What's going on?
[Life] Is this site dead?
No, it's not! Just pretty quiet over the last few years(!)...
Strange how real life can keep you busy and Twitter can drag you away from websites at all.
Time for game development became less and personal activity on Twitter grew so my website became somewhat neglected.
I want to change that!
The last 2 years I've been working with Thomas Finholm, an awesome pixel artist, on a classic roguelike named "Theralite". In between I switched from GameMaker:Studio to the open source Godot game engine and redid most of the game by porting it from GML (the GM:S scripting language) over to C#, which is a first class supported language for Godot.
I will post more informations about the development either on this blog or on a separate page on this website. So stay tuned!
[Game Dev] globalstats.io
The globalstats.io guys plan to enhance their services in the next months. Just in case you missed the information: I maintain the GameMaker:Studio asset to enable online highscore services for your GameMaker:Studio game! Get it here!
And best thing: the asset and the online highscore services from globalstats.io are completely free!
So if you're a GameMaker:Studio (or Unity) game developer and searching for some easy, powerful, secure and free(!) online highscore service: go to globalstats.io, follow the links to the free API bindings for Unity or GameMaker:Studio, read the short documentation and get going!
Next thing to come will be a relaunch of their website and achievements/trophies for your games!
I'm looking forward to update the asset as soon as the new stuff will be available!
[Game Dev] Ludum Dare 39 and my results
Ludum Dare 39 took place July 29th to July 31st and once again I joined (third time for me).
The theme was "Running out of power" which I really liked. Given that this weekend was also the start of my summer vacation all signs were "GO!" for entering the compo.
I worked around 20 hours in total on my entry, 10 hours on Saturday and another 10 hours on Sunday. Although I had some hours left on Sunday I couldn't motivate myself to add some music (or even try) and uploaded the game with just some simple sound effects.
Now the results are in and I'm fine with the results. They are a bit worse compared to my Bubbles game last year but I think I still managed to create a pretty playable game given the short amount of time I spent on it.
Here are the numbers:
- Overall: 370th (3.25 average from 26 ratings)
- Fun: 305th (3.208 average from 26 ratings)
- Innovation: 558th (2.5 average from 26 ratings)
- Theme: 283rd (3.583 average from 26 ratings)
- Graphics: 587th (2.333 average from 26 ratings)
- Audio: 464th (2.217 average from 25 ratings)
- Humor: 481st (1.667 average from 23 ratings)
- Mood: 572nd (2.227 average from 24 ratings)
[Game Dev] 10 seconds take too long!
I'm still working on my next game. And although it was only intended to be a small exercise in creating a minimal mobile game and establishing some reusable code base it takes way too long.
Of course there's the usual procrastination. Then there's distraction (other games I bought and played, stuff like the globalstats.io GameMaker asset, the new release of GameMakerStudio 2 and all its modules (Desktop, HTML5 and mobile).
Oh, and of course there's this thing named daily fulltime job too which costs energy and time...
Also this website suffers from my lack of time (and sometimes energy and motivation). But I plan to be more active on my website!
The gif on the left shows the newly added black holes to my WIP game "10 seconds". If you get too close you'll be dragged inside and the game is over - so be careful!
[Game Dev] I'm still alive, happy new year and all of that...
Oh boy, what happened the last 4 months? Where did the time go? And why were there no updates on the website?
In fact I was pretty busy over the last few months. What did I achieve in between?
- I continued to work on my new Android game. A lot of low level stuff was added, for example internationalization support, a tweening engine was added, some basic UI stuff, the core game play and more.
- Then I joined the GameMaker2 Beta Jam, where a game had to be created within 2 weeks with the new edition of GameMaker Studio 2. I decided to go for a turn based roguelike with procedural level generation and minimal graphics. Although I only had a few evenings I managed to finish a game and learn something along the way. And I must admit: the new version of GameMaker Studio is pretty cool!
- Finally I worked on a little wrapper for a new online highscore service. globalstats.io offer free online highscore services for all game developers. They provide a set of OAuth2 based web services and some sample Unity wrapper with source code. That got me hooked and I always wanted to play around with the HTTP features of GameMaker:Studio so I started to create my own wrapper for GameMaker:Studio. And guess what? It's done and available for free! Just go to the globalstats.io github repository and download the ready made extension or have a look at the source code. It's all here!
- In the next few days I will upload the extension also to the GameMaker Marketplace.
[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:
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.
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
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!
[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...
[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!
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,