I hate talking about myself. Nah, who am I kidding, I just hate typing about myself. Kind of a newbie at game design. Looking forward to participating in my first game jam.
About marvinhawkins of Indie (twitter: @@MarvinHawkins)
October Challenge 2012 Unfinished
After 3 attempts, I completed a game for the October challenge. Ironically, it is not the one that I set out to make when the month started. It’s also late, but I digress. I’m sharing it now because I got to work with a bunch of awesome dudes at the begging of October. We met and finished this game in one weekend in Chicago.
This is how it feels to RELEASE a game to the public:
Presenting ‘Bells of Steel’ a Christmas Tower Defense Game. In the game, elfs must sacrafice themselves to save the north pole from an alien invasion. Not fast enough? Santa will handle the job himself. The game is now live IN THE APP STORE! The gameplay is sort of tower defense meets action. It’s ad based, so would love some taps of the banner, but it is free otherwise. Enjoy, share with friends. Team Krampus FTW!
Thanks so much to this community! It shows that making games(and completing them) is possible. Thanks for lighting the fire under my butt daily.
App Store Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bells-of-steel/id570914908?ls=1&mt=8
Two of my teammates from this project have other game projects going on. They both look cool. Give them a look if you’re interested in Bells of Steel.
Moby Dick Revenge: https://www.facebook.com/MobyDickRevenge
Hidden Treasure Games: Old School Adventure game; https://www.facebook.com/HiddenTreasureGames
I’m tossing my hat into the ring for a November challenge. I didn’t devote nearly the amount of time needed to make the October challenge a success. One big issue is, I didn’t really plan out my time/tasks. I hope to remedy that, and my goal is a first playable by the end of November. In early december, I’d like to either do a first release, or some type of pre order scheme. I need to sit down, and actually write this plan out.
I posted the game to the unfinished section of this site. I will post the link below for ease of finding. I’d love feedback on how to build on what I have. For November, I will be posting to indiedb.com, and Facebook. Also, I’d love to hear notes on how those that completed this challenge did it. When did you know to cut? How did you priortize stuff? All in all, i’m glad stuff like this exists. It’s great to have a community to share/get feedback from. Now I just have to finish the game…
Feel free to follow me on Twitter as I’ll post updates there as well.
Indie DB page: http://www.indiedb.com/games/bonus-stage-inc/news
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/BonusStageInc/218713654894051
Game Demo: http://marvinhawkins.com/SkyHawksv10.html
I posted a larger update here: But as to yesterday’s word, here’s some media on my project. Again, my focus now is build the foundation. We’re close to getting close to a playable demo. This week’s update is more art heavy. We are getting some good contributions from the art team. My challenge this weekend is to start to get that in the game. The biggest indicator of progress is the main player ship (above) is close to ready. It’s an exciting moment!
In the mean time, here’s some photos. By the end of the month, I want to have an alpha done. I might try to get preorders (thus fulfiling the challenge) But I want to make sure I’m doing it right. My thought is, I’m making a single player game, what can you give a player in that case? its not a game like mine-craft or some other sandbox experience. I welcome any insights. Either way, Sky Hawks will be released soonsih. If not by November, then by December. If anyone has any insights on how Alpha Funding works for non multiplayer games, I’m all ears.
Here’s some pics:
Hi All! So I’ve been hustling everyday. (Cue Rick Ross) But it’s not looking like I will finish by the end of october. I am getting some great progress. My goal is at least an alpha by the end of this month. I’m still laying down a lot of foundation. This contest is still providing me with that fire under my butt that i I desperately needed.
So for context: Sky Hawks is an arcade shooter. The game is a fixed scrolling game that is reminiscent of 1942. The funny thing is, I started this project as a way to finish something with a more manageable scope. (This was 2009.) A lot of this project has been solving problems that I assumed would be easy. The first large one was dealing with off screen enemies. Having enemies in the game world was one thing, but they would be long gone by the time the player arrived. The solution was to place the enemies inside of a trigger. When the player was close enough, the enemies would appear in the world. My coder is a rockstar, he got a level tiling system to work. This will allow us to swap out different art titles. This will also make it easy for us to have a level that lasts forever.
I’m rambling, this weekend is all about incorporating more gameplay stuff: Turrets, Getting the bomb working better, and maybe sounds. Overall, it IS starting to come together, but we haven’t even touched the boss routines yet. I’ll also post some of the art that the art guys have been working on. For now, here’s a link of an older build. I’d love some feedback. Thanks!
