Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Even more balancing

You would think that if I got time off of work that I would have a lot of time to work on March to the Moon. Nope! I'm still working out balance issues. I've gotten my engineer almost halfway through the second difficulty setting, but the darn Nega Goblin is just too darn strong :( Time to hit him with a nerf bat...

Does anyone know of a good method to record video of a game? I'd like to start putting things up on Youtube to help promote it...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Balancing Act

So now I'm getting to the point that March to the Moon is very nearly complete. Now to make sure that the game is possible to win. I know that it isn't. I know because I cheat-leveled a guy to level 100 and went to go beat the game with him. On Normal mode. The bosses kept killing me. I'm expecting the player to be around level 20 or so when they get to that point, so it looks like I screwed up. Now I've got a character that I'm leveling up through regular gameplay. He's an Engineer called Testy. He is working on mastering his gun, the gatling gun and quickshot so he can fire both of them faster. I may have to boost the damage that the gatling gun does as right now it's not that much more useful than the regular gun. But then again I have more points in the regular gun since I can use it more often. In any case, once I beat the entire game (and have all difficultly levels balanced) I will probably have to start another character and do it all again since I'm getting extra experience from all the times that I keep dying on levels where the enemies are coming in too often for me to be able to fight them all off.

Now it's time for me to get back into the game that I started playing for the first time tonight, Half-Life. What do you mean that came out in 1998? No spoilers please!

Friday, December 16, 2011


Okay, maybe not real chaos, but I have been really busy lately and that's why I totally spaced on getting the blog post in on time. I'm going to keep this short as I am still really busy. Basically I have all the sound effects in the game now. They need some volume tweaking, but I think otherwise they are good. I've also found a number of little issues while I've been testing the sound effects. For example, a level 1 summoned dragon is completely worthless as it doesn't live long enough to use a single attack. And the fire wisp (basic summon creature) is too weak to three hit kill a rat and since they move back and forth you need to summon more than one to kill a rat. Because of the cooldown you simply cannot kill anything and you will never gain a level. What a fun game! Similar problem with the confusion bolt for the Illusionist. It had a bug where it was doing ZERO damage. Both these issues have been fixed and I had a lot of fun playing as a level 100 summoner with an army of Fire Wisps, Angels and Dragons. I barely ever saw an enemy since I was playing on normal difficulty and there was a constant wave of fire coming from my side of the screen.

One thing that I've been running into is that I'll start up the game to test something, then I'll keep playing. Building up to get a perfect score on a level, trying to get a new ability, building up my current abilities, killing stuff... My time sheet may not be completely accurate in the end, but oh well. I think it's a good sign! Trying to clean up a few bugs, change some art (the cobblestone art is too distracting as a background), and get some better balance in for this Christmas when I see my brothers again. After I've got the balance in I basically only have a few things I need to add in for the PC version, so I might just be able to get this thing sent out to the xbox next month!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Xbox, Siphon Spirit Woes and March to the Moon Sounds

So I got me an XBox360. Figured I'd have to port March to the Moon to it fairly soon and got a good deal on it on Black Friday. I've been playing a lot of indie game demos and have gotten a fairly good idea about what to do for my demo. Nothing. Or when the player goes to quit do a short pitch maybe. See, I kept playing demos that would have a "Purchase Now" option on the main screen and default you to that. So if you weren't paying attention you might buy it by mistake. That's pretty dirty, but the one that takes the cake is Avatar Laser Wars. This demo pissed me off. To start with, the only thing you could do was use practice mode. This involves you walking through empty corridors and shooting the rare targets that pop up. On top of that, you couldn't get any power ups. When you reached one it would show a screen telling you that you had to buy the game to have any fun. Guess what? If your demo is no fun then there is no reason to pay for the full game. And look at the control scheme they have. TWO different buttons commonly used in gameplay for buying the game. And that controller screen wasn't up there very long either. I ended up fumbling along trying to find out what I should do and ended up almost buying the darn thing twice. I hate you, Avatar Laser Wars. I will never give you any money.

Moving on. Siphon Spirit has been giving Peter a little trouble. It's been crashing randomly and loading incorrect levels. But just for him. I can't get it to crash at all and haven't run into any of these issues. This is a problem because I need it to crash for me so I can fix it. I added in a debug log to catch the error, which we had determined was in the map screen draw function, but now all the crashes happen in the score calculation instead. Hopefully we can get this fixed soon! Peter's really making a push on it and hopefully we'll be able to get a new demo out soon. The one that we still have up is incredibly old. I should probably boot it up and check out all the differences.

March to the Moon on the other hand is progressing well. I've been listening to SFXR make random sound effects until I find one I like and save it off to attach to something later. I'm using the random function because I don't really understand sound that well yet. I've been making progress on it and am getting to the point that I need to record some voice work. Wish me luck!