SPIN X87 launches

SPIN X87

really, a weekend break project exploring line rendering, and score mechanics giving me a break away from the main project running in the background.

In short, you’re a cube, dodging other cubes, on an endless roundabout, in a nighttime neon line rendered environment.

It’s out on iOS and Android today, on 17/4/2017.

..back

So after a break over Christmas, then concentrating on little projects, I’m now working on fishies.

That’s all I can say right now. I’m hoping to have the core mechanics of the game by end of ’16, with a trailer incoming.

Patches, patches, and stuff.

On Steam –

Just an update to say in the new build I have fixed things. Some random death points, which were shown in a video posted here, and a few more that I found have been amended.

Mac build I don’t think has worked since December ’16, so I’ve fixed that.
And a few other little fixes throughout, mainly colliders and audio.

As for save points leaving you hanging over something; I need to think about that one.

Anyway, please post if any issue should arise. I’m happy to fix.

The projects after Forgotten Ball

Forgotten Ball – I spent far too long on, but I wanted to. Truthfully, after Forgotten Balls release (mobile Sept, Steam March 2016) I was somewhat burnt out. There were seemingly endless bug fixes (something I really enjoyed), but that was all. After the immediate launch, I was trying to settle on new game ideas; one I wanted to make/play.

This wasn’t straight forward. I was a little tired.

I settled on two ideas, a FMV game made from videos I’d take and a free mobile spinning game. The first games scope was a little too out there, the second was more of a tech demo. My other ideas – three of them – were to be put on part-part-part time development.

Each of these projects has a prototype built. And that’s where the lay.

Starting in September 2016, I started on fishies as my primary project. It’s almost finished technically, just needs a lot of art and animation.  September also heralded the move for me to C# from UnityScript, which was an excellent decision.

There’s a few projects on the go, I’ll try and get a small one out the door this year, and a bigger one next year.

 

Latest update fixes audio, and a couple of save bugs.

Latest update is fixing that crackling audio many had complained about, and a fix for poor save state implementations has been fixed.

Also, if you ever fall out of the world again and keep on falling, I will be surprised, as that issue has now been fixed too.

It’s a small patch, but makes Forgotten Ball much better.

Bug Fixes – camera and audio.

For Steam –

Sorry this update has been a little while coming, but there are plenty of good bug fixes.

Firstly, camera issues have been fixed, or at least when you roll over green save points, the camera will be ‘set’ to the correct view point (it’s a smooth fix, I promise).

Jump is now more responsive.
Audio for buttons/collisions has a better sound, and priority.
A bug with switches not correcting has also been fixed.

Audio got a little overhaul, as when upgrading engine, audio took a little hammering, so now it’s in the very best quality it could be, hence game size increase.

Updates will be a little more regular from here on; and if any issues are found please post a topic here; I’ve finally figured out how to subscribe to Forgotten Ball’s discussions.

Also, Ball 11… it does exist.

Thanks for the feedback everyone, and please consider leaving a review!

Showing Forgotten Ball at EGX 2015

2015-09-27 12.50.56

Forgotten Ball is my first game, and EGX is my first expo. It cost a chunk, and was good, but of course there were some lessons to be learnt.

September 24-27th, Forgotten Ball and I were at EGX; positioned opposite Team17, and next to Gunnihlation and Starship Mechanic. This was a nice spread as both games either side were not exactly similar games so I didn’t feel like I was in competition with them for attention, of course I was but not that much really.

I didn’t know what to expect at EGX, I knew it attracted big numbers, but yet still I didn’t know. Once there I couldn’t fault the foot traffic, it is a very busy place but with a noticeable 10-12 lull. This was the early-bird 10-11 hour which must have been limited to say a 1000 people or so, then the rest (aka the stampeed) came in at 11am. The majority rushed for the big games (with up to 3 hour waiting queues), which hit home that the indie section for 95% of the people there is an after thought.

The cost of attending this kind of event was for me just shy of £1500 (food/hotel included) which is a fair amount of cash, I haven’t made that back. I don’t think I expect too either, but it’s a cost that should be shared. Really I just wanted to go to one of these events, meet other devs and say hi to people whom backed Forgotten Balls Kickstarter, or whom I have talked to on forums/twitter. So in that sense it was worth it really.

So perhaps I went into EGX without a clear goal at least not a Forgotten Ball goal, and I should have. I didn’t really know this beforehand but the majority of exbitors in the indie section whom I talked to were doing for set reasons, at least as far as I could ascertain:

  • find publisher
  • promote upcoming game (one which is in development/has publisher).
    • games on Kickstarter
    • games on Greenlight
  • talk to investors
  • speak to press

I hadn’t thought about any of the above; a publisher just seemed silly for Forgotten Ball (I just guessed unrealistic), Kickstarter has been and gone, and the game was made, so investors would be a waste right now. I missed the boat with Forgotten Ball’s Greenlight; it had not started when I was at EGX, I was just too stretched. Mistake.

