Finally, my first mini game is roughly finished!
- The gameplay design is set with all the balancing and tweaking. The first time I played the prototype it was a very difficult game (almost impossible to beat. LOL). Along the way, I try to reduce the difficulty by changing the parameters in the program and adjusting some features. Actually, it is still a hard game to beat but along the way you will learn and adjust your play style. After several tries, I finally get the hang of it. In order to beat the game, you need to ‘delicately’ master your ‘swipe’ sense of control. Relax your thumbs and you will soar!
- I have tested the game on several of my friends. Some of them did not find it interesting enough but there is this one girl that keeps playing the game for more than half an hour until I said to her to quit the game. She said that she feel challenged to get a better score. I do not expect anything from this mini game. I just want to release it and see how it goes.
- I have done all the sound effects, the main character dead animation, game over windows, option buttons to retry or quit the game, option setting to turn on/off sound effects and background music, crushing new bugs, etc.
- I still need to make a different background music version for the main gameplay event, to add game over music background, to make program code of leaderboard and achievement features for Android and iOS devices, to incorporate interstitial ads into my game and to create an option to remove the ads for each related devices.
- I plan to use AdMob for android target and iAd for iOS release. I do not have time to research other advertisement providers. For the time being, I just want to get experience of using those two ads providers.
That’s all for this month. Now, I need to get back to Ableton and my mini MIDI keyboard controller to create two fine musical pieces.
P.S: I haven’t touch the textbook draft until now. It is very likely that the book draft will not finish in time by the time I get back to Indonesia. I will re-plan this matter later.
I have just realized that the state of my game now is actually a bit different from my early design plan. The main idea is still intact, but the overall design has gone through an ‘evolution’. After playing the prototype of the mini game over and over again, and changing the parameters numerous times, I felt the necessity to add some features and of course crushing the bugs.
I decide it to add some features into the game to make it ‘more challenging’. Before adding these feature I have already found some small bugs in the prototype but nothing major. I ignore the bugs temporarily since it did not disrupt the testing process. But, after I add the new features into the game it creates some problems. One of the features requires four days of coding. Well, actually it is a small program since it is only a mini games. But, it took me three days to solve the coding problem in order to ‘smooth’ the new feature. Also, by adding this new features I found some major bugs in the prototype. After understanding the bugs, I realized that it actually come from my lack of coding skill and experience. Now, I understand that by adding a feature, you need to somehow ‘synchronize’ it with other related codes. If you unforeseen the conflict of the new feature with other instances within the game, it will break the flow of the gameplay.
Some other features are relatively easy to code and as time goes by I feel more confident to do the ‘proper coding’. In the process, these features compete with each other. The superior features are the outcome from ‘survival of the fittest’ criteria. The shape of my new mini game has becoming much better.
Also, there is a small bug that come from the game engine. I try to find a solution in their forum but no one seems to care since it is treated as a ‘very minor’ bug. Although considered to be ‘minor’, it still annoys me very much. After a series of ‘trial and error’, I finally come up with my own coding solution. I do not know if it is the proper way to work around the bug, but I do not care as long as it works perfectly.
It seems my plan to publish the game at the end of this month is going to fail again. I am very sorry for those who are waiting. I want to make this first mini game as good as it can be. I will write a more detailed progress report at the end of this month. Stay tuned!
Nothing much can be said during this month game making progress. I have finalised the opening menu design of the mini game. I am now focusing on the game play design of the game. I tried several input options from swiping, tilting and using in-game-touch controller. I finally come to a decision to use swiping since it is simple and intuitive. I know that in-game-touch controller wouldn’t be appropriate to achieve the ‘simplicity’ philosophy design of the game, but I just want to see how the game would look like if I use it. I can confirm that it feels horrible, since the controller end up distracting the flow of the game play. I also work on perfecting the swipe sensitivity to a ‘normal’ feel. I don’t want the player to feel the swipe is too fast and sensitive or too slow and unresponsive.
I still haven’t got the ‘OK!’ sense concerning the overall gameplay. I am still in the process of adjusting the difficulty setting and the flow of everything. Not to mention I still need to add the ‘dead’ animation of my character, game over window and so on. I will add the necessary details after I feel confidence with the overall feel of the game play. I really hope to be able to publish the game at the end of this November. let’s work harder!