Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Such a Perfect Day

So... I spent my entire day trying to purchase an iPhone. And I failed.
I had a suspicion it would be that way. Contacting service providers, untangling their "attractive" (and completely incomprehensible) offers, struggling with the question of model, memory, second hand or new...
Ugh. This is why I had a Nokia up until now.
C'est la vie. My soon to be amazing tower defense game will hopefully be available in the app store, so I need an iPhone.
I finished with the Unity tutorials, and moved on to the research phase of the project. This means playing tower defense games, and plenty of them. I've toyed around with Defense Grid, Sol Survivor, several games in Kongregate, and got addicted to Kingdom Rush, Which is the best Tower Defense game I played since Plants vs. Zombies.
Research is fun. Next week: Design.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Bit of Dialogue With Gamers

A few days ago I've raised the rate of incoming mission credits to 1 per hour (instead of 1 per 6 hours, as was before). Ever since I did that more people have started playing the game and some chat has been generated on the Kongregate forum and comments.
I try and react to the complaints or praise that people post accordingly. Thus, a long thread complaining about the game's difficulty curve made me make the difficulty curve a little less steep.
Here are the main points raised, and my general thoughts regarding those points:

  1. Please remove the mission credits system - Naturally the requests (or at least some of them) are a bit less polite, but this is generally the sentiment. I haven't decided what to do with that yet.
    The mission credits system, contrary to what people think, is not intended to generate us more money by making people buy more. The system is mainly there to make people return to the game, thus enabling us to create a community of players who return periodically to see if anything was added or changed. This has not worked well as we thought. People generally get annoyed by it and it was a serious turn off for some. I can remove this but it will take some development time, and I need to think if it is for the best.
  2. The game seems to be over - this is a complaint regarding the fact that events are starting to repeat themselves. Here is the thing: Misfortune is supposed to be an ongoing adventure. Some open plot threads are left dangling and are supposed to be picked up later (as in some great games like "beyond good and evil" and "the longest journey"). However, the same as with the aforementioned games, this content has not been created yet, and will only be created if the game will be successful enough.
  3. We need better weapons/how do we get steam rifle and steam pistol - those separate questions converge to a single answer - the new weapons will be released soon. I am trying to think of a good way to do that.
  4. Bugs! BUGS!!!! - I am doing my best to fix them. There actually aren't a lot of bugs. The most serious one currently is that the game doesn't work in Ubuntu
Besides the fun I am having talking to people who like (or don't like) our game, I am 3/4 done on my Unity learning book. Once I am finished with that, we're off to game design!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Choosing the wrong tool for the job

First of all, I need to decide what tool to use when working on my Tower Defense game. It is a 2D game, so naturally I need something that fits 2D game development. Naturally, I've decided to work with Unity.
"Unity", my friend informed me "is intended for 3D games."
"No problem" said I "I will simply create flat sprites and position them one on top of the other like a stack of cards, and then position the camera in one spot so that it will look 2 dimensional."
"That's abuse of the platform. There are great engines for 2D development."
"I'm using Unity."
"You're an idiot."
Well, he actually didn't say that, he's a polite guy. But his tone hinted it, and that's fine with me. I know Unity is the wrong tool, but the thing is, I want to learn how to use Unity.
Scratch that. I don't want to learn anything. I want to know how to use unity. The learning process is really unnecessary.
I started looking for tutorials. After an hour of hair pulling, curses and prayers, I've stumbled upon this golden link.
10 Minutes later I've bought a nice kindle version of Unity Game Development Essentials. I'm in chapter three. I already have a lush island with palm trees and a volcano.

It's fun.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A shiny new idea, I will call it "Tower Defense"

I disappeared for a time, working on Misfortune's marketing. I published it in Kongregate, added support for Twitter posts, played some more with the content. For now I am happy to let the game stand on its' own. I've decided to start working on a new project.
The hardest thing about Misfortune was the immense size of it. Misfortune is HUGE (especially for 3 guys who haven't made any game before). It has a server and a client, a pretty hefty SQL database containing items, monsters, events, dungeons, players and whatnot. I've been working on it for two and a half years, my partners joined me for the last two.
I want a smaller project. I want to start working on something and end working on it in no more than 3 months. 
I have an idea. It's a secret, but I will tell you about it if you promise not to tell anyone. I don't want someone to do this before me. I call this game a "Monsters running around in a maze while the player positions defense towers to kill the said monsters" game. Acronym: MRAIAMWTPPDTTKTSMG. Catchy.
I'll just call it a "Tower Defense" game.
I intend to develop it for flash, android and iPhone. I will use the unity engine for the latter two, and develop the first separately. We will see how it goes.
I hope to describe in this blog the entire process of the development. Who knows, I might actually maintain this promise...
Good luck to me.