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[Games] Gamescom 2016 and I was there!

This year I managed to visit Gamescom 2016 with my youngest son. We planned this already for last year's Gamescom but that didn't work out. But this year we made it!

The tickets were ordered already in January and in May I bought the train tickets from Hamburg to Cologne. An afforabdle accomodation was a real challenge for us. Luckily my company has a subsidiary in Cologne and one colleague of mine offered us to visit his family in their appartment (many, many thanks to L & L!) and my son and I happily agreed to this nice offer.

We visited the Gamescom on Thursday and Friday so we had lot of time to explore all the halls and exhibitors in our own paste and with little breaks here and there.

What I didn't expect were the sheer masses of people and the volume of some exhibitor booths. Dear Warner Brothers, EA and Blizzard, Alternate, MSI and Intel, I'm not deaf and I don't want to become deaf! You are simply too loud.

Another surprise were those long lines of people waiting to play a game. I mean, it might be comprehensible if you're a Final Fantasy fan and want to get first hands on FF XV which will be released later this year. But waiting several hours? Come on...

And can anyone explain to me why I should wait several hours in line to play Overwatch, Hearthstone or any other game that is already available for months or years? Just to play it at the Gamescom? What a complete waste of time...

We had the most fun in hall 10.1 in the Indie Booth Arena. Not only was there no real waiting time to play a game (max 5 minutes), no long lines to wait but just a few people standing around us. No, the games were fun! They were innovative, entertaining, creative and full of juice! And the booth crews were friendly, gave away DLC codes (thanks to the Armello devs!) or Steam keys for full games!

Anyway, it was a great experience and I will most certainly visit Gamescom again, maybe in two years. Another private goal is to present a future game of me at the Indie Booth Arena ;)

Below are some pictures I took at Gamescom and in Cologne.

[Game Dev] Even more stuff going on!

Because I've been publicly quiet for such a long time I have more pending news to share with you.

I'm working on my next game which will be an Android only game.

It will have a very simple one finger game play which should suit everyone just fine.

Graphics will be mostly done by using sprites from kenney.nl who offers wonderful packages on itch.io and his own website. I will add some stuff that I did myself in case they are not in one of Kenney's packages or can be created using his tool Kenney Studio.

An early dev screenshot is on the left.

More news, screenshots and gifs will be released while I progress with the game.

One helpful thing for this game is some online video tutorial that I follow:

Mobile Game Development with GameMaker: Studio on udemy.com.

Udemy is a cool website offering tons of video tutorials covering different topics like game development (with several tools, for example Unity, UE4, GameMaker: Studio, etc.), programming, graphics (using Inkscape or pixel art tools like Aseprite or PyxelEdit), web design (Wordpress, Joomla, etc).

I bought the above mentioned course to learn more about Google's Play Services and how to integrate them nicely into GameMaker: Studio. The trainer creates a simple Flappy Bird clone to have a game where all the Google Play features (IAP, advertising, online highscores) are added one by one. I started taking the whole course from the beginning and learned a lot of new stuff I haven't touched in the last few years with GM:S (tricks with backgrounds for example or simple but elegant buttons) or got some new ideas based on the code the trainer used. So the interesting part hadn't even started and I learned enough new things that are already worth the money I've paid! Great stuff!

Now I start with the third section covering the Google Play Services. Afterwards I'll add the relevant code to my new game. Contact me if you're interested to become a beta tester some time in autumn.


[Game Dev] New release of They Come! ahead

What a long break this time.

One reason was related to SSL and TOWeb, my website creation tool.

In June I bought an SSL certificate for my site so that you can now use https://www.rightanglegames.com to visit my website.

Unfortunately TOWeb didn't support UNIX style SSL behavior for uploading new website content. So I had to contact the support and wait for a fix which took until beginning of August. And then vacation and busy stuff on my side and the result is an update near the end of August.

Okay, so what did I do on the gamedev side? People following me on Twitter already learned that I have added GameJolt API support to They Come!

This allows me to offer cross platform online highscores for all players! Additionally I enhanced my local ingame achievements to synchronize with the proper GameJolt trophies. This way you can earn GameJolt points for every achievement you complete in my game.

But this only works if you have a valid GameJolt account and login via the Options screen in They Come!

Just enter your GameJolt credentials and you will be logged in automatically every time you start the game.

