Dev Journal #10: Crunch Time

This is the final stretch of road for the game. I’m crunching like crazy to get the game done and submitted this weekend. The menu graphics are finally done, as are the backgrounds for the game modes, and the Ludum Dare theme. All that’s left to do is integrate some more features into the Kongregate API, and I’m going to be adding the Mochi Ads API and the Score Tracking API, so I can collect ad revenue wherever my game is, and keep track of the player’s high scores when not on Kongregate. I have a solution for my music problem, that is just a quick fix so I can release it, and that is to just take Mike’s songs and edit them together into longer tracks for the different modes. I’m still trying to fix the problem, but this solution will work for now at least, until I can figure out what’s causing the problem. Besides that, it’s all testing and polish.

I’ve also made the decision to change the name of the game. IPL was originally just a temporary thing to call it, but I never thought of anything that I liked. However, I was just turned onto a new name thanks to a suggestion from a friend. IPL is now Blow Da Bricks!

Dev Journal #9: Pixels!

Work Done Last Week:

This past week I worked on all the animations for the pieces, and they came out really well. However, I hit a road bump when I went to actually animate them in-game, and stumbled over that with a bunch of little errors, most of them just from me getting used to animating in flixel. I did get through it, though, and the game looks so much better, and much more lively.

Work To Do This Week:

Unfortunately, I’m very slow with making the art, so it takes me a while to get everything done. Thankfully, all I have left now is to finish up the game mode backgrounds, clean up the menu graphics, and make the LD48 theme. My plan for the extra themes is to start by using my current standard theme and my LD48 theme (I’m going to remake the original LD48 graphics). Then I’ll add in extra themes as updates over time. This will allow me to focus on finishing the game and getting it polished so I can release it by the end of October. Besides graphics, I just have to fix the music cycling and add a few more features through the Kongregate API. My goal is to finish up the graphics for next week, then get the finishing touches and last bit of polish before that weekend (October 22).

Dev Journal #8: Getting There

Sorry for the delay, I had a test this week and a bunch of homework so I didn’t get around to posting on Monday.

Work Done Last Week:

I did a lot of graphics for the menus this week as well as finished all the menus needed and made sure everything flows well. I still need to make better backgrounds for the game modes, as well as a few alternate art styles for the blocks. I also got more of Mike’s music but I’ve been having problems in flixel trying to cycle between tracks. For some reason when I try checking when the current track is over, I get errors, and therefore cannot go to the next track to play.

Work To Do This Week:

This week is just going to be more graphics and I’m going to be testing out the Kongregate API. I’ll try to prepare some screen shots for next week’s post to show off how it currently looks, and maybe even get started on a small trailer.

Dev Journal #7: Back on Track

Work Done Last Week:

I scaled down the game a lot, mostly in the Campaign, because, honestly, it’s not fun. As I continue to test as I develop, I find that that the Campaign get worse and worse, and the Arcade modes get more and more fun. I’m halting development on the Campaign, and focusing on the Arcade mode. I don’t like that I’m just taking out a huge chunk of the game, and over a month after I wanted the game done, but it is necessary. It’s another learning experience in the importance of good design and extensive prototyping. I’ve gotten more positive feedback about the fun and simple gameplay (even from the IndieCade contest I entered), so the design there is good, but again, the Campaign design is lacking.

Work To Do This Week:

I’m mostly doing testing and debugging at this point. Besides a few small features I want to add, its mostly art, music and polish at this point. And with that, I can say that I have an expected release date on Kongregate of late-October. This week I’ll be working on the menus and the flow, to make sure everything runs smoothly, as well as some art and graphics for the modes of the game. As for music, I should get the last of Mike’s songs this week. I met a few guys since I’ve been at school that are good composers so hopefully they can make a few small songs so the game has a lot of songs with some good variety.

On a side note, mini-LD #21 was this weekend so I spent some time on that. I didn’t have much time, but I got a little done, and have a solid design, so I’m going to keep working on it as a small little side project. I’ll keep the blog updated with new prototypes for it every once in a while, but I’m not going to be spending much time on it, so I’ll probably only post a new version every few weeks. The theme was “Greatest Fear” and I made the game about germs, but I won’t go into depth of the design until I get the initial prototype finished.

Dev Journal #6.5

This is just going to be a quick update about what’s going on with the game. It’s been a month since I had planned to post last, and I apologize for the long delay. Vacation, work , and the start of my first semester of college really took me away from the game, and I didn’t have any time to work on it, so I didn’t want to update the blog with a new post about me not getting anything done. Luckily, I am back on track and ready to get working on IPL once again. I’ll be going back to my weekly Monday posts starting with this one, and will soon have a finished product to show.

Dev Journal #6: Almost There

I got a lot done this week, and it makes up for the fact that I’m going to be away from a computer for a week. I don’t have a laptop so I won’t be able to work at all for the next week. I’m planning on posting another Dev Journal by Friday, August 20.

Work Done Last Week

I got just about everything done. I added bosses to the Campaign, with its new structure, added instructions to the main menu, and set up the music. For the most part, everything in the game runs as it will in the final version when I’m done.

Work To Do Next Week

There are still a few things I need to do to finally finish the game. I have the music set up, but I’m still waiting on a few new songs from my friend who’s making the music. I also need to make the sound effects and the animations for the pieces, as well as cleaning up the graphics for the menus and stuff. And last but not least, I need to integrate with Kongregate so I can make use of their online leaderboards, but I learned that flixel has a wrapper for the Kong API, so it won’t be hard to get the basics up and running.

On a side note, I’ve had a bunch of game ideas for my next project (don’t worry, it won’t be another match-3 game), and getting away for a bit will let me think them over and allow me to relax and do some designing. I have a few solid ideas, and I’ve been thinking about one of them for months, so after some more designing (and once I finish IPL), I’m going to begin prototyping the first game.

Dev Journal #5: Vacation

I’m keeping this post brief for this week. I went camping for a few days so I didn’t have much time to work on the game as I’d have liked, plus my job kept me from working on the game when I wasn’t away. I wanted to have IPL done by the end of July but that obviously won’t happen. I’m going on vacation again for 8 days, and I’m leaving on Saturday, August 7. Until then, I have a lot of free time, so I’ll be able to get a large chunk, if not all, of the game done. I’m going to delay my next Dev Journal a few days to Friday, August 6 so that I can post a larger chunk of progress before I leave for vacation.