Monday, September 12, 2011 is back!

The second domain name that I ever bought, years upon years ago, called expired. I had used it to host tutorials for whatever programming language or tool I was using at the time, post information that people now use things like Google+ or Twitter for, and just generally made it a place of my own.

Then, one day, I just decided that there really was no reason for me to try to be anonymous on the Internet, so I registered (as one of my distant relatives got the .com) and have been using it for more personal things.

The domain was snatched up by a squatter due to it having a Google pagerank of 4. I patiently waited for years. In the meantime, I bought the .com of the same name, but never really got it back to what it all was about. Last month, the squatter finally abandoned the site and I was able to reregister it. 

In the next coming months, I hope to correct all the links to the content that was there that I still get messages about as well as add new content, mostly focusing on software build and process automation, XNA, XBLIG, game development, and other tech and software interests.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cosmic Epic - Space Exploration for XBox360 and Windows PC

While Level Up! is kind of stuck in a bit of null space in the review process, I started working on my next game. I was hoping to use sales from LU! to help fund this one, but I just don't know how many sales on XBLive I will get because of its obscure nature.

My next game is tenatively called Cosmic Epic. It is a space exploration game that has little hand holding. This game focuses more on relations with alien races, resource management, trading and searching rather than combat. Yes, there will be combat, but more from a captain's or admiral's point of view rather than fast paced button pounding.

Here it is with a mix of art created by me or borrowed as a placeholder.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

XBLIG Review for Level Up! and Indie Games General

I put LU! into review last week and a few defects were found. I did some patching and cleaned up a few other areas that I now realize weren't that greatly coded. Another round of playtesting will begin today with another review after that.

Several people have pointed out that it isn't very interactive and "not a game". The interactivity portion is true, however the "not a game" isn't. The root of what makes a game is that there is some sort of competition. I agree that this definition allows games like "Press this button and hold it down as long as you can" to exist, but in the case of LU!, there is avenues of fun to be had. It's foremost 'competition' is basically seeing how long you will let it run. That is it. You can compete with your highscores as well. Past that, like Progess Quest, any other forms of competition are based on your own imagination.

I know that most gamers today are trigger finger twitchers, but this game does have its place. I added a tutorial the first time the game is played (and if you decide to turn it back on) to explain the game in full so as not to be deceptive about what exactly the game is at all, though, I know I am bound to receive some hate mail about it.

People are so finicky when it comes to spending $1. I have seen people blow $60 on a hastily released FPS, play for 20 minutes and uninstall because it is crap and not level the same amount of vitriol at those developers than I have seen on forums of XBLIG developed games. It confuses me as unlike the $60 FPS games out there, all XBLIG games have demos. You can actually try before you buy to find out if you like the game or if there are some problems with gameplay that irritate you or to figure out if you even like it. Guess what... you can even buy 60 of them for the same price as some FPS from a company that urinates on their developers to have them crank out Sequel Shooter 5: Herp of Derpers. Think about it this way, you could even blindly buy 60 of them and if even 1 give you 4 hours of enjoyment, you WIN! (4 hours comes from the average amount of time a person will play a AAA title released game.)

Anyhow, get out there, support the games you like regardless of who makes them. If you like Herp of Derpers, buy Herp of Derpers. But just go out and explore and try new things, you may find something wonderful that you enjoy.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

7th inning stretch for Level Up!

I just finishing closing or deferring the last few items in Level Up!'s project plan.

Over the last week, I focused on finishing up the art and buckled down to finish the last few features.

There were finally some replies to my search for artists. Matt Brooker created a cover for me.

So, I have started posting links to the game on sites that I frequent to get some last minute eyeballs looking at it. I'm sure someone is going to say "But, I don't do anything but create a character and the game just plays itself.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Level Up! - Graphical Progress Quest for the XBox 360 and PC

For the last few weeks, I have been working on a graphical version of Progress Quest for the XBox 360 and PC.

I'm in what most people think of as the last 10%, which is actually the last 90%. Basically, a lot of adding graphics, sounds, special effects, parties, guilds, and features. They game itself runs exactly like Progress Quest and the actual gameplay is done.

Since I'm not much of an artist, I have been trying to stay simple. I used David Gervais's sprite tiles for most of the art. For the menu borders, I have been drawing my own using inspiration from around the house. I'd like to find someone to help out in drawing the title screen and tightening up the graphics to look good, but at this point, if I don't I should still have a fairly decent looking game.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Angry Cosmos

For Week 3, I had a few ideas on what game to make, but I really wanted to learn how to do true vector based graphics.

So, after a false start and 3 days of being sick and watching the entire season of Cosmos in between naps, I bring you "Angry Cosmos", a XNA 4.0 implementation of Asteroids.

I never truely understood the whole 3D Matrices until now and once I did was able to whip this out pretty fast. I believe the skill I gained from the last two projects helped as well.

Source available on GitHub:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

One Week Game Making Challenge

A few weeks ago, Frank gave me the idea of making/remaking a game a week using XNA 4.0. Starting last Sunday, I have been doing just that. I am redrawing all my own sprites and generating all the sounds.

Now, most people will say "I can crank that out in a day, and it takes you a week." While that may be true, working a full time job and having a family of four with young kids makes my time commitment about 1 hour a day and 2 a day on weekends. So, in the end, I do spend about 8 hours total.

Week 1: Derp's Revenge - an homage to the Atari 2600 game, Yar's Revenge.

Source Code and Binaries are available on Github.
Day 1: Got Derp (the
player) moving around and shooting. Added Qotile and shield blocks.
Day 2: Added nibbling of shield blocks and keyboard input
Day 3: Added shield movement (up and down and rotating)
Day 4: Didn't work on.
Day 5: Added enemy missile, large cannon, sound effects and background music.
Day 6: Handled player death and resetting game
Day 7: Added the neutral zone and the Qotile turning into the swirl. Game = Done

Since then, I have started bug fixing, code cleanup, and just general upkeep stuff.

Week 2: Herp Invaders: an homage to the arcade game, Space Invaders.

Source Code and Binaries are available on Github.

Day 1: Created the basic framework (GameObject from Derp's Revenge)
Day 2: Added invaders, player, and controls.
Day 3: Added shields.
Day 4: Invaders shoot back.
Day 5: Merged GameObject with my Derp's Revenge GameObject (Started using velocity for movement)
Day 6: Enemies destroy shields and added next level reset
Day 7: Added UFO, player destroying own shields, sounds and scoring