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Fun Infused Friday 12
Date 6/10/2011    Tags FIN    (0)

Lots of big E3 happenings this week that made things interesting along with incremental changes to my games. It's been a fun week of development as I've been jumping between four different projects. Having different things to work on means one game (or app) doesn't get stale. Sometimes one needs to do that over long development cycles.

Really just plugging away at levels at this point. I'm up to 37 out of 40 levels finished. The 40th level will be a boss battle so that leaves 2 normal levels to create still. I know what one of these levels will be and I'm not sure what to do with the other. The next month or two will likely be spent tweaking these levels, organizing them into a logical flow from easiest to hardest, adding unlockables to the game, and just polishing it as much as possible.

I'd like to include Volchaos as part of the Summer Uprising promotion. This likely means a late August / early September release for Volchaos. Honestly I probably could release this game in July. It's gonna be hard sitting on a game that is essentially done for that long but it will also give me a lot of time to tweak the gameplay and do more polishing than I likely would otherwise. So it could be a good thing.

World of Chalk
Worked a bit on level transitions and a few other minor tweaks to the game. Sadly this game isn't in the state I would have liked for Dream Build Play but it is coming along. I'm expecting to focus on World of Chalk much, much more in the coming months. If you haven't seen the latest video, check it out below, it's some kind of awesome.

Abduction Action WP7
The UI works well enough that you can now start a game in Abduction Action!. I started working on the controls, I'm trying first to use the accelerometer to move the UFO around. The basic movement works though I feel you have to tilt the screen far too much to get the desired directional changes (which can make it difficult to view the screen). I still haven't added the controls to use the tractor beam or to drop bombs yet but that's coming down the pipe too. From my early work on this, I feel like the WP7 port is going to be a pretty quick one as I really just need to get the controls right and tweak the UI, I've got no new features to add and performance doesn't seem to be an issue at this time.

I'm thinking about online high scores for Abduction Action! too. They'd be nice to have but don't lend themselves to the game as well as those in Hypership. The sandbox nature of the game means you could just sit and rack up points on easy levels if you want too... not hard to do, just time consuming. I'd hate to have getting the high score more about time devoted than actual skill. Not sure at this time how to get around that.

Mr. Strobe Light
This week I also released a really basic strobe light app for Windows Phone 7 called Mr. Strobe Light (16.7 million colors, variable strobe speed). I wanted to try releasing something easy and quick and see how it did on the marketplace. The app is free but with ads. So far, I've made about 8 cents on it in three days. Looks like these cheap one-off apps aren't worthwhile to make unless you hit on something really useful. The downloads are pretty low and usage clearly isn't high either. On the plus side though, it only took me 2 days to make and it counts as one more release for WP7. I've got three releases now (Hypership, Hypership Lite, Mr. Strobe Light) and if I get two more before this month is over, I get a bunch of free advertising for one game of my choosing... so you may see me do another 2 quick (but hopefully useful) apps before the month is through.

Other Stuffs
Wii U? Horrible name. Not digging the giant controller. I'm a gamer, I like great games. Nothing about the controller I've seen jumps out to me at making the gaming experience that much better. It feels like a gimmick. I'd be perfectly happy with Nintendo if they just made a more powerful system, standard controller, and cranked out some awesome new first party titles.

I suspect Nintendo will try and keep the cost of the Wii U similar to that of the Wii's initial release price. How expensive do you think that controller is? $100? Nintendo in the past has shown they won't eat the cost of their hardware (unlike Microsoft and Sony) so whatever extra the controller costs will likely mean that much less money can be spent making the actual console better. I find that disappointing. Sure it might be more powerful than the Xbox 360 and PS3 (systems 5+ years old mind you) but I'd fully expect both Microsoft and Sony to blow the Wii U away with their next systems.

Nintendo did not reveal anything about their online system either. I think Xbox Live is fantastic and the Wii's offering completely terrible. If Nintendo just copied what Microsoft is doing (subscription fee or not), I'd be pretty happy.

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