yes, that's 8 tunes I need to write!!! Each level's in-game music, the stats music and game over music. Here's hoping this aspect of the game dev doesn't take too many weeks to do!
Once THAT's done, I need to do a load of testing on all the supported platforms, and hopefully not find, but fix any bugs that I have missed or crop up. So, not long to go until release!
Hello again peeps! So, the good news is that we are finally happy with the sound effects. Took me a while to find sounds I like, playing around with BFXR. The other good news is that the end sequence is finally complete and looks pretty good! I have also made additional changes to the weapon upgrade mechanic as testers found it difficult and confusing to upgrade. Pleased with the improvement there. Also added some minor tweaks to visuals, programmatically, as it adds some nice touches to the overall feel of the game quality. I'm still tweaking some asset placement for the levels as I discovered some assets were being drawn hidden behind others which is kinda pointless
So, at the moment, I'm on the final stages of development. I am working on music for each level, but this is a slow process as creativity doesn't come on-demand, as some of you may know Once the music is completed and tested in-game to ensure it doesn't interfere with the sound effects but rather, enhances it, I'll be focusing heavily on platform testing. Since I'm building this game for many platforms, each one has to be tested to death to ensure everything works. I will create a QA testing list which I will go through on each platform to ensure nothing is missed.
Once everything is done and I and my testers are happy with the game, I will start the final stage of submitting the game to the relevant stores for release. I'm hoping there will be as few issues as possible. Considering I will need to submit to Google Play store, Chrome store, Ouya/Razer store and Amazon FireTV store, this could take a while Fortunately, the Linux, Mac OS and Windows desktop versions will be available on the website at spacewhale.bitkeeper.co.uk/
I am considering putting the level music onto Soundcloud for some feedback. Let me know if you guys think that's a good idea or perhaps on the Blackjet Youtube channel which currently only has the demo version video on.
Yes. It's been quiet here for a few months. I'm in the process of finalising the game (motivation and lack of musical creativity has really impeded me from finishing the game!). At the moment I'm busy building out the new websites that will go hand-in-hand with the launch of the game. I still need to submit the game to the various game stores, but I felt it more pertinent that the forum and the main site and micro sites are ready before the game launches. Be patient for a little longer. You've waited this long!
Sorry once again for the lack of information about Spacewhale, guys. I've been busy with IRL stuff as usual and still struggling to get the music finalised for the game. I did approach two musicians that do good retro music, but one of them had no time (busy schedule) and the other just never bothered getting back to me. I wasn't impressed. But anyway, I'll do the music myself, it'll just take longer. In a way I'm glad, as this means I can then fully say the game was made entirely by me and me alone. Even if it is crap to some people in the end. Oh well, can't please everyone.
Hi again everyone. Well, although this is a very delayed update, there's some good news on the horizon. I managed to get my hands on some Pocket Operators to get some music done for Spacewhale. I've completed in-game music, and still need to complete game over and menu music. Hopefully not too long then I can finally get the game released and get started on my next gaming adventure!