Thursday, March 29, 2012

Making websites.

In order to actually sell March to the Moon, I'm going to want a website.  Sure, I could put it out on XBox LIVE Indie Games without having a website, but I think it's better to have something for people to go visit if they end up liking the game.  We're hoping to have a new, updated demo for Siphon Spirit as well so that we can get more people to see it and hopefully be interested.  As for March to the Moon I just need to add a screen for people quitting the demo and it's finished.

But since I apparently don't want to sit back and relax at all, I already have the design doc done for my next game.  Since I haven't done any work on it yet (aside from planning and documentation) I don't want to talk about it yet.  One thing I am going to say is that it is NOT the sequel to March to the Moon and it isn't a big game.  I hope to have it finished in 3-4 months of starting.  I will probably take a small break before starting that project to add another 50 or so levels to Siphon Spirit to use the advanced spells, which got added in after I'd already made a number of levels.  The reason I'm not jumping into the sequel for March to the Moon is that I want to have a chance to get some feedback and see what people want to see before I jump in.  3-4 months after release I should have all the feedback that I can reasonably expect.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's video time!

First up, let's watch the trailer for March to the Moon!

I'm pretty much done on it now.  I just have a few bugs to clean up and test a few abilities.  After that, I'm just waiting until we finish setting up the LLC and the bank account we're going to make for it.  After that's up I can get on the Creator's Club and actually put my game on the XBox.  Looking forward to finally getting a game finished!

But wait, that's not the only game we've got a video for!  Here's a video of Siphon Spirit in action.

Looking good!  It actually looks better on my laptop, but the compression I did on the video makes it look a bit darker than it already is.

What else is going on?  I'm glad you asked!  Peter and I are completely remaking the site so that it's more of a Califer Games thing instead of just a Siphon Spirit thing.  On top of that, I've been doing some planning for my next game.  I've done my research and I'm going to write the design doc today.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I didn't mean to, it just kind of happened... I was planning on the fourth beta being the last, but now people are actually talking more about the difficulty levels. The general consensus now is that it gets too easy, especially in Hero mode. I'm going to go for one more round of testing where I introduce something to make the game more difficult and also make getting multiple skills more attractive.

Aside from that, I've been really busy setting up Califer Games as an LLC. It's going a little slow since we're trying to make sure that we actually do it right. We're trying to get it done now so we can set up a bank account and use that to pay for server costs so that we can get a server and COMPLETELY revamp our webpage. Since it's being hosted by google pages there's no place for us to upload files to. Hopefully soon I'll be able to get a demo done for people to download. You know after I finish coding the site so I can show the game that I coded.

Maybe I'll just take a nap.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


The final round of beta testing is out! It seems almost unbelievable that I'm finally going to sell my first indie game. And that it's not Siphon Spirit. Some of the feedback I've been getting has been a bit confusing though. I have had the same amount of people say that the game is pretty hard as I have say that it is too easy.

What can I do about that? What SHOULD I do about that? My first thought it that there is no way that I'm going to be keeping everyone happy. If I take the suggestions of the people saying that it's too easy, the people who think it is pretty hard (but not too hard) will suddenly find it to be too hard. I wouldn't want to play a game that's too hard. On the other hand, if I make the game easier to make the people who think it's pretty hard happy I'll completely lose the people who think it's too easy right now. I'm highly tempted to leave it just as it is. I might drop the XP gain by 10-15%, but no more than that. As it is, I'm expecting people to be level 100 when they reach the final boss.

Normal mode is just going to be the easiest mode. This is something that I struggled with while I was designing how much HP enemies should have. If I assume that everyone is going to build up only one or two abilities (such as Bow and Multi-shot) then I should boost all the enemy HP as the hero has no actual stats to boost the damage even more when they reach higher levels. But if I do boost all the enemy HP to assume that they have maxed out skills from the beginning then no one can play a character with four different active abilities. Each play style should be able to beat the game.

Also, I really don't know how far these people are getting. Or, for the most part, what they are playing as. The player that says it's too easy while using the hunter and just shooting multiple arrows will find they will need to diversify on later levels when their maxed out arrows don't quite do the job any more.

Of course, a big part of me wants the game to be absolutely perfect. So when I'm sitting here seeing feedback on the final beta test that has some really good ideas, I have to reluctantly realize that it's too late to add them. Looking back, some of the ideas are things that I already vetoed for this game because I wanted to finish it eventually. Perhaps we'll be seeing a bunch of new features in the sequel....