Monthly Archives: September 2014

BH2 Difficulty Levels Explained

Hay guys, this post is just a little reminder of how difficulty levels will work in Bull Heaven 2.

All the screenshots I’ve been posting so far are on the hardest difficulty, because they look the most impressive. Obviously most people won’t be skilled enough to play at that difficulty.

The difficulty levels are:
• Casual: ~25% bullets
• Hard: ~50% bullets
• Heavenly: 100% bullets

You’ll be able to switch difficulty at any time, much like in EBF4, but scores and ranks will be counted separately for each difficulty.

On top of that, there will be cheats (basically difficulty modifiers), much like in the previous game, but now they can also be used to make the game harder. These will include stuff like:
• Less or more lives.
• Less or more enemy HP.
• Slower or faster game speed.
• More items drops.
• Less or more bombs.
• Longer or shorter death-bomb time.

These usually won’t invalidate scores, ranks or achievements, but they will effect the numbers to balance things. For example, reducing the game speed by 10% will also reduce your score by 10%.

There will be no permanent upgrades this time. But the cheats and other extras will be unlocked gradually (maybe even with the coins you collect), so they’ll function quite similarly.

Sound reasonable?

Big Steam Update!

Hey guys, for those of you who use Steam, you’ll have noticed that they rolled out a lot of updates recently, and some of them are pretty cool!

The new music player let’s you listen to game soundtracks for whichever games include those. EBF4 includes the soundtrack, for anyone who hasn’t noticed yet. 😛
art
The Steam store has also been changed a lot, and uses different methods for showcasing games now. User review scores are now featured more, which is great for me, because EBF4’s reviews are 98% positive! (almost 99% actually, but they’re rounded down. 😛 )

Developers have new stats pages, so we can track where store-page traffic is coming from. Pretty cool, and Valve even say that they’re okay with sharing these stats publicly. Here’s my stats for the first 3 days after the update, for any developers who may be interested in comparing:
tarffic statsThe update’s resulted in a little boost in sales so far, so hopefully that keeps up.

Oh yeah, one more thing. A lot of people still have EBF4 on their wishlists, and I’d like to do a discount soon-ish. What sort of discount are you guys waiting for?

How to Win Friends and Influence People

I recently read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, and I totally recommend it to anyone who has to deal with people for a living. (so just about everyone)

The short version of the book is: Be polite and empathetic towards everyone you meet, and show a genuine interest in them. Avoid arguments and be very sensitive and understanding when trying to change someone’s mind. Admit it when you’re wrong. Remember that people are emotional creatures, and that they’re motivated by their own pride and desires more than anything else. Make people feel appreciated and important.

Although the book is mainly set in the context of business transactions, I think it’s quite useful in just about any type of relationship, and I’ve been figuring out a lot of the lessons on my own over the years while dealing with people online.

Here’s some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in their wants and problems than they are in yours.”

“Don’t criticize people; for they are just what you would be under similar circumstances.”

“Remember that we are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion, bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride.”

“Be hearty in your appreciation and lavish in your praise, and people will cherish your words even long after you have forgotten them.”

“Nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give.”

“Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement.”

“It takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving. A great man shows his greatness by how he treats little men.”

 

Independance & Minecraft

Scottish Independence:

You guys outside of the UK might not know or care, but Scotland could be a real country soon!
Everyone’s getting really passionate about it and the vote is looking to be very close at the moment.

Most of my highschool and uni friends are in favor of independence, because they think the Scottish government will make better decisions for Scotland than the British government has done so far, and I mostly agree. Scotland currently controls education and healthcare, and well, those things are arguably handled much better than they are in England. (Education is still free in Scotland, while prices are going up in England). Meanwhile, England is making some very unpopular decisions in regards to immigration policies, European Union membership, and military spending, which most Scots disagree with.

