Monthly Archives: May 2014

Bullet Heaven 2 demo – first 5 levels!

Here’s the first 5 levels of Bullet Heaven 2!

What’s not finished:
The displays at the sides, the scoring system, and dialogue boxes.
The backgrounds might also change, they seem to be quite graphic intensive. The last 3 waves in each level are supposed to be bonus rounds, but right now they act the same as the normal waves.

I’m interested to hear what framerates you guys get, how you find the gamepad controls, and how you find the difficulty levels.
The game doesn’t quite fit into this blog post, so you should play full screen.
Also the middle mouse button is currently used instead of double clicking, and that might scroll your browser if you’re not in full screen.

Edit: Oh, I just realized that keyboard controls don’t work in fullscreen in a browser. Whoops. Ignore those for now.

BH2: Controls & Multiplayer

Looks like the newer versions of Flashplayer have some features that I’ve wanted for a very long time!

First of all, I can finally use the right and middle mouse buttons! Hurray!
Although in practice, using the middle button isn’t a great idea, since the wheel will always scroll the web page, so that could get annoying. Google says there’s not much I can do about that. But having two mouse buttons should be enough for this game! 😀

Secondly, I can use gamepads now! The only problem is that it requires Flashplayer 11.8, and some people might not have that yet. But that’s not a huge issue – they’ll just have to use the mouse or keyboard instead. This guy’s code is very helpful for implementing gamepad controls, and got me playing BH2 with my Xbox 360 controller after about 10 minutes of coding.

So after a bit of experimentation, it looks like multiplayer support is very feasible! (It totally wasn’t when I made BH1) The plan is to add support for 4 players!

Super cool, huh?!

Beutiful Legends Deluxe

Hay guys. I’m sorry that I haven’t been particularly active lately. A lot of distractions popped up at the same time; I’ve been catching up on video games, the weather’s been quite nice, and it was also my girlfriend’s birthday. Gonna try to post some stuff soon though!

Played through Rayman Legends and got 100% on all of the new levels (not doing the Origins levels again!). Fantastic game. The musical levels were amazing, and in general the level designs were even better than in Origins (and I’m quite happy that the game was a bit easier too). I felt that some of the food-themed levels were particularly creative. The graphics and animations are as beautiful as ever, and in my opinion, it might be the best looking game I’ve ever played.

81M-o-BKkBL._SL1500_

Also played through Kirby: Triple Deluxe, and although it’s a good game, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as some other Kirby games. I felt like the story mode just dragged on a bit too long. The speedrun mode was particularly weak compared to the one in Nightmare in Dream Land; it was just too long and the levels had too many dead ends. I did like the 3D effects though, and the game certainly made good use of them.
Kirby-Triple-Deluxe-insert1Finally, I played through My Beautiful Katamari. I haven’t played a Katamari game since We <3 Katamari on Playstation 2, but it doesn’t look like the games have changed at all, which is both good and bad. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Katamari is a game series about rolling things up. As you roll, your ball gets bigger and you can pick up larger items. That’s all you do. Most of the fun comes from the humor and variety of items you can roll up. The levels this time felt less inspired than in the previous game, but I think the scale of the final level made up for that. The concept is still great fun.
beautiful_katamari_meri_image21_0

So Good They Can’t Ignore You

Just finished reading So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport, and his career advice mostly lines up with my personal experience.

The book’s advice for finding work that you love is to build up skills through years of *deliberate practice*, until your skills are rare and valuable enough to afford you control over your work. Being good at something and having connections will give you more opportunities and make your work feel more meaningful.

It tries to debunk the idea that boldly following your passions will lead to satisfying work. That approach won’t work if your skills aren’t valuable enough to support you, or earn you enough autonomy to enjoy your work.

“Working right matters more than finding the right work”, as the author puts it. The most interesting and rewarding work lies at the cutting edge of your field, where there’s room for new innovations, and plenty of consumers looking for those innovations. But to get there you need to have a strong knowledge of what you’re building upon, and you’ll need to be able to specialize in a small area that few others do.

Anyone who follows the indie game development scene will know how many new developers fail to make a living off of their passion, because they jump on the bandwagon without enough experience, or with unreasonably high expectations.

In my case, I didn’t consider doing game development full time until I was consistently making good money off of it, and it took me a long time to get there. Before that I spent a lifetime on learning how to draw, 7 years playing around with Flash and animations, and 4 years getting a software engineering degree – and not getting paid for any of that, but instead gaining skills and reputation. At first the effort wasn’t deliberate – game development was only a hobby – but after highschool I became more serious about looking at career options, and started measuring my progress and setting goals.

As I’ve learned recently, the most useful skills were often the ones that were the toughest to learn. I didn’t endure through University because I enjoyed learning about design patterns or project management, or because programming was my “passion”; I did it because I wanted some valuable skills which would make me a better game developer, or at least get me some other job if that path didn’t work out.
(Though I did begin to enjoy University once I gained control over my 4th year projects, which was only allowed because I had plenty of game dev experience by then.)

For a while, I became complacent with developing medium-sized web games, and stopped making an effort to improve my skills, opting to stick to what I knew and what was easy for me. Luckily, the market for web games started to shrink, and I was forced to look at the long-term viability of my career. I started looking at developing games for other platforms, including mobile devices and Steam, and although the process of adapting was difficult, I’ve gained a ton of valuable experience as a result, and feel more confident than ever. I’ve begun to make an effort to network with other game developers, to do more research on current market trends, and read boring textbooks. Most people never see the work that goes on behind the scenes.

Anyway, I think the main message to take away is that if you’re comfortable with the work you’re doing, that means you’re not challenging yourself enough, and you probably won’t get to where the most satisfying jobs are at. You should always take time off from being productive and instead squeeze in some time for research and practice, and concentrate more on what you can offer to the world, rather than what the world can offer to you.

Anyway, enough ranting from me.

BH2: World 1 Finished

I’ve finished the first 5 levels! Hurray!
I think BH2 looks much prettier than the previous game, and I hope everyone agrees. Though I guess you’ll have to see it in action to appreciate it.

Now it’s time to work on the player’s animations and weapons, and power-up items.
Once those are done it’ll be almost time to publish a demo!

lvl3

hearts

boss copy