Indie Game Development - "Having fun, making fun"

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dev Log - Playtests and Tutorial

The play tests are going well.  More than a dozen people have played the game so far, ranging from non-gamers to fellow developers.  I've had an extremely enthusiastic response from local multiplayer games, as well as a great reaction from those playing the single player tournament mode.  Almost everyone who picked up the game, wanted to play until they beat the single player tournament.  The difficulty level seems about right, and I've had some important bug reports.

Although the game is fairly easy to pick up and play, its become clear that it would benefit from a tutorial level, so I spent the past few days building one.  I've got a couple more touches to do on it, and then I will expand the focus tests further while I return to bug fixing.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dev Log - Mission Accomplished

To quote the Empire Strikes Back, "The first transport is away!"  Late last night I submitted our new game into Microsoft's Dream Build Play competition.  A lot of hard work, late nights and close coordination with my artist and modeler friends made this possible.  I am thankful to both of them for making the sacrifices needed to wrap up the illustration and 3D envirnonment.  The single player game is in a solid state.

My focus now shifts to play testing, bug fixing and localization.  I will also be working on the online multiplayer code to make sure the client and server stay in sync.  Our next major milestone will be submitting the game for peer review.  Onward to the finish line!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Dev Log - The Countdown Continues

With only 9 days left to submit to Microsoft's Dream, Build, Play competition, here's where we stand:

My friend Chris has finished the box cover, title screen and menu screen art - and he did an outstanding job!  I am totally blown away. 

I decided to polish the single player experience and possibly not include Live multiplayer in the contest submission.  That has enabled me to fix all high and medium priority bugs and really tighten up the gameplay. 

I'm also tackling the last couple single player features like putting fans in the stands.  I've decided to implement the fans by taking screenshots of 3d characters in the stands, and then rendering those textures to poly cards that will replace the 3d characters.  This looks almost identical to the actual 3d models and maintains my frame rate.  At the current moment I'm not planning on animating these textures - so the fans will not stand and cheer.  While I'd love to do this, its simply not a high enough priority.

The biggest open issues now are getting the final texutres for the environment, completing my work on the fans, and making a gameplay trailer.

The submission requirements include a gameplay video, so this is the perfect time to create my marketing trailer.  My old Dazzle video capture system could only record low res footage, which made Kick'n It's graphics look inferior to what they really were.  Since chracters are further away from the camera in this game, low res footage is simply not acceptable.  I ordered a new high res video capture system and scripted out the trailer.  I'll start recording as soon as I get the final textures for the environment and finish the fans.

Well, the countdown continues...