Thursday, March 13, 2014

What we've been up to!

Yesterday on the train to work I say next to a guy from Nuemont University.  I remembered that their gaming program hosted Indie Game Night a few times so I started talking with him.  Turns out he's one of the teachers in the gaming program and he had a really nice chat.  Near the end, he asked me if I had any projects I was working on.  I hate that question.  I always freeze up and I'm never sure WHICH project to talk about first.  Then I realized that we've been working like crazy on all sorts of stuff but I haven't updated the blog in a while.  So here we go, all the projects that are currently on our plates!

Siphon Spirit is still our main project.  But we are very worried about not being able to get word out to people.  Peter took some time away from Siphon Spirit to work on a trailer for it while I worked on the editor.  We soon realized we needed something more than a trailer to get people's attention.  So Peter started working on a new project.

Spirits of Elduurn is a puzzle game written in flash.  We're going to be releasing it everywhere we can to pull people's attention to Siphon Spirit when it's ready.  It tells the history of the world that Siphon Spirit takes place in.  Peter's handling this one solo since he works in flash.

My side project while I was waiting for Peter to get back to Siphon Spirit is Japanese Arena: Kana.  A game for learning the basics of Japanese.  I've put that on hold because it's being written in XNA which doesn't give me many options for porting out.  I needed to find something else to program with.  I started rewriting Spirits of Elduurn with a built in solver and editor as well as a few more new elements.  It's fully functional now, but missing a few screens such as the level select.

But then I realized that I didn't need to know how to make it in XNA.  I already know how to make games in XNA (even if I don't have as much time to do so as I would like!).  So I downloaded unity last week to get going in that.  I've finished a few tutorials and I think it's working out for me well.  But then I decided that I wanted to make something even easier than Spirits of Elduurn to ease me in better.  I decided to make a simple Match-3, which is nearly functional now.  Of course, since I'm solo-ing it it looks hideous.  Frankly, it's much worse than March to the Moon because I haven't even tried to do any art on it.  I just made a square, set it to different colors and exported them.  It will look much better when I'm finished, but my main focus is learning how it all works.  Once the match-3 is fully functional I will make it available as a web game.  Don't worry, I am not going to just make another generic match-3 and throw it out there!  I have a nifty little twist that I think will make it really unique.

I think that's plenty of projects for a two man team, both with day jobs and two young kids each.  But wait, there's more!  Peter's been teaching a game design class at a community college and I've been teaching Japanese.  For some reason we both chose Thursday as our teaching night, so neither of us have been able to make it to the last few Indie Game Nights.  On top of both of us teaching, Peter's put together a Siphon Spirit-based card game to inspire his students with.  An early example is on the left.  Did you know there were dragons in the Siphon Spirit world?