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So what next for Battle Cards?

Posted by
Thursday, September 1st, 2016 7:35 am

Now the dust has settled and thinking about how best to improve the game in the future and potentially push it for real release.

 

Things I’ve identified:

  • Some bugs that are really annoying
  • Really need to improve the visual feedback throughout the game
  • Build a story mode and a another idea I think is cool

The great thing about LD is that you get something that you can demo and grow to be good in a relatively short time period, this is because I don’t normally have the time to spend on something in a single go.

 

Hopefully over the coming weeks I’ll have more things to share and begin to post updates to the itch.io page.

 

Anyway if you want to play and offer any feedback you can View the Game Here

Battle Cards – Done in time and on budget – woooot!

Posted by
Monday, August 29th, 2016 11:21 am

The Game

 

So another LD completed, this by far is my most successful.

 

The name of the game is called Battle Cards, it’s a simple card battler with a simple yet clear design (which yes was inspired by the wonderful reigns  Check it out here!

Here’s the obligatory screen shots for your amazement and bemusement.

Screenshot_2016-08-29-00-07-03   Screenshot_2016-08-29-00-07-15   Screenshot_2016-08-29-00-07-38

I wasn’t overly excited when waking up on Saturday morning and hearing the theme, it wasn’t one of my favorites available and was hoping for something more defined. I always get pre-jam
jitters and was thinking if nothing took my fancy I’d focus on the myriad of other projects I have on the go.

 

A quick aside maybe this is what differentiates the dedicated Indie developers who actually release things from the hobbyist who just love to tinker and build new play things. Sometimes you just have to release it, something as a hobbyist I’m reluctant to do.

 

So anyway I took this opportunity to learn how to build a game that I’ve thinking about for ages that being a digital card game, what’s LD for if not to learn something new and make something cool and if you fail then hell at least you learnt something.

It was pretty smooth jam for me compared to some of the holes I’ve gotten into before, except for a 3 hour refactor of the enemies half way through it was very smooth.

Of all the games I’ve build this is the first that will definitely be worked on post Jam, especially as there was a whole story mode I wanted to build but cut to focus on creating a polished experience for the Jam.

Anyway I know it’s rough, but I think there’s a gem in here which I can’t wait to unearth.

Hopefully you enjoy playing and please provide feedback.

 

Till next time, stay cool San Diego!!!!

Joining in the fun with KiPong

Posted by
Monday, March 23rd, 2015 7:06 am

Having only realized there was a MiniLD this week at the end of last night, I’m attempting to put a pong inspired game of keepie uppies in a co-operative version of pong where they have to get the highest score possible.

I’m working on a very minimal looking game that will support up to 4 players by the end of the day.

KiPongScreen

 

I’ll hopefully be messing around with some fun mechanic changes once the core has been built.

I’ll be using GM:Studio, Inkscape to build the game.

Spockey – Retrospective

Posted by
Monday, December 8th, 2014 1:02 pm

So I’ve now had time to reflect on the my LD31 and my development of Spokey – Hockey in space (http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-31/?action=preview&uid=26938) and would like to share a few things with everyone.

When doing retrospectives I like to stick to a simple tried and tested formula that should make this quick and painless for everyone involved.

I’ll structure it into 3 main areas:

  • 3 things that went well
  • 3 things that didn’t
  • 3 things I’ve learnt

Yes I love them 3’s….

3 things that went well. 

1. I completed something – This is a big win for me as every previous LD that I’ve attempted to this point I’d failed to produce anything I felt happy sharing with the world let alone entering the Compo with. I take a real sense of satisfaction from this and helped my self-confidence no end.

2. I tried to do two new things and succeeded in both – I’ve always attempt to try new things at Jams and sometimes they come off and sometimes they don’t. This time they both did and it’s two things I’ve always wanted to get my head around for absolutely ages (physics and Game Pad support). I feel my game needed them and after some stuttering around I got both working exactly how I wanted.

3. Going to a hosted meet up – Previous LD attempts I had attempted to complete them at home and as pretty much bombed (due to distractions and life stuff). This time I signed up to attend the Google Campus meet up in London and it was an amazing experience.

For 3 reasons I recommend trying to find real world meet up (yes more threes):

  1.  Being around fellow people was truly inspirational
  2. Getting feedback about my game early helped me improve the experience no end
  3. Less distractions was vital, just being able to sit and focus in a place that wasn’t home was brilliant.

 

3 Things That Didn’t Go Well. 

1. Took me longer than needed to come up with idea – The idea I ended up developing was the second idea I had, I then spent 6 hours trying to think of alternatives none of which were any good. I know you have to assess all the angles but really I spent to long and was too indecisive.

2. focused on Art too much – I’ve spent a lot of time this year trying to improve the graphics in my games, this has been a real valuable thing to learn yet I felt it hurt me here. I spent too much time trying to find the right art balance instead of working on mechanics and features, my end product suffers from this.

