Friday, June 21, 2013

I'm a professional gamer now!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I like to play games on the computer.  Steam is my system of choice, followed by Desura.  Recently, Steam started putting out trading cards for playing games.  Basically, if you play a participating game you will get cards put in your inventory.  You can use the cards to craft badges and level up your account.  When you craft a badge the cards vanish and you can get coupons and emotes and other little things for your account.

So I thought I'd do that.  I got into the beta and started to get some cards.  Now, each game drops a limited amount of cards.  If there are 8 total cards in the set you can only get four cards.  You have to get cards from another game and trade with other people to get a total set.  I decided that was a little much for me.  Trying to find people who have the cards I want and finding a time that we can both trade didn't seem worth it.

So then what?  I could just give the cards away, but then I realized that I could sell them on the marketplace.  Figured I'd see if I could get a few pennies for them.  Then I saw that they were being sold for around 50 cents each.  I can't sell my real trading cards for that much.  Sold off everything and ended up with a little more than $19 steam credit.

I got paid for playing games.  That means that I'm pro now.  I'm also totally set for the next big Steam sale that should be showing up in a week or so.


Friday, June 14, 2013

Siphon Spirit Design - Player Types

 I wanted to share a little bit about game design in our blog. I've thought long and hard about how to make a game based on a linear story as replayable as possible. It's not just a game you can enjoy endlessly, but it's also designed to be rewarding for different types of people with different levels of interest.

For those that just want to play through it once and be done:
Siphon Spirit's story is reasonably sized. I'm aiming for a 3-4 hour game initially. A player that just wants to play the game and get on with playing other games can feel satisfied that they've saved the world and had a full experience. For me, having a bunch of games I never finish sitting on my shelf actually makes me feel guilty. I often wish my games didn't last so long.

For the Completionist:
The game goes well beyond the initial story. By going back and perfecting your scores on every stage, you can free spirits that will open up access to new challenges. These new levels are not just harder, they will also include additional story sequences. Many games I've played give hefty challenges and offer no substantial reward for them. In Siphon Spirit, expect to see some of the most exciting things happen only after seeking perfection.

For the Competitive:
If you really have something to prove, try to see just how high a score you can get. An update in the final release will raise your level score by finishing a fraction of a second faster. The game displays your cumulative score across all 150+ levels in the File Select screen. We hope to provide a place for the community to display their high scores with pride.

For the Creative Player:
We have explored the game's mechanics to a great extent, but there will always be new things to try. The Level Editor included with the game will allow you to spend as much time as you want, endlessly designing new challenges using all the game's Orbs. Design the most wicked level you ever imagined, or see how big you can make the Spirit Orb get.

For the Bored:
Custom-made levels will be shareable online, and we'll make sure there's a way for you to pass yours around. If you haven't had your fill of Siphon Spirit, download community-made levels and master every last one. There will be endless levels to play!

We hope it's a game everyone will come out of feeling like they've had the level of experience they were hoping to get out of it. What kind of player are you?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Editor is coming along.

The public editor is making big strides.  I've got it so we can place all the orbs, voids, spells, bombs, and other things, move them around, resize them, save the level, load the level, and, best of all, play the darn level.  There have been some major changes to how the levels are saved off, so I'm going to have to write a converter to go through and make all of our old levels compatible with the new system.

Looking at the new level code and comparing it to the new level code makes me feel good.  It's much faster to load levels now (art loading time hasn't changed) and it requires much less code.  Plus, I get to add more options without completely making a mess of how the levels get loaded.

On a more bitter note, the forums are going down.  We only got one person to post there, and we both know him so he could have just emailed us.  The spam bots came along and the phpbb captcha system couldn't stop them at all.  It just hasn't been useful enough to justify putting more work into not making it completely terrible.  R.I.P.