For the highscores the game will use your GameJolt account if you are logged in or your Player name in the game if you play anonymously or if you logged yourself off (see the screenshot of the online highscores which shows both - one entry for my GameJolt account and one entry for my Player name when I'm not logged into GameJolt).

An update of the Windows and Android version will be released in the coming few weeks after some more testing. Of course this will be a free update for all customers who already bought the game (thanks a lot by the way!).


[Game Dev] Update of They Come! and new planned features

Update!

A few days ago I updated the Windows and Android versions of They Come!

Main changes were the addition of several different alien sprites and fixes for save games (planet textures).

On game start a random alien sprite is selected which will be used throughout your gaming session (and of course also stored in your save games).

But there is more to come! I plan to implement an online highscore system for all of my upcoming games. You will be able to use a generated user id (and lose your scores if you change devices or reinstall the game because the game will generate a new random user id) or you can enter and verify your email address and use that instead to ensure your highscores (and later on achievements and other stuff) are assigned to your email address for ever. And of course this will work across all platforms.

For now have fun and if you haven't played They Come! yet - download and try the game now!

They Come! on Windows

They Come! on Android

[Game Dev] They Come! is finally available on Android!

It took way longer than expected but They Come! is available now on the Google Playstore!

What were the hazards you ask?

  • Advertising code
    Read the blog entry below
  • IAP code
    Typos, only having one try per device and test account (once you've bought the full version it's stored and you can't undo it for another test run)
  • The game's Playstore page
    Google forces you to setup everything for your store page before you can beta test your app. All descriptions, files, screenshots, icons, functional graphics have to be ready and uploaded before you can start the beta.
  • Content rating
    It took me three tries to get through that. The game contains mild fantasy violence (space ships destroy each other) so it's not without violence...
    The rating is done by humans (and that's good of course!) but due to time zones and watching at the game it took several hours for each (failed) try and several days overall...
But now it's all done, you can just click on the button or image below and enter the Playstore to install the free version of They Come! on your device. You can play and complete a full game on easy settings. Other difficulty and game length settings are not allowed and the ship upgrades are also not available.
Advertising is minimal so why not give it a try and purchase the full version if you like the game?


Take me to the game on the Google Playstore!

[Game Dev] Soon They Come! to Android

I'm pretty busy working on the Android release of They Come! But it's more time consuming than I thought.

First I needed to add some advertising mechanism. I chose Chartboost to get started and got it working with GameMaker: Studio. That took me some days because I only got exceptions in the beginning. Problem was with GM:S which doesn't export all libraries when just debugging on the device... So I had to create a full Android application and get that started on my phone. Sigh.

Next was the IAP (In App Purchases) stuff. It's all well documented on the YoYo website and their tech and help pages. Unfortunately the documentation is a bit outdated (as usual) and the most important advice was missing - you have to download the Google Services extension from the GM:S Marketplace to get going at all. Next sigh.

So currently I have my Google account set up, the Android version is uploaded to some beta stage, the IAP product is defined and finally the only remaining task is to test (and maybe fix) the IAP code in my game.

Then I should have a working Android version of They Come!

The free part allows you to play all of the game in easy mode. Entering the ingame shop to upgrade your ship, the other game modes and removing the adverts will require a cheap ingame purchase.

Hopefully this will earn me a few bucks to motivate me for game updates and maybe some Mac and IPhone hardware to release Mac and IOS versions of the game. We'll see.

I will surely announce the Android release on my site and on Twitter as soon as it's done - promised!

In the mean time you could just buy the Windows version and enjoy all of the game!

Thomas

They Come! is released!!!

Okay, I admit, this time the pause for website updates was even longer than last time - I didn't expect that!

But the wait was worth it, trust me!

I worked hard for the last weeks and months and spent every available spare time minute on game development. And here is the result of all those efforts:

They Come!, my turn based scifi strategy game, is finally released! WOOHOOO!

Have a look at the official trailer below (thanks to Wondershare's Filmora, a great tool for creating little videos):

And of course you should buy "They Come!"

I want to release the game on more platforms, I'm thinking about a HD version of the game for bigger desktops, so why not support an indie game developer to buy new hardware (Mac, I-Thingy) and release more stuff?

And it's so easy! Just click on the Buy Now button below - you'll get a great game in return!

Thanks a lot,

Thomas

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