Thursday, January 21, 2010

Putting in the extras

Well, I've been hard at work getting those new features in! We've got various types of leeches which steal your energy but you can't steal any from them. We've got magic spells called Reveal and Shield. The shield protects you from damage (probably didn't even need to describe it...) and the reveal shows you more about the stage. There's also a bomb that slowly ticks down until it explodes. You'll need to make sure that you have a shield charged up before it goes off!

After that I mainly have the stage selection to put in and then it's just tidying things up. I'm fairly confident that my side of things will be ready by this time next week, but it looks like I won't get the stuff in for DD2 that I wanted to.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Siphon Spirit Continues

Our new goal for Siphon Spirit is to have it finished by Jan 28th, just in time for indie game night. What's the hold up? Why isn't it finished? Feature Creep.

Yes, Feature Creep. The tendency of a product to keep adding more and more things to it. It was really hard for me to say no to any of the features that popped up for one simple reason. They were all good features that would really improve the final game. So what's better, getting a game out early, or getting a game out later than you said you would but making it better? According to the Duke Nukem Forever team, getting the game out later but better was the best option. After 12 years of full-time development the company finally ran out of money and the project was canceled.

Of course, getting games out too fast is also bad. E.T. for the Atari is well known as being the worst game ever made. I actually owned this when I was a kid. My main memory of the game is "What am I supposed to do?" I was thrown into the game without even a hint of my objective, and no clear direction of where to go. Why was it so bad? Critics blame the fact that it was only a single programmer working on it given only 5 weeks. Now, I'm sure that if Peter and I were able to work full time on Siphon Sphere we could have it done in 5 weeks and be a pretty darn good game at that. But this was the Atari 2600. Programming wasn't nearly as developed as it is now, so the programmer had do code every part himself where I am able to use objects that other programmers have made.

Another famously bad 'game' is Animal Soccer World. The animation is so bad that if I had a few weeks I could probably learn to do it myself. Don't try watching all the videos in that link. I only managed the first two before I felt myself slipping off into a coma. The worst part is that no soccer actually happens in the game. Aside from those cut scenes it's just some kind of coloring book. The developer, Phoenix Games Group, seems to be quite happy with their monstrosity. They claim "Ordinarily the average development period for a game is 18 months, whereas Phoenix need a mere 3-5 months." Here they clearly are trying for games that are popped out quickly rather than trying to make a good game.

I hope that we're in the middle ground. Peter and I don't want to put out any games that we don't ourselves enjoy playing. But at the same time we actually would like to put a game out. Hopefully we'll get Siphon Sphere out on time!


P.S. I did another guest post at RampantGames which can be read here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Siphon Spirit

Welcome back! Sorry that it took so long to get another post up here. You see, our game in a day stretched on and on. we're now sitting at game in a month and it's really coming together.

You play the role of a priestess going off to fight some demons. You have an aura of purified energy and you need to use that to absorb energy from the demons, purify it, and use it against them.

The name of the game is Siphon Spirit. It's fairly close to completion, we just need audio and Peter needs to get some more art and levels in. I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out and we'll have a demo up once we have our website all situated.

As for Darkened Dreams, we've got a showing happening at indie game night out here at the end of the month. I'm planning to have combat all finished by then, as well as making it look nicer. This includes having a combat log that you can look up and getting gold and items from fallen enemies. There will also be creature and item respawning. Hopefully I can get all that done as well as Siphon Spirit for indie game night!