Ahoy! Long time no see. I’m not very good at updating this blog but I hope to change that starting now. Usually I just post to my Google+ stream and call it a day, but starting from this post I’d like to try to post at least once a week.
Tag Archives: Flash Game License
I just wanted to quickly announce that Mid-Month Mayhem is back and this time our friends at Playtomic were kind enough to sponsor the event with participation prizes valued at over $100!
It’s time for Mid-Month Mayhem to return!
Instead of being a weekend jam like Final Friday, I’d like for this one to be a week long, starting on the middle Monday of the month, and ending the following Monday.
The rules are simple. Post a reply to this thread to enter. I will select a theme and announce it on Monday, May 14th. You may use this theme if you want, or you can ignore it. You can also choose to work on or finish an existing game, if you don’t feel like starting a new one. The important thing is to come together and enjoy working on games as a community. By Monday, May 21, you should reply to this thread showing off the work you’ve done, and I also highly recommend sharing a screenshot for #ScreenshotSaturday as well. Feel free to collaborate with one another or work alone. Anything goes as long as you have fun making stuff.
Those who DO decide to follow the game jam’s theme and submit a finished or near-finished game by Monday, May 21, will enjoy free premium account status on Playtomic until the end of 2012 (Over $100 Value!).
We will be hanging out in Tiny Chat during the jam, so feel free to drop by and hang out, whether you’re jamming or not.
Please see the official thread to sign up. Thanks and happy jamming!
“Stranded on an uncharted planet, our hero’s only hope is to wrap his mind around the way this new world works. What’s left is right, what’s up is down, and even the plant life seems to grow in any which way it can. Can you help him find his way through 30 levels and fight his long lost love?”
Recursion is a 16 bit puzzle platformer built in the Game Boy Advance resolution of 240×160. It features 30 levels of mind-bending platformer action and takes advantage of a mechanic seen in very early arcade games – when you exit the screen in one direction, you emerge from the other.
Recursion was developed by myself during a 72 Hour Game Jam that I created to challenge myself. After the jam period was up, I contracted Andy Brown (ANOTHERsoft) and Daniel Davis (an0va / David vs Goliath) to help me finish it. Andy provided 28 of the 30 levels and I’m very happy with his work. He also created levels for my previous game, Range Man. Daniel also did a fantastic job, providing the game with 2 original tracks and all the sound effects it needed. Daniel was also the sound designer on both Melee Man and Range Man.
As of this post, Recursion has just entered bidding, so it’s hard to say what I’ll end up getting from it. Wish me luck!
Gem Jam Adventure, a game I worked on with Endo Earth Game Studio, is now out and available to the public for free! More about the game and where to play below.
About the Game
Gem Jam Adventure is the result of “Mid-Month Mayhem” Game Jam 3 which I hosted back in August 2011 in the Flash Game License community (I worked on another game during this jam that I’ll discuss at a later time). The game underwent a plethora of changes and adjustments over the last several months before it became what it is today. In this section I’ll talk more about how it got started and where we took it from there. If you are just looking to try the game, feel free to skip to the bottom of this post where I’ve provided play links.
Since the theme of the game jam was “Money/Coins/Gold/Gems/Treasure” naturally we decided to go with the addictive simplicity of a match-3 puzzle game. We looked to several popular casual games for inspiration, including the beloved Bejeweled franchise by PopCap Games. Our hope was to at least capture a small part of what makes these games such a huge part of so many players’ gaming lives – even those who don’t even consider themselves gamers.
I didn’t play as active a role in this game as I usually do with my projects – this time I only served as director and supplementary artist. The bulk of the game was designed and programmed by my good friend, Daniel Munoz, owner of Endo Earth Game Studio. He had been having trouble getting his game, Disruptor, released, so I decided to help him out by collaborating on this match-3.
We made a lot of headway into the game during the game jam, but shortly afterwards, the project fell by the way side. We worked on the game here and there over the course of a few months but it was by no means a high priority. To be honest, I wasn’t sure the game would even be released at all, having been shelved for so long.
