Indie Game Development - "Having fun, making fun"

Friday, October 26, 2012

Kdog is now on Facebook & Twitter!

I recently had a playtest with a friend who works as a marketing manager.  While he was really impressed with what I accomplished with Ultimate Dodgeball, he stressed to me the importance of social marketing.  Following his advice, K-dog is now on Facebook and Twitter!

While I will continue my development updates here, I'm looking forward to interacting with friends and fans on Facebook and Twitter so I can continue to improve my games and share this adventure.

You can find me on Facebook as K-dog Games
Follow me on Twitter @KdogGames

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dev Log - Playtests

Playtests have gone extremely well.  Tournament mode has turned out to be a powerful draw, expecially for gamers who are playing it in coop.  In both cases where gamers were playing tournament in coop, they were unwilling to put the controllers down until they beat the entire tournament.  This is important, as I am planning to use the first two Tournament levels in the demo to entice gamers to purchase the full game.

All gamers were able to learn the controlls fairly easily, whether or not they played the tutorial.  Those that did play the tutorial were pleasantly surprised that a tutorial would be that fun.

All gamers loved the avatar team different styles, which enabled them to personify enemies and feel satisfaction at defeating them.

The game itself has been very solid, with most feedback being balancing tweeks or minor feature requests.  My next objective is to fix outsiding bugs with Live Multiplayer so I can begin a series of online playtests.  Almost there...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dev Log - Localization

It was very exciting to see the game in Japanese for the first time!  At this point I have finished integrating the German, Spanish and Japanese translations into the game.  I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my friends who offered to translate the game for me.

I am very interested to see how localizing the game will impact sales.  I was unable to get a French translation, but this will actually help me gauge the impact of localization.  Sales from Germany and France were roughly the same for my last game, so if sales from Germany are much stronger with this release I will be able to put a value on localization.

Localizing the game in XNA was not very difficult, but it did increase the time needed to create the interface screens.  Since I had no way of knowing how short or long a given phrase would be, I had to measure each phrase and center it in code.  The size of background borders and boxes also had to be calculated dynamically to match their contents.  In cases where graphics, such as button prompts occur in the middle of a line of text, I had to make special adjustments for each language.  Had I only been working in English, none of that would have been necessary.

But I am very excited to have localized this game into other languages.  Localization was the last of the three new areas I wanted to master.  The other two were computer AI and online multiplayer.  I am currently implementing the demo mode and sales screen into the game.  I will then start an intensive round of play testing and bug fixing before submitting the game for peer review.  Getting close now...