On the other hand, voters against independence are generally people who are satisfied with what they’ve got, and don’t want to take any risks. Which is understandable, I suppose. The UK government is obviously trying very hard to convince Scotland to stay, with some rather patronizing and fear-mongering ads.

Anyway, no matter how things go, one side is going to be very pissed off at the other side.
Personally, it probably won’t make a huge difference to me, since I get paid by US companies, so my job or currency isn’t threatened at all.

Minecraft:

I’m both nervous and excited about Microsoft buying Minecraft/Mojang.
For $2.5 billion, they’ve gotta have some serious plans for it (a sequel?), but at the same time, MS could totally mess this up, as they’ve done with Rare in the past. At the very least, development on Minecraft should speed up with a bigger team behind it, and I think that should be quite interesting.

Also, I think this makes Notch the first indie game developer to become a billionaire…. impressive.

Somewhat related, I’ve been talking to a local community centre about starting some sort of Minecraft club for kids! That could be an interesting experience if it goes ahead.

Gym:

Now that my brother’s moved out, I’ve got a spare room! I’m thinking of building a gym in there, because there’s not much use for it otherwise.

I recently inherited a bench and some weights, so I’ve started doing a bit of lifting, and it’s pretty addictive! Plus it’s something I can do even when the weather’s crap, unlike running and cycling.

Chili Peppers:

Recently my Scorpion chili plant produced a single fruit! I’m not stupid enough to eat the whole thing, but I’ll try a bit at some point. Unfortunately it’s not the record holder anymore; new varieties are developed too quickly!

Not sure if I mentioned it earlier, but my Ghost plant produced like 5 peppers, and I ate half of one! It was definitely worse than anything I had ate before.

Anyway, that’s me crossed growing chili peppers off my achievements list.
I’ve grown 12 types of peppers in total, and have had enough of them.

Time to find a new hobby!

2014-08-29 19.19.47-1

This thing will melt your face off.

BH2: New Hovertank and Filters

I updated the design for the hovertank boss because I wasn’t satisfied with the original one. Plus I think this one will suit the factory levels better, since they’re gonna be quite gray. It looks pretty damn cool in motion!neontank
I also started playing around with filters in Starling. A 16-bit mode is something I’ve always wanted to add to my games, and it turns out I can do it with just one line of code. Hurray!

Here’s the source for the filter, btw.

In motion you can tell it’s a filter, but it still looks pretty good. In screenshots it looks almost legit. It doesn’t seem to have a huge effect on performance (or at least not on my computer), so I’ll leave it in as a bonus feature.

pixels

Madness: Project Nexus 2

Hay guys. Do you remember Madness Combat?

Well, Krinkles and The Swain are working on a new Madness game, and it looks like a huge step up from their previous one. Check out the trailer:

I usually don’t like promoting Kickstarters, but I make exceptions for developers who have helped me out, and the Madness Combat series has been a huge inspiration when I started animating. If you guys remember, my earlier games and animations were pretty violent, and some of my very early animations copied the whole floating-arms style. So now you know why. Back when I started, Madness was the coolest thing on Newgrounds.

Anyway, if you were ever a fan of the series, or just want a good game to play, you should chuck some coins their way on Kickstarter. They’ve got 2 weeks left and still need a little push. $15 will get you a copy of the game.

Project Nexus 2 has already been Greenlit on Steam, and the guys behind the series have a long history of successful projects, so I’m sure this will turn out awesome too. Either way, I think they deserve something for all of the free content they’ve created over the years, and I’d like to see where they can go with this.

BH2: Bee Boss Preview

I think this is my favorite boss so far. The way she(?) moves around ended up looking pretty cool. Her theme is fast movement and honeycomb shields!

Adding in the honeycombs makes me see how much better the game will look once I draw proper backgrounds. Oh, and the honeycombs are there to punish you for spraying bullets, and they change up the gameplay quite a bit. I might actually go back and add some bubbles to the turtle boss.
honey stingbombsDDP