My Sweet 2014: first year with game development

This is a draft post. I will finish it one day.

Well, this is awkward. I planned this blog post from the December, but writing it never got a higher priority over whatever procrastinate-ish activity I was up to. But time to act has finally come, so here’s a plate of scrambled memories from the year I nosedived in to the  waters of game development.

Talking about awkward, you can read dramatic and cheese-flavoured blog introduction written a year ago, although I can’t honestly recommend that. So, let’s keep this one in control and without further ado jump to what matters the most.

Games

Crisp Bacon: Run Pig Run

Crisp Bacon Header Image

Running, farting and porkouring game, which was sparking my interest in game making for years until that interest finally turned in to open flame. That flame allowed me to revamp Run Pig Run project and turn it in to a game I can be proud of. To this day I didn’t find a runner, which has such fluidity and speed of movement combined with responsiveness and freedom of controls. Sadly, that wasn’t enough and despite my clumsy marketing efforts (I even tried to make a live Bee wallpaper to promote the game) it just slowly drowned in the sea of Android apps and games.

Current state: 95% completed, unsupported, waiting for a sequel
Experience: writing everything from scratch
Mistakes: writing everything from scratch; updating a very old Google Play entry instead of publishing new game; hoping for success
Playable: Android

Failed Project #1

Here’s an exciting sneak peek in to what my first GameMaker experiment look like. Some kind of circular flappy bird/jumpy bee. I had some weird ideas for it, to note one – a super-hero game called “Save Uranus” (don’t ask).

Current state: forgotten prototype
Experience: first steps of GameMaker; not writing everything from scratch
Mistakes: not finishing and publishing it without caring that it’s a clone

Three Little Pigs

A platformer with characters  switchable on the fly made for Public Domain Jam. I still can’t believe that I managed to make that. I probably cheated and forgot about it. While controls could use some work it’s fun, looks good, plays nicely. Why don’t I make more levels? I don’t know. Three Little Pigs was my first gamejam game as well as playable GameMaker project.

Current state: sealed in the gamejam jar
Experience: tasted the deliciousness which is game jam; completing a game in less than 3 years!
Mistakes: creating a great wall-jump implementation (I’ll stand by that forever), but making walls too slippery; not making post-jam version

Shurican

Shurican header

At this point I was already quite familiar with the state of mobile markets and, particularly, the [flappy bird] clones flooding over anything with more quality. Despite me despising them and their makers FuckThisJam gave me an opportunity to exercise hypocrisy and I made a flappy bird game. While “flappy ninja” was already done (as well as flappy anything, really), mine had hand-made levels, variety of moving obstacles and multiple fighting mechanics. Pretty sweet!

Current state: active content development (after a long break)
Mistakes: too late for “flappy bird” clone bandwagon; not adding more content sooner

Storm Rider

Continuation of my gamejam-frenzy. An escape/driving/taxi game made for The Arbitrary Game Jam 13, which won me an opportunity to host TAGJam14!

Current state: sealed in the gamejam jar
Experience: drawing top-down art; driving mechanics
Mistakes: not making a post-jam version

Bee Nice

Gamejam frenzy! A one-button controlled not-a-game relaxation game, where you can experience a careless and happy life of a bee. Made for One Button Jam and Peace, Love And Jam.

Current state: sealed in the gamejam jar
Mistakes: not making a post-jam version

Hop Hop Planet

More jam! And this time it’s… Ludum Dare. Oh, boy, that was intense. I disliked the “Connected Worlds” theme, but still went for it and my efforts resulted in a raccoon-like creature jumping from one planet to another to avoid planet-specific dangers & collect coins.

Current state: sealed in the gamejam jar
Experience: completing Ludum Dare compo!
Mistakes: not making a post-jam version

Iron Snout

Iron Snout

An endless fighting game I made to take a break from all the gamejams. Inspired by Timberman (!?) it supposed to be a simple mobile game cooked in a week or two, but my scope quickly spiralled out of control and now it’s in a weird state of having too much to be a simple game, but too little to be called complete. So far, my most successful project, but despite a couple of nice mentions, still being ignored by press and bigger Youtube channels.

Current state: waiting for content updates
Experience: a small taste of popularity
Mistakes: not creating enough content; not creating new content right now

Fox Omelette

Unfortunately some of my random down moments happened during TAGJam14 I hosted and I couldn’t make anything decent during it. Instead went for something I should’ve made as my first game: egg catching. And a very rushed egg catching game it was. It would be possible to push this Omelette to a decent kids game, but it’s just not a project I enjoy working on.

Current state: sealed in the gamejam jar
Mistakes: not making a post-jam version

Clash Of Snouts

My TAGJam15 entry. A tug-of-war or castle defence game, which was so imbalanced that I had to remove playable build after gamejam ended. Many great ideas a lot of potential and yet it’s collecting dust.

Current state: sealed in a gamejam jar and hidden from children
Experience: experimenting with ~strategy genre
Mistakes: not making a post-jam version

Die Pig Die

Another pig-fighting-wolves game highly influenced by Iron Snout, although nowhere near that polished. This time it was more beat’em up-y, but I overestimated my abilities to make fighting really feel nice. Made for infamous #IndiesVsPewdiepie gamejam, which alienated everyone and was least gamejam-y experience. Despite reaching the first page of top games it wasn’t stupid/shocking/pewdiepie-related enough to get played on biggest Youtube channel, but got loads of plays any time PewDiePie played any other game from that jam.

Current state: sealed in the gamejam jar
Experience: making a character fight AND move; collaborating with Steffen
Mistakes: not targeting audience and “prize” of the jam; having crazy scope issues

Snow Need To Rush

Despite previous Ludum Dare being quite a traumatic experience I was hungry for more. and protesting a terrible “Entire Game nn One Screen” theme made a dizzying circular snowman runner. It isn’t entirely on one screen, but it does have a snowman, which can throw his head around. I hoped for it to be another of my mobile releases, but obsession with having circular world AND not making people puke didn’t work well. Post-jam version was made, but it just didn’t feel good enough.

Current state: weird limbo
Experience: making people dizzy with a game
Mistakes: making a dizzying game; not giving up ideas, which clearly don’t work well

Bunny Goes Boom

Bunny Goes Boom

A game, where you fly a bunny strapped on a rocket and avoid obstacles. Simple as that! Same as Iron Snout, this was a personal challenge a la “let’s make a game in a week” and the game itself turned out to be quite fine. At the moment it’s hovering (pun intended) and desperately needs more content. It’s a first game, where I experimented with unlockable items and in-game currency, which apparently is a key to decent retention.

Current state: waiting for content
Experience: unlockable content; creating a decent endless obstacle course generator
Mistakes: not making more content

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