Wednesday, November 27, 2013

You're not important

I was reading an article the other day by Indie Gamer Chick, where she talked about doing a kickstarter correctly.  Well, mainly it was a list of what not to do.  One in particular was to not set a really high reward for people to come out and meet you.  After seeing some ridiculous high costs for being able to meet the developer, she had the following to say.

You would be lucky to have someone eat lunch with you and pick up the check, let alone get $10,000, or $1,000, or even $100.  If the reward involves anyone flying out to meet you, save it.  I don’t know who you are, but I assure you, you’re not worth it.

This made me remember something that happened at Indie Game Night a while back.  I was walking down the halls when I met up with a large group all heading to Indie Game Night, but weren't quite sure which room it was in.  I offered to guide them and asked if they all happened to take the same bus or something.  They chuckled and said it was something like that.  Then they told me they were Triple Slash Studios.  I wracked my brain, but couldn't think of who they were.  When we got into the room I googled them and realized that they were the group that made Magnetic by Nature.  I'd read a positive review about that in the last week and was somewhat familiar with the game.  If they had introduced themselves as the team that made Magnetic by Nature, I would have had some idea of who they were, and had something more to talk about.

I'll admit that I made a similar mistake on March to the Moon.  One of the testers mentioned that they didn't like it when a company put the company name first in the installer, but since I was allowing them to set their own path it was probably okay.  But really, me setting the default installation path to be "Califer Games/March to the Moon" was a BAD idea.  Say someone bought March to the Moon and left it at the default install path.  Later on they want to mod it, but they can't find March to the Moon anywhere.  I know that I'll look around in my folders and wonder what on earth they're holding.  Gaslamp Games?  Who's that?  Oh, this is the Dungeons of Dredmore folder.  NIGORO?  I don't think I have a game called NIGORO.  Oh, it's La-Mulana.

Gaming news outlets have it figured out.  If they do mention the company name, they'll usually clarify it by adding in a "makers of _____".  Again, it's not the developers that are really important.  If you're doing things right, many more people will play the game and have a good experience with it than will ever meet you and have any real experience with you.  Put the game first.  If it does well, you can make things easier by declaring that you are the developer that made "Awesome Game 1".

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Spirits of Elduurn

Peter's been working hard on Spirits of Elduurn, and I've been hard at work making a simple game to test on multiple development methods.  Peter's work has the advantage of being nice to look at, so here's some art for you.

He hasn't told me what it's all about, but I do know that Spirits of Elduurn covers the tale of the creation of Elduurn, the world that Siphon Spirit takes place in.  The large creature is also the color of the spirits in Siphon Spirit.  What do you guys think is happening?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

XNA Alternatives - Time to start looking

I've pretty much wrapped up on the editor for Siphon Spirit.  This puts me in an interesting position.  See, I could get back to work on Japanese Arena: Kana, but frankly, I'm rather nervous about it.  XNA is what I've been using for making the games so far, and the future doesn't look to bright for it.  I'd really like to get Japanese Arena on tablets and phones as well.  XNA just doesn't do that.  XNA will make games for XBox LIVE Indie Games and Windows.  Windows 8 gives it problems since they only work in desktop mode and not metro mode.  The new XBox One is coming out soon, so maybe there won't be too much use in putting games in an older console.

It's time to move on.

But what to?  Whatever I choose, we're going to want to port Siphon Spirit over to it since it would be great on a tablet.  There are a lot of options out there.  GameMaker, MonoGame, Unity3D, SharpDX, SlimDX, SFML, etc.  I'm going to list out all of them, and start weeding them out.  Starting with what platforms they cover, and how much it costs for each platform.  After that, I'm going to make a simple game in XNA.  I'm going to port that game to each of the survivors and see which is the easiest to use.  Now to get a simple game going in XNA.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A new orb appears

Now that the massive level editor is fully functional, I decided to take it for a test spin.  I started making a few levels and fixing little bugs when I realized there was something I always wanted in Siphon Spirit but never realized it.  As it is right now, when you get close to an orb absorbing will happen.  If you're bigger than the enemy orb, you'll absorb from it.  If you're smaller, it will absorb from you.  Spells and Demonic Voids will always absorb from you.  Everything absorbs.

I decided to go a little crazy and add an orb that doesn't absorb from you.  Touching enemies is a bad idea, since you permanently lose energy.  Touching these new orbs is even worse, since they remove even more energy from you.  On the bright side, you can get really close to them without losing any energy.  I'm calling them Thorns for now.  Maybe Peter will change that later.  Just make sure you don't touch them, or ...