Much to my surprise, after disappearing for a good while, Daniel resurfaced with a finished game, ready to go up for sale on Flash Game License. We put the game up for bid, and there it stayed for about a month or so until we finally ended up accepting an offer from Mindjolt. The game didn’t end up getting as much as we had hoped, but we still have the potential for non-exclusive sales to help drive the revenue up.
Where to Play
Due to the nature of our agreement with Mindjolt, this particular game will not see a viral distribution launch. Instead, it is available to play directly on Mindjolt’s website as well as via their Facebook application. I’ve also listed it here in my Products page and on my experimental AV Arcade portal, Ninja Dart. Have your pick:
As I promised in my previous post, the new Melee/Range Man website is now live. If you have time, I’d really appreciate it if you would check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks!
I’m back! I mentioned before in my previous post that I’d be away for awhile, but I ended up being gone for far longer than I intended. In this post I’ll talk about what happened, what I’ve been doing, and what’s next.
I flew down to Louisiana on November 15th to spend time with my family over the holidays. I had a great time catching up with friends and family well through Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was gearing up to dive back into work head first when the unthinkable happened!
Due to incorrect assumptions on my part of how Dropbox (a free file backup/sharing application) handled synchronization, I ignorantly re-partitioned my hard drive without backing up the files first (assuming that Dropbox would still have my files on the server). When I finished getting my partitions exactly how I wanted them, I re-installed Dropbox and started syncing.
Much to my dismay, when I returned to my computer, I noticed my Dropbox was finished syncing, but I only had 1 folder and it was empty! Luckily, when I contacted Dropbox support, they were able to rollback the event for me. It only took about a week for them to respond and soon enough, all of my files were returned to their rightful place. Unfortunately, at this time I had already been struck with the next stroke of bad luck.
Shortly after Christmas, I fell sick with flu-like symptoms – an illness that would plague me for right around 3 weeks straight. I spent a lot of time in bed, 14-18 hours most days (including New Year’s).
What I’ve Been Doing
On January 15th, I was finally able to start working again. I had discovered Terraria during my sick days and it inspired me to continue with what I started way back in the Flash Game License Competition. Instead of build from what I had, however, I decided to start fresh (since most of the code was hastily slapped together for the competition). I also decided to document the whole process, just as I had done for the contest version.
After a few days I decided to challenge myself with a little 72-Hour Game Jam to see what I could throw together. For this, I recorded the entire 72 hour period, not just the parts where I got work done. I spent a lot of time after the period ended putting together the footage I took, and learning how to use some simple editing software. I ended up making some videos of it by cropping out the inactive sections. Overall I think the project turned out well (more on this in a few days).
During the duration of the Game Jam, I thought a lot about what I wanted to do with the new digging game I was working on. I knew that I definitely needed to add multiplayer in at some point so I began looking into Player.IO as my solution. After about a week of playing with Player.IO and getting a few different things running, my plans for the project spiraled out of control. It was something that I was (and still am) extremely excited to work on, but to do that I needed a way to earn some more immediate revenue.
In early February, one of my childhood friends approached me with a plan to visit Japan in June. Making a trip to Japan is something that he and I have been meaning to do for the last 8 years, but couldn’t due to whatever reasons cropped up at the time. This got me excited about learning the language again, and I spent 2 weeks straight doing only that. My Japanese is a lot better now as a result, and I plan to maintain my studies as the months go.
Around February 20th I was satisfied with my level enough to slow down a bit and get some more work done. I finished Range Man, a fun little spin-off of Melee Man (
more on this tomorrow that post is live now) with the help of Andy Brown and Daniel Davis. Andy helped me out with the level design while Daniel applied is retro wizardry to game’s audio. The game is already out now (as of February 18th), so if you don’t want to wait for the official announcement post, you can play it here.
After getting Range Man out the door I went back to work polishing up the result of the 72 Hour Game Jam that I mentioned earlier. I’ve been working with Andy and Daniel again to get what is now called “Recursion” ready for sponsorship bidding on Flash Game License. The game just acquired its name yesterday (up until then it was just called “72 Hour Game” or “Game Title”), and I spent the bulk of today working on the game’s opening slideshow cut-scene.
