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Still at it. Wow, it’s amazing how much of a difference repeated practice makes. Just in the pure eye to hand motion of being able to capture things in the right size / position.
Additionally I’m making excellent progress on the thirtydays.club website. The whole thing is coming together and I hope to have it ready for a late October launch.
On the downside.. the 3TB drive went belly up and a bunch of not essential but useful stuff went byebye.. All the really important things were of course backed up.. but there were a couple huge folders of painting videos that I’m going to miss having around. (the backup stopped working in June when I had to re-install the OS)..
Ok after a little breather It’s time to get back to working on things that are fun. Finishing a painting is both exhilarating and exhausting and I find myself having to take a couple days and recoup my creative energy or I’ll find the need to go back and fix, and tweak and tweak irrisistable. But taking a bit of time away lets me just be proud of what I’ve done and let it be.
After a couple days I had a little fun playing with skin rendering and trying to get a sense of translucency. One of the many attempts actually turned out to become this guy, which has a nice tone to it that I like.
Followed by a couple silly monsters following my son’s obsession with pokemon all of a sudden.
And then this thing.. .. this might become a thing.. it’s still rough, but it’s speaking to me. It started out as a perspective homework.. then became an epic skies homework.. and now it might be something else altogether..
On an art related note, I cracked some oil paints open for the first time in 7 years (it was a disaster then) and … holy cow…I’m loving them..
Something about the transparency and the need to go slow really just works for me.. maybe it’s because I’m getting older and not in as much of a hurry. Not sure exactly what it is, but I’m doing some test pieces and maybe finishing/reworking the initial disastrous attempt and who knows maybe they’ll be worthy of showing on the inter-tron some day.
I managed to get 4 games made. 3 of them nice enough to show to the world,
Android development with libGDX and Spriter, IAP, and in Game ads.
Then I touched Unity, and having spent 11 months doing low level things it’s starting to grow on me. I still have ‘trust’ issues with letting the engine decide how to render things, but it seems to be doing everything I can throw at it.
OneGameAMonth was a success as well, the focus on small things really helped figure out what can be accomplished in a month.
In fact I’d say that that was probably the best takeaway that I learned in 2013.
A month, is not a lot of time. Add in an active family to help raise (play with), freelance work, and a very full time job and I can measure game development in hours per week. So the games I actually finished in a month were actually in the 40-50hr range, so a LD48 game a month essentially.
I’m pretty proud of Candy Goblin and War Mages, they’re pretty entertaining, but I really think that they could use another 6 months of polish to make them good. War Mages might get that at some point, but really, if I only get 400hrs (optimistically) of development time a year, spending them on a project I’m not REALLY excited to be making feels wasteful. So It’s time for a bit of focus and revisit something that I’m excited to create!
Luckily in 2014 1GAM has expanded to where playable milestones qualify, which leads me to the next post 🙂
UI! That’s right, with a little love I managed to get an in-game UI working for the basic play button (shop does nothing yet) I also got the fundamentals of the in-app options set up and much more, but it’s not really anything that you can see..
After that, I went back and did a minor re-factoring of some of the War Mages will have a few more changes being made this weekend for the beginning of the challenge/training levels. I hope to have that ready for publishing next week.
And finally, it’s been too long but it was beyond time to just play in photoshop for a bit. Granted it suffers from not having a reference and I really should re-work some parts, I’m pleased overall.
It’s been one hell of a month. Since starting over in the 18th it’s been non-stop go go go to get this thing up and running.
Overall I’m really pleased with how well it turned out. I have a lot of little secondary features I want to add to it, but I think I need a week to recover.
It will be an interesting thing to see if the game finds any kind of an audience, I’m not aware of there being a whole lot of multi-player games on a single tablet yet. However I think that it will be one of those kinds of genres where people can pop down for 5 – 10 min with a friend while waiting for the bus and play a game.
Holy hell, that’s not a lot of time to get the last stuff done.
BUT, the last few days have been pretty productive, I must say.
Music is in, particularly proud of the main level background music manager that has a pool of music tracks and randomly assembles them together on the fly.
