Friday, July 31, 2009

Indie Game Night

Last night Peter and I went to an Indie Game Night at ITT Tech. There was a presentation about making games on the iPhone, free pizza, and a time to show off what we were working on.

The presentation was given by Chris Evans of Morphosis Games. He started with the history of the iPhone and went on to describe how big the iPhone market is. In order to become an iPhone developer you need an Apple computer, and need to pay $100 to register. Once you become a developer you get the iPhone SDK (software development kit) and you can put the programs you write on an iPhone. You can also sell your application in the app store, but remember that there are already TONS of apps there. Apple reviews each app before it releases it to the store, and apparantly if apple rejects it they sometimes won't give you enough information to fix it. Yay Apple!

So onto the money! Everyone hears stories about how some game or app has made the developers hundreds of thousands of dollars. But if you don't make $250 dollars you'll never see a cent of it. Also, Apple will take 30% of the money made from the app. That's not really that bad of a deal for a publisher. But you should expect to not make a whole lot of money developing for the iPhone.

Thanks Chris! Onto the games!

The presentation went a little long, so I didn't get to see very many games after I had done a little demoing of Darkened Dreams. Here's what I got to see.

Tusk by Jon
It was a space shooter that he made. A person from Germany liked it and wanted to put his art in it so they did, then Jon was able to sell the game to the German company.

Kiten by Josh Jones
Another space shooter, with an emphasis on the AI. The ships would change colors depending on what AI they were running. Blue for defensive, red for attack, and purple for a little of both. While I was watching the person whoi was playing it was getting slaughtered until all of the ships turned blue to give him a chance to rest and get some revenge. It was awfully nice of them :)

A dancing game by Les Pardew
I hope I spelled his name right. I can barely make out my own handwriting >_<. It's actually being developed on a console, and I was asked not to say a whole lot about it for that reason. In any case, the graphics look great, gameplay was smooth, and there were no noticable bugs.

Radioactive Joe by ???
The creator wasn't there when I got there, and it seemed to have some trouble running so I never found out what it was all about. Something about a redneck named Joe who starts the game in a toxic waste spill...

Tank General by ???
This game was broken when I came by, and the creator was too busy debugging it to answer any of my questions.

Jay at Rampant Games has a more detailed list of games, though what he says for Darkened Dreams 2 leads me to believe that he didn't see all the changes to the maker.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Drawing on forms

A month or so ago Peter was playing with the map maker and was surprised at how slow it was. I then responded, "Yeah, that's currently my second worst bug."

The worst bug was how data was set up. This made it so that you couldn't delete anything, and it took forever to search through (yes, it's a fairly loose usage of the term 'bug'). That's what I've been working on for the past while, and I'm happy with the changes. Now it's time to tackle my new worst bug, the slowness of the map drawing in the maker! I've picked up quite a few new tricks since I started working on the map maker back in the beginning, and I'm already seeing some speed boosts. Just need to finish it and get the game working with the new save data (which should be trivial) before next Thursday. Thursday is the next Indie Game Night, and I don't want any more bugs cropping up like last time!


Saturday, July 18, 2009

How Enchanting!

I've been chugging away on the Maker for the last little while, and I'm getting near the end! I'm almost finished with the items, and after that I can go in and fix the map maker.

The reason that I haven't finished the items part of it (besides what I said in the last post) is that I never really had enchanting set up at all. Now it's all decided, and I just need to change all the item types that can be enchanted, as well as the items that do the enchantments.


P.S. My wife's computer got a virus that deleted some windows files the day after my last post, and we had to format the drive. Thankfully, my friend Steve was able to save our most important files. There was no way we could have gone back and re-taken those baby photos! I was going to pick up the drive from him the next day, but then my car wouldn't start. My dad towed the car to the place he always goes to, and I had to tell Steve I couldn't make it. He was cool enough to not only come back with the drive and the data backed up on DVDs, he also bought us a pressure cooker to replace the one that exploded! Thanks Steve! The next day my car was delivered. It was just a battery that had shorted out.
P.P.S. I was mopping the floor and found the missing chunk of metal from the old pressure cooker a few hours ago. Until now I had thought it had lodged itself in the ceiling somewhere.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Note to Self: Don't Tell Peter...

Note to Self: Don't Tell Peter What I'm Planning on Finishing Today.

It never works.

Califer: "Hey Peter, I'm going to get all the items rewritten and meshed with the new game-maker."
Peter: "Cool!"
Later that day...
Wife: "I need to get some stuff done, watch the baby for a few hours."
Califer: *oof, that'll make it hard to finish what I said I'd do* "Sure."
A little later...

Califer: "What the crap was that!?"
Wife: "The pressure cooker just exploded!"
Luckily no one was in the kitchen when it happened, but the cat did suffer from a minor nervous breakdown as she wandered the whole house peeking around corners trying to find the alien fleet that attacked us.
So then I spent another hour or so cleaning green paste from the ceiling, floor, cabinets, walls, washing the stove, and then of course washing myself.

This was a more dramatic example of why I can never get things done after I tell Peter about them, but it seems that whenever I tell Peter that I'm going to get something done SOMETHING happens that makes it impossible.

Also, everything's been breaking ever since I quit my job. First to go was my DS. Then the fridge, the doorknob, the actual door, the lawnmower, the modem, Darkened Dreams 2, the garden hose...

Peter was nice enough to lend me his DS, since I'm a DS freak and he spends most of his gaming time on Neverwinter Nights now. I gave it back to him last week because so many things were breaking that I was afraid that the DS would be next, and if I had the money to replace his DS I would just get one of my own. So the DS dodged the bullet and the pressure cooker took it instead.

Wait, Darkened Dreams 2 is broken? Yeah. Sorry about that.

I think I mentioned that the maker had some serious flaws and so I was working those things out. In the meantime the data that I have is being converted to a different type so I can reach in and get what I need instead of having to load it all at once. Since the data is changed I can't run it in the game right now, so it's effectively broken. However, after I finish getting the items and the Map maper redone I should be able to get the game working again without to much trouble.


Do I get bonus points for my longest post ever?