Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My first Ludom Dare experience + 48hour Game Entry

      Hey everyone! It has been a crazy fun weekend. I finally participated in my first Ludum Dare challenge ever and it was a great experience!

If you are an indie game developer like me, I am sure many of you might have heard of Ludum Dare. If you haven't heres some info. Ludum Dare is a really well known challenge/competition to the game dev and indie dev scene. Developers are given 48 hours to create a game (solo) based off a theme that was voted on by the community. There is of course other challenges such as a team challenge and mini challenge and I think a couple other ones too, but I participated in the solo 48 hour challenge. The challenge started over the weekend and ended this past Sunday.

Anyway, as I said earlier, this was my first time ever competing in the LD challenge. I have always heard of it for the past years and even checked out some older entries a while back but never participated until now.

The funny thing is, I wasn't even really planning about participating. I just came home that day, signed into twitter and all I saw was tweets from various people posting their progress on their LD projects. It caught my attention and looked really interesting to me so I said to myself "Alright, I'm in!".

The theme this time was "Connected Worlds". A really awesome and cool idea for a game theme. I actually recently tried out a couple of other peoples entries and there are some really good ones out there. Really creative entries posted by a ton of other indie developers. I encourage you to go check out some of entries and give the devs some support. You can check out the entries here: LD30 entries (there is a lot!)

What did I make?
For my entry, I made a game I like to call "Ice Cream Aliens"
A challenging puzzle platformer game without any jumping! Venture off to various colorful puzzle worlds that all connect to each other, meet aliens and get the ice cream at the end!

Game Screenshots:

You can play it directly in your web browser Here: Ice Cream Aliens - Web(LD30 Version)
Also you can check it out in my LD page HERE

     -Move with WASD or Arrow Keys
     -Use mouse to click on some objects

How to win:
 There is different colorful block worlds that all somehow connect to each other. Each block world is different and has a different puzzle that you must survive. The aliens you meet a long the way might give you some hints. Jumping in this colorful block world is illegal. Falling off will start you from the first block world. Your goal is to get the delicious ice cream at the end. Are you ready to take on the challenge?

Experience and dev notes/progresss:
     I had a little less time than 48 hours because I had actually started a day late. I have never worked so continuously and non-stop on any other project before. I just felt like I had to get it done. It was a great feeling to complete so much game dev work in one single sitting. I actually did not plan out any of it. I made up this whole game randomly as I went.  I would just go ahead and add each new idea to the game that came to me without even thinking about it. I didn't get to some things like adding sound fx or music or creating proper menus for the game, but the rest is all there and I am proud of it.

     Through out the time that I was working on my entry I would occasionally drop by to my LD page ever couple hours and write little blog dev notes/current progress updates/post screenshots of what I was doing or got done. If your interested you can check out those entries over here on my LD page:
Ludum Dare - Snowconesolid

The tools I used to make this game:
   -Unity Game Engine
   -Unity Playmaker

Closing Thoughts: 
     Overall, I was extremely satisfied with the final game I created. I even say somewhere in my LD blog entries that I think it (Ice Cream Aliens) might be one of my favorite game projects I have ever created. It was challenging and fun and really pushed me further as a game developer. Of course the game is not perfect do to the time constraint but I am really happy with it. I think sometime in the future I want to go back to my game, polish it up and update it or build more to it and release it again. This was my first LD but I defiantly don't think it will be my last. I look forward to participating again sometime in the future. Ludum Dare 30 was a great experience and I wish everyone who entered good luck!

Thanks for reading!

More soon!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Release: Beach Ball Shooter Android!

     Hey everyone! I have finished porting "Beach Ball Shooter" to Android. Just as promised in my previous blog post.

The game is complete and now available for free on the Google play store for android users to download.

You can get the game here:
Beach Ball Shooter - Google Play

or easily find it yourself on the app store from your android device.

Had fun porting this and learned more about android dev. Gained a bit more experience from this project as well.

Beach Ball Shooter is now my second published Android app. Its a really short and easy game but I hope you enjoy!

More Android news and game dev news coming soon! Stay tuned and thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Snowconesolid Games + Android, Plans for mobile platform!

     Hey everyone! Today I want to share some news and my future plans on where I am going next with my game making interests, although I am pretty sure that the title and the image above give off a little idea.

 Games and apps on mobile platforms have always been exciting and interesting to me. Last year around the beginning of 2013 I became a licensed android app developer and published my very first mobile game to the Google play Store.  That game was "Revolver Finger". It wasn't very good, controls were a mess, graphics were poor and the game was full of bugs. Although my first android app had many problems I was proud of it and happy that I completed the project on my own and published it on the app store. That game was more of a learning experience and starting point for me to dive into mobile game development instead of a serious attempt to create a mobile game app.

Since the release of Revolver Finger I have kind of shifted away from mobile development and began focusing on PC and web game projects.  During that time period I have created a number of much better quality games and released them for various platforms. I have greatly improved my skills in many areas of game development and now I am ready to come back to mobile platforms.

So now I am going to be shifting my focus back to mobile game/android app development. Does this mean that I will not be making any more Pc/web games? Of course not. This means that my games will now be available on one more extra platform and that they will be portable! I will still publish titles for as much platforms as I can. Using the unity game engine, its easy to make games cross platform. However, I can't guarantee that all my future games will be cross platform. Since I have picked up an interest for mobile app development I have come up with a number of small mobile game ideas I want to create that will most likely be exclusive to android. Most of my games will still be cross platform though.

Whats the next big Snowconesolid game plan?

   Before I get into any of my new game ideas I want to work on porting a couple of my older game projects to android. Doing so will give me a little bit more experience working with android and publishing and at the same time make some of my older PC/Web games available on the go!

Currently I have been working on porting my most recent game "Beach Ball Shooter" over to android.
I already have set up touch controls and created a test build of the first level from the game. I got it running on my Galaxy S3 and everything seems to be working nice and smoothly.

Here is a video of beachball shooter running on my S3:

I am almost finished porting Beach Ball Shooter over and I plan on making it available on the Google play store in the next day or two. So real soon.

Once I port and publish BeachBall shooter over to the Play store I will begin porting over another game which I will announce in a later blog post.

That is about it for now. I am very excited to develop for the android platform once again and I look forward to sharing my games/apps/ideas/creations with everyone!

Thanks for reading. More updates soon!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Onion Duck!

My most recent artwork and original character. "Onion Duck"

Created entierly in Blender. Rendered in cycles.

I'm planning on using my Onion Duck character and creating a simple android game from this idea I recently had.

I might show some progress on development in the next post or so.