3. Still need to learn sound – I hate doing sound, so I avoid it like the plague. ***Spoiler*** my game has a single sound effect…. Seriously need to improve in this area.

 

3 Things That I Have Learnt.

1. Trust my Instinct – If I know my idea is the one I should just start and fail fast, rather than mess about procrastinating for 5 more hours

2. Real World Meet Ups are Amazing – I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did without the help and inspiration at the meet up so thank you everyone who attended the Google Campus meet up in London (you know who you are)

3. Focus on Features First – Do art at the end not at the beginning, simple rule need to learn to obey it.

 

Anyway, if you’ve gotten this far thanks for reading and hope you’ve picked some things up….

I’m now working on what to do with Spokey next as I really like the idea.

I hope you get to enjoy the game and on wards to #LD32

I did it

Posted by
Monday, December 8th, 2014 2:50 am

Finally completed my first LD Compo, whooo hooo.

A further retrospective to come for the game later this week, all I can really say is I’m stoked I finally completed one and that I managed to do two things I’d never achieved before in games.

1. physics – no more simple collision detection for me.

2. Game Pad Support – No more keyboard only games from here on in  :)

I admit it’s not the most complex game in the world, but that’s not my thing.

Please play/rate/ provide feedback…

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-31/?action=preview&uid=26938

Spockey - Hockey in Space

Spockey – Hockey in Space

Spokey – Hockey in space…

 

Thanks,

 

James

And we’re moving

Posted by
Saturday, December 6th, 2014 7:10 am

So after a slow start and many ideas to run through I’m at a point where I’m beginning to build the game.

I’m building a local multiplayer game that attempts to combine Pong and Asteroids, two classic one screen games into one new game.

First problem is that I’m away from most of my equipment to build this thing as I was planned to be based out of the Google Campus, yet I came home to get a few hours shut eye to find my drain is blocked and stinks to high heaven.

Thankfully the drain guys are on the way and the scripts are coming on nicely..

 

Onwards!!!!

When a background becomes a splashscreen

Posted by
Friday, December 5th, 2014 9:28 am

LD31 Splash iPhone5 LD31 Splash 800x600 LD31 1080p Splashpng

 

As requested some splash screen versions of the background I made

An LD31 Background for all

Posted by
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 9:17 am

LD31 Background

 

Just something I’ve thrown together for the weekend

How to fail at Ludum Dare

Posted by
Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 6:12 am

Failing like a Trooper – My First Ludum Dare

Ok so I was hoping this going to be a more self-congratulatory post on how I completed my first Ludum Dare in time and produce something with a fair amount of style.

I wanted to regale you all in my adventure of picking up the mythical sword of Stilton and destroying all that lay before me with great taste and pungent aroma. Alas that was not the case as I made two errors which doomed me, both of which I should have foresaw. The first error was costly the second was fatal.

Error #1: Going out for an old colleagues leaving drinks the night before the event, this led to seeing many old friends who I’d not seen in a while and led to a lot of ale being consumed and a hangover awaiting me. I thought I could fight through the lethargic beginning and make something, this assertion was correct yet the resulting code I’d produced was sloppy, piss poor and generally broken. Thankfully a nap in the early evening and some Justified resolved my state of mind, helped me rewrite the dross produced prior and also had the effect of making me talk like I was from Kentucky. So ultimately I’d lost 14 hours of the day to the night before but thankfully I’d survived.

Error #2: This error was actually part of the plan, me being a smart arse thought it was a good idea. It was a long weekend, a Ludum Dare and event which I’d always wanted to start doing and a local event which I didn’t want to be a party to happening  outside my front door. So I thought in my great wisdom that I’d get rations, stay in doors avoid the event on my doorstep (Notting Hill Carnival) and make an awesome game.

Oh I was a fool, I’d not been at home during the last carnival having thought it was better to get out of town and avoid it all together (Pro Tip: The Correct Way To Survive Carnival Weekend Is To Get Out Of Town).

This time I thought I’d avoid it by just being indoors, wrong answer! I couldn’t sleep more than 4 hours on Saturday night because of the racket and then tried on the Sunday to work but sleep was beating me but I thought if I forget the Comp and just do 6 hours and rest and then I’d focus on the Jam. As you probably would have guess the Sunday night was worse and got 3 hours if that due to the 3/4 street parties that went on all night, this broke me and I didn’t even attempt to finish the Jam.

I’m not ashamed to say that giving up was the right idea and the only thing to do, I was not in a good mood, ultra tired, fed up fighting bugs and not enjoying myself. I’d never not enjoyed doing a jam and I didn’t want my first LD to be tainted by this experience, I decided to give up on this one and put my efforts into the next one.

So I know I’m focusing on the next LD and to Never, EVER Jam during carnival.

Off to a fine start

Posted by
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 4:26 am

Right so this is my first attempt at LD and it’s got off to an auspicious start.

  • Wake up late: Check!
  • Have a tasty hangover:Check!

So having now rolled out of bed and have a warm cup of coffee, I  now have 10 seconds to play with.

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