Friday 20 November 2015

Dev log 2: Progress, NGDC showcase and Secret project!

Little Life: Adaptivity - progress

Web release:
The flash version of the game was sponsored and published in september. I published flash version for the following reasons:

  • The sponsorship money kept me funded.
  • Decent flash games go viral easily. So the game received a ton of feedback, very helpful for polishing.
  • I already have some fan base for my old games. It helped me a bit.

Steam release:

I'm going for steam greenlight for the game after I do more polish, add more levels and add full controller support to the game. You can follow the game here to get news about steam release.

NGDC Showcase:
I showcased the game at NGDC Pune on 6th and 7th November. The whole time I was there I couldn't take my eyes off of the players and the screen while they played the game. I learned a few things about game design, human behavior and even about myself ;) by observing them play.
The thing that excited me the most is - a few players were experimenting with the mechanics rather than completing the levels.

Here are some of the things I learned:

  • I introduce the core mechanic of the game in level 2. A few people thought that the mechanic was a bug in level 2. This is because the mechanic is new and people have never seen it before in games. So I had to redesign the level four times.
  • Initial levels should be as short as possible so that the player can quickly get a taste of the core mechanic.
  • I should definitely make a premium Steam release with full controller support. The game was so much fun with the controller!

Finally the game was awarded Runner up Indie game of the year.

Working from Cafe:
I worked from cafe on a few days for a change. I drink Assam tea most of the time and Darjeeling tea sometime.

the ambience:
I liked the mild yellowish lighting of the place. It was very comfortable for my eyes. My boss at my previous company used to recommend yellow tint on computer screens and on papers too.
The acoustics of the place was nice. It can be felt when they play music with a low volume on the background. But most of the time I just put my headphones on, because the music they play get very repetitive. Sometimes I like to remove my headphones and allow the chit chatting of people to hit my ears.

the people:
The place doesn't get crowded during the weekdays. From what I've noticed, most people who come there are from tamil film industry: directors, singers, actors, etc. So basically I was surrounded by creative people. It kinda motivated me to be creative :).

Secret project!
I've been working on a secret game from september. It's a puzzle platformer with the narrative and the puzzles tied together.
Well, it's not exactly a secret because I already showed the game to a few people :D.
I'm very bad at keeping secrets ;). You will understand why it has to be a secret once the game is out.
So far, one iteration of the development is complete, gameplay wise.
On the second iteration, I have to expand the levels a little and replace the placeholder art with production art. I also have to work on the ui and menu.
Besides these, I have a good amount of work left in improving the engine. I need to move a lot of things around in the engine and make it cleaner.

Thank you for reading! Please let me know what you think about the post in the comments. You can follow me on fb or twitter to get updates on the progress.

Sunday 10 May 2015

Dev log 1: Adaptivity

Adaptivity is a platformer puzzle game. I started developing the game in mid february 2015. The basic idea of the game is that the elements in the game work relative to player's actions in a specific way. This simple idea opened up a world of possibilities.
I worked on the core pieces of the game from a public library. The library was a great environment for me to completely focus on my work. I was very productive there. I worked from home on other days. I feel the need to go to the library whenever I feel like I need a change in my daily routine. I think it is a great way to stimulate creativity.

Alpha release:

I had set myself a deadline for alpha release on May 1st. I had also listed all tasks required to be completed before the deadline. The deadline gave me more focus and also gave me a reason to push myself.

I needed to make alpha release for several reasons:
  • I was experimenting with a new platformer mechanic. I wanted to see how well the mechanic is received by the players.
  • Most importantly, I wanted to know whether people think that the gameplay is fun.
  • It enabled me to make improvements to the game based on feedbacks.
  • The first two reasons would give me a new energy/motivation to finish the game.
The alpha version can be played here. It received 2.95/5 initially. After a series of updates based on feedbacks, the score bumped up to 3.5/5. Players have acknowledged that the gameplay is innovative and fun.
The game is planned to be released on android first, later to ios. I've been testing the game on android devices as and when I pushed new features to the game.

The full game:

I have already set the deadline for the beta of the full game, which is May 31st. I have to push myself really harder this time to finish before deadline. The plan is to add new elements to the game, polish the mechanics, and make pixel art for the game. Please note that I have just started learning pixel art. A minimum of 100 levels can be expected. Sounds and music also need to be added.

For updates related to Adaptivity, follow the game on facebook.

Code cleanliness:

I've been writing clean code for Adaptivity. I refactor code whenever necessary so that everything in the code eventually gets placed where it is supposed to be. I slowly fell in love with clean code when I was working at my previous company Axham games. I picked up a few skills while I worked there, those skills made my work more interesting and has increased the quality of work.