As of this post, I’m only waiting on 2-3 more levels from Andy and the audio from Daniel. It’s been great working with these two talented artists on yet another project and I hope I get the chance to work with them again in the near future. Once I get the final assets and give the game a few play tests, I’ll be uploading it to Flash Game License for primary sponsorship bidding.
Tomorrow I plan to write the official Range Man Viral Launch post (edit: now available here), and add it to the Melee Man website, my Products section, and my flash portal experiment. On Friday I’ll write a little more about Recursion and provide a few screenshots and videos from its development.
Once Recursion is launched, I plan to devote some more time into getting my Player.IO project (now called 2D Heroes) running. I’ve got lots of very ambitious plans for it, and will likely need the help of my fans in early alpha testing rounds soon. I’ll post an announcement here when it’s ready to start accepting testers.
I have been working on a secret side project off and on during the events that I mentioned in this post. It will also be up for primary sponsorship bidding on Flash Game License sometime next week. Fans of some of my previous work should be very excited when they find out what it is, as it’s something many of them have asked for repeatedly. Stay tuned for more about that in the following weeks.
I’m glad I finally got around to writing this post. I’ve been wanting to get this blog back up and running for a few months now, but I couldn’t figure out the best way to get the ball rolling. Now that I’ve got some games coming out soon, I’m confident that I can create enough content to write here about my weekly adventures. Expect a lot more transparency of my development process in the weeks to come.
Here’s another group of updates on what I’ve been up to lately:
Shatter Blocks 2
The sequel to my most-played game, Shatter Blocks, is well under way. I’ll post more about it in a development preview later, but for now, screenshots!
The forums fell victim to a massive spambot infestation not long ago, so I had to purge them. I’ve installed some new security plugins and so far there hasn’t been a single spambot account, so here’s hoping.
If you had already registered, you’ll have to do so again. I apologize for this, but I didn’t have the time to sort through 3000 accounts to find the handful that were legitimate. As always, you can find the forums by clicking on the Community tab above, or going to www.thevillageblacksmith.net/community/
The result of a GameBoy-esque mockup I drew in 20 minutes became a complete game just days later! Melee Man is currently up for sponsorship bidding on Flash Game License. It’s a brutal retro platformer featuring the music of chiptune wizard, Daniel Davis as well as sounds and levels by David Carney of David vs Goliath! I plan to release it on Android and PC as well. Here are some screenshots:
You can view more screenshots on the official Melee Man website. Many thanks to Chevy Ray Johnston and Matt Thorson for developing the tools that made this game possible (FlashPunk and Ogmo Editor respectively)!
Another GameBoy-esque Game?
I had so much fun working on Melee Man that I’ve decided to mockup another!
I’m not sure when I’ll get around to developing this, as I still have Shatter Blocks 2 to finish, but I’m really looking forward to working on it!
Things are going to get very busy going into the holiday season. See you next time!
Wow, it’s been almost a month since my last post. I really didn’t intend for that to happen.
As I stated in my “A Collective Status Update” post, I’ve been all over the place with what I’m working on. I’m actually juggling 3 or so projects right now, all of which are going great. Today I’d like to talk a little more about the game I hinted at last time. While this game still doesn’t have a name (I’ve been calling it “That Game I’m Working On” since I started), it does have a lot more meat to it.
This game started out as one of my many FlashPunk Friday Game Jams on Flash Game License. After releasing Jetpack Jerome, I decided to go back and finish it up. Shortly after my last blog post, I hired Trent Sterling to help breathe some life into the project. Trent is an extremely talented programmer who can usually be found tinkering with his proprietary 3D Flash game engine. Trent has brought a lot to the table in terms of cool concepts and visual effects. Looking back, my original concept is really bland compared to where the game is at now, and I owe most of that to him.
“That Game I’m Working On” (“ThatGame” for short) is a retro puzzle platformer starring a little robot test dummy. The game starts with the scientist booting you (the test dummy) up and running you through some beginner test chambers. As you play, more mechanics are introduced and the difficulty scales up and there are multiple goals in each level for the completists out there. We’re using FlashPunk and Ogmo Editor for our workflow and so far both have been really great to work with.