Since Kickstarter has made ‘stretch goals’ popular, I’m giving myself two stretch goals for this challenge. They are both ipad games that are close to release that I worked on. Both are going to give me a chance to work on my marketing skills. Game 1 is a game completed for IGDA Chicago’s Game Jam. We had so much fun making it, that we decided to make it a full featured game. The theme was sacrifice, so naturally we made a game where you defend santa from space aliens… With suicide bombing elves. We made the whole thing in Game Salad, and will probably just add a few levels, and clean up a few code issues. Right now, the biggest challenge is just figuring out how to monetize it. We can just put it out for a buck… Luckily the holidays are coming so $1 should be ‘easy’. It’s probably just the lack of sleep, but we thought the game was funny as hell. You can play a demo of our work now. Here: http://arcade.gamesalad.com/game/106271
Here’s a write up on the Jam itself here: http://marvinhawkins.wordpress.com/blog/
The Second Game is Steam Golf. I’ve actually been working with a couple of industry veterans on a second ipad game. The game is like Angry Birds mixed with Platfomers, Mixed with golf. I guess it’s simpler to just call it a golf platformer. I did game/level design. For October, the push will be to finish a website, get a trailer going, and write up copy for iStores, and probably the IGF. Ironically, its just as much work as level design. What’s great is, I’ll get a chance to work on my game marketing skills. Here’s a screenshot, hope to post a trailer soon.
I knew that October would be a big month, I’m hoping this challenge is just what I need to have a portfolio of 3 games out in the wild, no longer trapped on my hard drive for all to enjoy.
Oh! We also have a PartlyCrazy Facebook page. I will start to post stuff there (as opposed to spamming you fine folks)
I just shared my first prototype with my team. It is in rough shape, so I want to pretty that up before sharing with this group. So far this week has been about functionality. My main programmer is working on a tiling system for the background. This will allow us to ‘stream’ in tiles as the level progresses, thus giving the sense of an infinite level. I did create some environment art for this game last year, part of my weekend will be spent giving the background some proper (programmer) art. The stretch goal is to share a slightly less rough build here (or at least some screenshots) For now though, here’s a very WIP shot of the first stage..
Updates are sexy. I have one, but its just a prototype build of the game. It’s less Sexy than a giant crab monster. Some of the Art is starting to come in as well. I tried out a new technique. Working with my other programmer remotely, I created a list of to dos. I next wrote down our outstanding tasks, and broke them down into sections. I then broke that up a little further. For example Gui was broken down into ‘fix player lives script’ and ‘delete player life from game controller’ I know that this is very Granular, but its benefits are twofold. One, completing small tasks helps with momentum. Two, seeing tasks written out helps to limit procrastination. When I get distracted, I tend to procrastinate since the tasks start to pile up. Anyway, here’s what i got done with a 4 hour push: Lots more to go, but hope for some sexy screenshots soon.Shot out to my entire art team, they are awesome. It’s good to have art that’s not ugly placeholder art
- Add GUI Lives game object – Complete
- Add Shilloete of aircraft to represent lives – Complete
- Move object on screen to top or out of the way (reposition gui lives) – Complete
-Assign Score when enemy dies – Complete
-Add ‘Player Lives’ Gui element – Complete
- Create New Enemy prefab with mig object – Complete
- Curved enemy path – Complete
- Add buildings to background. – Complete
- Add Textures to Mig Enemy – Complete (In Dropbox called: MigWithTextures)
- Add Texture to building - Complete (Prefab called: Building A)
- ‘kill’ player when he collides with an enemy -complete
- Title Screen Scene should lead to level 1
- End of Level Trigger – Should handle changing levels, cleaning up scene – Complete
-Fade out when level ends: Complete
It’s a little messy, I guess that means the real work is yet to come. SkyHawks is a top down shooter similar to games like 19xx or 1942. It’s something I’ve been working on for a while. It’s time to push it to at least Alpha. The plan is to finish ‘episode 1′ and release with some type of donations, or pay for episode 2 now model. Either way, I’ve got some more things on dev side to figure out before the business model. There’s a ton to do, but here’s what we have so far:
- A few models done
- A home screen
- A Gamecontroller that allow us to set the number of lives, levels, etc.
- Enemy spawn points
- Enemies follow a path
- My coder is a genius, and is getting an procedural tiling system going.
- Texturing Enemies
- Making a graphical representation of player lives
- Incorporating the start screen from the previous build
- making a ‘basic’ level
- Handle ‘player death’
I’m trying to essentially incorporate a bunch of things from an old build, to a new build.
So I’ve watched this twice now, and didn’t enter. My idea was for my game Sky Hawks, there was no need to actually say anything, and by the end of October, the game would be done. Easy. To date, that hasn’t worked. While I have experienced a ton of growth as a developer, in the past year. I still don’t have a finished game under my belt. So this challenge, I’m aiming to break that trend (or at least get enough footage to beg for money via kickstarter or donations). I’ll post more later as I’m at work, but I’m looking forward to frequent updates. I appreciate any and all feedback as I build this. Thanks!
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