Removed a bunch of the debugging information and such making things run a bit smoother
The final (for jan) menus are in, Figures that I finally grasp how Scene2d.ui and its components work..just as I get to the point where I don’t have time to do anything with it.
I got it so you can now enter your own Code to play your own custom levels.
Rounds of enemies are now defined by the editor and passed to the game. This means that playtesting a level is as simple as hitting save in the editor and then hop over to the window with the game in it and playing it in the game…
And the BIG HUGE brand new website look for the main http://www.drakkheim.com/ site that will hold this and future releases. WITH video! 🙂
And here’s the remaining to-do list:
Sound Effect – Combat
Sound Effect – UI
Main Game – escape = pause and show back to menu button and quit to desktop button.
Gameplay – Balance
Title Screen Image
Revise in game UI Look and feel
Make Android Playable
So that’s not so bad.
3 of 5 levels are pretty much ready. And with the ease of starting and stopping rounds now, balancing is easier.
Next year. Damnit.. Next year I’m going to MAKE something happen.
Luckily I’ll have (as of now) ~700 other people in the same boat. http://www.onegameamonth.com/ is a really neat idea and promises to be an interesting time. The basic premise is.. It’s easy to start a game.. But it’s really rare for indies to actually FINISH something. So hopefully this will be a great learning experience on several fronts. a) Finishing something into a playable state b) Rapidly developing and reusing code blocks c) Judging Scope… yeah… that one’s gonna need some work.
So I’ve got 2 weeks or so to build a clean development profile and get all my tools laid out and possibly start making plans.
Overall.. excitement level is crancked up to 11 right about now.
Been an exciting time here for the last couple months.
The biggest news is the dayjob has changed so now things are looking like the available time for development work is paying off in spades.
I plan on wrapping up 2 projects within the next month.
1- proofSite – a super simple photography solution for photogrphers to present their proofs to clients without a massive complicated web backend and infrastructure. Details on that should be coming shortly, it’s being rolled out real soon to the first couple photographers to beta test.
2- ultraShow – still keeping a few things under wraps about this, but it will be, easy, powerful, and non flash based so it’ll work everywhere. Still not sure on the pricing model for it.
Oh yeah… and More mobile web and android news coming soon.
Had a great 4th, blew stuff up and relaxed with family.
Personal Game Development is looking to have some time to ramp up on Barnyard Bonanza again towards the end of July, just after I finish wrapping up the current slate of consulting work that’s eaten the last 2 months. (a very enjoyable and challenging project, but I’m itching to get back to some of my projects)
Of course I’d be happy if I got more projects as well. Consulting comes first after all 🙂
Other things in the pipeline:
Mobile App development, HTML5 etc.. interesting stuff, can’t wait to do more of it.
Current development progress… in a nutshell… nonexistant.
On the other hand, paying client work… is through the roof, and it’s actually been a good bit of fun. Lots of high pressure API wrangling, tight deadlines and awesome cool front end WhizBang UI work and some pretty serious SalesForce.com and Convio Luminate integration into a custom data structure.
Good times, and it’ll pay off the new beast of a work PC 🙂
So, Other than that here’s where things stand.
Irismel – Still running on TGB. basic core is getting there. A little in limbo as I try and tweak the basic mechanic and find out what’s missing
Barnyard Bonanza – LibGDX android app.. is really close. I just need to implement the bonus games and some animation stuff. However my G2 Fried itself early may… then 4 days after getting a replacement it did the same thing (screen signal breaks.. probably due to that crazy hinge design) Now I’m using a myTouch that seems to work but I havent gotten it to behave with Eclipse and the dev tools…
However as mentioned above, paying work comes first, and it’s been a really good month for it. I wish I had more time to do more of it. (maybe.. some possibilities exist)
Oops, meant to post last week’s Screenshot Saturday.
As pennance here’s 2 screenshots from the in progress Android game, that’s coming along nicely.
(yes Irismel is taking a little development break while I work on some of the mechanics in spreadsheet and paper form. The RTS elements weren’t working right. Now I’m leaning towards something a bit more Tower defensish)