As of this post, the game is about 85% finished. Over the next few weeks we’ll be stuffing it full of content and polish. I’ll post a link when it’s available for preview on Flash Game License. Till then, ciao!
I’ve been all over the map with what I’ve been working on lately, and it’s been hard to narrow down one thing to share, so what I think I’ll do is just pool a bunch of different small updates into this one post.
Jetpack Jerome is out!
Jetpack Jerome is finally out, thanks to a generous sponsorship by Armor Games. Non-exclusive licenses will be available in the Flash Game License Game Shop starting August 15th. The viral release of the game will begin Monday, August 8th, so look for the game to hit Kongregate, Newgrounds and the Products page on this website at that time. Until then, you can always play the game on Armor Games.
New Logo/Splash Screen
I had to come up with a splash screen to ship with Jetpack Jerome, so I sat down the other day and created this:
I’m pretty happy with how it turned out – I’ll see about adding in some stylish animations for the next game I brand with it.
The Kawaii Defense project has been temporarily put on hold while David finishes up some music work for other clients. We’re really excited about this game and want to be able to make it top priority during development to ensure that it’s the best it can be.
While David takes care of that, I thought that this would be a good time to fill out some of the half-empty pages on this site. I’m currently working on adding the game descriptions and credits to all the game pages in the Products section. Afterwards, I’ll clean up the product hub and add short descriptions and icons to it. I’m also going to move some stuff around and make room for That Game I’m Working On.
That’s right! There’s been a little-over-half-finished game on my Flash Game License account for some time now. It was the result of the first Final FlashPunk Friday Game Jam that I hosted on FGL. I don’t want to give too much away right now, as I’ll need fodder for the official Game Preview that I’ll post in a week or so and I don’t even have a name for it yet, but I will leave you with a screenshot of the game as it currently looks:
My digging game (the one I did the time lapse videos for) managed to get first place by a mere 1 point. 1st was 37 points, 2nd was 36 points, and 2 games tied for 3rd with 35 points each. Close race indeed!
The following is a breakdown of my score along with a mini review, as posted by Merlin:
That Digging Game – The Village Blacksmith
How well did the game make use of the theme? – 9
How good was the gameplay? – 10
How much fun was it? – 9
How original was it? – 9
Total – 37
An excellent game, which looks great too! I had a lot of fun playing this, it completely absorbed me. I must admit I am damn greedy, and died quite a few times. It would be nice to see an ultimate goal, like finding a mine of platinum or something at the bottom, that you can only get to by upgrading everything and making sure you can get back up to the top. Well done, this is an excellent submission!
Thanks a lot for the kind words, Merlin – I’m glad you enjoyed it, and congratulations to the other winners! I plan on expanding on this game a bit more before I release it, and only after I clear out a few of the projects I’m already working on. Well, back to work!
I had planned on releasing the Jetpack Jerome trailer before I leaked information about my next title, but unfortunately it’s still not done and it’s high time for an update to my blog.
Over the last week or so I’ve been working on a new game, code-named “Kawaii Defense” (working title). With Kawaii Defense, collaborator David Carney (DVGmusic) and I are looking to bring the Tower Defense genre to the super casual demographic. The description we’re keeping in mind is “Intro to Tower Defense”. Everything is being designed so that you can play the whole game using only the mouse (and with touch in mind so we can easily port it over to mobile when the time comes). Of course we’ll also be adding achievements, unlockables, and juicy replay value for the more hardcore of gamers.
And here are some brand new shots taken today.
This is somewhat of an earlier preview than I gave with Jetpack Jerome. All of the art you see in the above screenshots is just placeholder stuff I threw together, and will be replaced with David’s debut art. I’m using the FlashPunk framework for rendering and entity management, and Ogmo Editor for map editing, for those curious. I hope to have this game up for sponsorship on Flash Game License by mid-late August.
If you want to see updates from this or any other game more frequently, be sure to subscribe/follow/like me on the various social networking platforms. You can find all of my information in the contact page.