12 Feb 2014
It's Unity. I keep going around and around on what tools to use, and I realised I'm stalling. I see two paths ahead and I'm stuck at the crossroads, but the answer apparently is to just take a step back. I would love to use a simple set of tools to make games, but I would hate to shoot myself in the foot later on (this is the case with HaxeFlixel). Unity is perfect for me right now because the base set of tools is free, and there are TONS of resources online if I need help. And with the new addition of 2D tools, which I had been a little leery of, it's just perfect. I don't even need to use Futile anymore, which is a great add on when Unity was just 3D, but seems to be unneeded today.
07 Feb 2014
Here it is. My new site. I am not using Wordpress anymore in favor of a static generated site powered by Jekyll with the awesome Hyde theme. I won't go too far into why I picked Jekyll, at least not until a future post.
I added my old posts from Wordpress, but I haven't cleaned them all up yet. I did make sure to fix up the Mac Pro Trash Icon post since that was still getting some traffic pre-hack.
Once I have some more time I'll go through the old posts and clean them up, re add images, and then back to blogging and programming!
21 Jan 2014
I started messing around with Futile yesterday after a few days of deciding which framework to go ahead with. I have really been debating between HaxeFlixel and Unity + Futile for a number of reasons, and didn't want to move too far forward until I knew which I wanted to use. I really like both because they allow for cross platform deployment. This is HUGE to me because it means less work in getting my games out to as many people/platforms as possible. Code once, deploy everywhere.
HaxeFlixel is appealing because it is all code based, has tons of gamedev focused features, and is able to be run all out of Sublime Text, which is my all time favorite text/code editor for many reasons. That program makes me happy to write code. The downsides are a smaller community of developers, and not knowing really how powerful the engine is. There are tons of small demos and a few games made with HaxeFlixel, but I haven't seen what it can really do, and I worry I'll hit a wall at some point.
Unity on the other hand, seems limitless. It has proven to be a very powerful engine, and has all the platform options that HaxeFlixel offers, plus a few more. I dream of making a game for a console one day, and Unity keeps that option open for me. I love the addition of Futile to the Unity workflow because it allows for code based 2D game development, something I'm pretty familiar with. I have tried the 2D tools introduced in Unity 4.3, and they are great for the visual based, editor centric devs, but I like to just work in the code rather than bouncing back and forth between visual editing and scripting. Futile seems very stable, but is still in-dev like HaxeFlixel. So who knows. One minor flaw with Unity + Futile is the need to use MonoDevelop. I...tolerate MD. After using Sublime Text for so long, MD feels like a huge step back, but for now I need the code completion feature. One major con with Unity is that I fear hitting a wall far along in development which will require me to pay for a pro license. I would gladly pay for these great tools if I was making money from these games, but right now this is just a hobby and doesn't justify the $1500 price tag. HaxeFlixel is, and should always be, free.
If you have made it this far through my stream of consciousness, check out this quick demo: newShooter.
I'm using some awesome FREE art assets from Kenney.nl. This was made in Unity + Futile in just a few hours. Can't do much yet except move around and watch, but it's a start. My next step is to build the same demo in HaxeFlixel and compare the two. I honestly can't decide, and see pros and cons with each.
14 Jan 2014
So, I'm not sure how this will go, but I want to try. I decided to package up what I have so far with shielDefense and try to sell it on itch.io. I don't really know how smart it is to sell an unfinished prototype + source code to a game, but I figure someone might want to check it out. Honestly, I need to take a break from this game and focus on something much smaller in scope, and work on actually finishing something before focusing on larger projects. And even though this game isn't that complex, there's a lot in the planning that is over my head and time limit right now.
13 Jan 2014
If you have a controller hooked up to your PC, you can try out the prototype of a new game that I have been working on RIGHT HERE. This is a super bare bones version of what I want to make, focusing on the core gameplay element only. No fancy graphics, no sound, no real point yet except to test if the game would be fun. So check it out.
I emphasize the need for a controller because keyboard controls will just not work for this game. I have them enabled for testing (you can still move the ship with the arrow keys, but that's it), but this game requires a twin stick controller to play correctly. So, I apologize if you don't have a controller handy.
I have three visions for this game, each escalating in complexity. Time and interest will determine how far I take this project. First, this could be a simple Asteroids clone with the new shooting mechanic. Large asteroids could be broken down by firing smaller ones at them, then smaller asteroids destroyed for points. You die if you get hit enough times when your shields are down.
The second vision is a single player expanded version that has a back story and enemy ships that you need to fight. The very short version is that your ship somehow has lost its weapons capabilities, but your onboard scientist has been able to reconfigure your shields for use as a weapon. You can catch the small asteroids that float around and fling them towards your enemies to destroy them. The downside is that when you are holding asteroids, your shields won't protect you. I like this idea because it gives the game some balance, as you have to manage gathering projectiles and using them quickly before you get hit by the enemy.
The third vision I have is to take the single player core gameplay, and add multiplayer combat. There is a resurgence of 'couch multiplayer' games right now, specifically focusing on these battle style games that bring back memories of Street Fighter and Smash Brothers. Towerfall is a huge hit, Samurai Gunn released to huge success, and Nidhogg is coming soon too. This type of gameplay could be really fun, but would need a LOT of extra content besides just flinging asteroids.
But for now, I have a core gameplay proof of concept and a dream. Feel free to play around and send me any feedback you have. You can comment on this post, reach me on twitter or send me an email. Thanks!