I didn’t got to EGX to speak to press, I’m naturally anxious, but yeah a tip going forward would be to email every press/blog/youtuber whom are going to arrange a chat/interview/drink whatever. I should have been more proactive, I should have chased down meetings but I didn’t, of course people noticed Forgotten Ball resulting in some bits here, here, here, here, here and here.

In short, press I could have pushed harder for meetings, lesson learnt. Still, not terrible though.

The environment was dark, I mean like weirdly dark.

EGX Rezzed section was dark, whereas Megabooth and Leftfield collections appeared more light, spacious and yeah I feel like I paid for the short straw – I didn’t know about Megabooth, or Leftfield until it was too late of course no guarantee I’d get in either but that’s irrelevant.

2015-09-27 09.34.12 2015-09-27 09.34.26

I think it is highly unlikely that I will be going to EGX again with a small budget game but Rezzed standalone is something I would could consider doing every year and even then it’s still expensive. The perks of meeting people whom want to play video games is barely quantifiable, but it made me feel good.

I released Forgotten Ball on the 23rd of September and EGX started on the 24th, my attention was split, and I can not for certain ascertain whether EGX helped with sales, or it was just the launch spike. I’m a little annoyed about that. There was around 150 sales over the EGX expo. With attention divided I didn’t respond to all press emails quickly, and I probably didn’t email enough press. I’m a little bummed about that. Don’t release your game over an expo; I guarantee someone out theres finds a game breaking bug (which they did, twice!).

What struck me was people stopping to take pictures of the stand with artwork by @thatkimparker. I liked that, most of which followed by taking a flyer – I didn’t see many people do that at other stands. I love this poster, personally; I mean light, clear, minimal clean; pretty much what I envisioned. Part of the dark problem I spoke of earlier, is probably down to everyones posters being different shades of black.

Rezzed-JoshuaCroft-Forgotten Ball

So in hindsight, although I doubt I will ever be able to justify going bigger but a single stand just wasn’t enough, there wasn’t enough space and continually the games monitor was blocked.  That was disheartening, a stand is roughly a meter wide and with 3 developers per a stand it was crowded at best. 1.2 meter space with 3 people in front of each game; I don’t need to explain that problem.

So with all the games vying for peoples attention; I added in an idle animation you know to try and get more peoples’ attention – it did work. But it wasn’t like 1,000,000 people saw it and formed a queue.

So EGX has lots of people, and lots of people wanting to play games. Seeing a queue build up of people wanting to play was awesome, but asking someone to stop playing was not.

Taking a step back Forgotten Ball made the top 10 selling games on Google Play Store, it was ignored by Apple like it was some kind of disease and generated organic discussion on numerous sites all over the world – it was all sorts of emotions. Really, I am quite proud. Another thing, before I forget people came back to play Forgotten Ball, and show friends/partners, I mean that was cool to.

I get messages from people who have really enjoyed Forgotten Ball; it’s a 4, almost 5 hour game and for someone to sit down and enjoy Forgotten Ball on whatever mobile device they’re on makes it worth it.

I’ll round of with some quick thoughts, you know, TL/DR

  • The place was dark
  • The place was cramped
  • People are cool
  • People who want to play your game are cooler
  • It was costly – I didn’t plan ahead.
  • Needed to define a demo timespan, some people played for a long time.
  • Go in with a plan, make connections early.
  • If you see someone on Twitter whom is going, tweet them meet them. I did this, it was cool.
  • Go vote for Forgotten Ball on greenlight

I might add to this.

Forgotten Ball is on Steam Greenlight

 

Not too much to say on this one, please show some support if you can by voting that you’d buy Forgotten Ball if it were to be released on Steam. It’s one of the last platforms I’m looking at for Forgotten Ball.

Update 105 – Bug fixes, and bug fixes.

Loads of good changes going into Forgotten Ball, and a lot of bug fixes.

One main issue of note is this progression blocker:

In this instance it was possible for this button to break in that it could be hidden, or miles down. This was caused by the user rapid quitting after hitting the surrounding red cubes. This is fixed.

Two unlockable balls were not responsive to collection – this has been fixed.

One button in the game became hidden for a user; this highlighted a greater issue and is fixed across game.

Geometry ‘holes’ or missing polygons were found in a few sections of game, these have been fixed.

The collapsing animation at the beginning of the game was skippable (with skill) which was not intended, and broke the game.

Two areas where a player was not reset upon falling out of world have also been fixed.

Purple unlock boxes have been replaced by yellow ones.