OLD NEWS 2017

April 16, 2017

This past week there was one goal I set to achieve and that was to check out a new game engine I discovered called SMILE GAME BUILDER. I accomplished this goal. I liked SMILE GAME BUILDER because it was easy to use and has a lot to offer. It should also get better with future expansions and updates but I have decided to hold off on buying it for now. The main reason is that it cannot produce games for Android or HTML5 and those are currently my two primary target markets. I will keep an eye on SMILE GAME BUILDER and might purchase it in the future.

Speaking of target markets I am discovering specialty engines like I plan on using in the future either target windows, Linux and consoles without being able to produce games for the Android platform or they create games for the Android platform that are very large in terms of file size. I am considering switching target platforms if I cannot find an alternative.

And speaking of alternatives my first goal for next week is to do a test with a game engine called 001 GAME ENGINE to see if I can get it to receive input from the Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Stick TV (both game pad and remote). I have experimented with the 001 GAME ENGINE in the past and liked what it had to offer but it has since started receiving regular updates so I decided to take another look.

I have also discovered that the update for GEM COLLECTOR has now gone live in the app stores. Before I start Section 3 of GEM COLLECTOR I would like to create a game to test the Windows platform so as a second goal for next week I will probably use GAME GURU to start a larger game then the lab games I created with it earlier this year. It will obviously be a first person shooter and it should not take long to create.

April 9, 2017

Last week the first goal I set for myself was to finish section 2 of GEM COLLECTOR. Not only did I finish section 2 I also made a few other minor changes and submitted it to the app stores. Section 3 of GEM COLLECTOR is now scheduled for July of 2017.

My second goal was to do some work on the experimental game for the new platform. I started this and quickly realized it is going to take some time to make this game so I decided to relegate this game to a background project. This means that I will work on it a little here and there as I have extra time while putting other projects first.

Speaking of other projects I found another game engine (called the SMILE GAME BUILDER) that I want to try out. This will be my first goal for next week. I do not think I will set a second goal for next week.

I will also leave you with one other thing this week. Below you will find a screen shot of one of the levels for section 2 of GEM COLLECTOR. It is not to scale but it will give you an idea of what section 2 looks like.

Gem Collector Screenshot 2

April 2, 2017

This past week turned out to be an excellent week as far as game creation is concerned.

The first goal I had last week was to create the first 10 levels of section 2 for GEM COLLECTOR. When all was said and done I completed the first 20 levels for section 2 which is twice the goal I originally set. Excellent progress was made on section 2 of GEM COLLECTOR.

The second goal was to do more promotion of AMULET RECOVERY. I also succeeded at this goal. I do not know how many new players the promotion will bring to AMULET RECOVERY but I am thankful for all the people I can get to play it.

I still need to create 4 more levels for GEM COLLECTOR as well as make a few small adjustments to the game. That is goal one for next week. Goal two will be working on the new experimental game to test the new platform. Because I have to write the entire game system for the experimental game it will be fairly large despite the fact that I am trying to make it a short game. There is a large amount of overhead that has to be created for this game.

March 26, 2017

I will keep the update for this week short. To start off I will inform you that I worked my day off at my full time job this past week so I put in between 50 to 55 hours at work. That will let you know why I achieved so few of my goals I set last week.

My first goal was to promote AMULET RECOVERY which I totally failed at. My second goal was to do some work on section two of GEM COLLECTOR which I done very little on. There was just no time for work on games this past week.

Next week I hope to create at least the first 10 levels of section 2 for GEM COLLECTOR. Due to how the deadline for creating and releasing section 2 for GEM COLLECTOR (May 2017) is approaching I will make this goal one. Goal two will be to promote AMULET RECOVERY. I will be happy if I get these two goals accomplished.

March 19, 2017

My first goal I set last week was to do more work on section two of GEM COLLECTOR. This goal was accomplished. The primary objective is to have each level in section two look very different then the levels in section one. I am getting very close to achieving this objective. I have also decided to create a new icon for GEM COLLECTOR because the old icon resembles match three games too much and I need an icon that resembles Adventures Games more.

My second goal was to complete a test with RPGMAKER MV. This goal was also accomplished. I discovered the final size of a short two room adventure was well over 300 MB for the HTML5 version which is too large for a short 2D game. I was also displeased with the fact that building games for the Android platform was not a simple single button press (which is what most of RPGMAKER MV competitors is) but instead involves using several third party command line tools. RPGMAKER MV has a lot of potential but it still needs more work.

My third goal was to start a simpler project to test a new platform. I also accomplished this goal. I am now to the point of adding the background to the game. After this it will be time to create the first interactive map for the game.

Awhile back I completed and published an HTML5 game called AMULET RECOVERY. I just recently discovered several ways of promoting this game The first goal for next week will be to promote AMULET RECOVERY. My second goal will be to do more work on section two of GEM COLLECTOR as well as getting it a different icon for it.

March 12, 2017

Last week I set two goals to accomplish. The first was to complete a short experiment using a game engine called RPGMAKER MV. I did not achieve this goal because I spent so much time on the second goal that I simply ran out of time. The second goal was to start section 2 of GEM COLLECTOR which I did achieve. I am off to a good start on getting section 2 of GEM COLLECTOR released in May 2017.

Previously I started a new game to test a new platform (market). The game consisted of five dungeons and three sets of ruins for the player to explore. I have decided that this is too large of a game to create use to test the new platform (market) so I have decided to create a smaller game with only one set of ruins for the player to explore. This will make creating the game much quicker and easier. To make some progress on this will be my third goal. My first goal will be to do more work on section 2 of GEM COLLECTOR and my second goal will be to finish the test using RPGMAKER MV.

March 5, 2017

This past week I had two goals. The first was to fix a bug in GEM COLLECTOR and get the update submitted to the app stores. This goal was accomplished. In addition to this goal there was a small update done on the GEM COLLECTOR web page because a new store started selling GEM COLLECTOR and I added it to the listing of app stores GEM COLLECTOR is available in.

The second goal was to do some work on another game. I did not get this goal accomplished.

Next week I want to finish a short experiment I started awhile back with a new game engine (RPGMAKER MV ) This will be a short adventure to see how easy the game engine is to use. A second goal will be to start Section 2 of GEM COLLECTOR which will have another 24 levels for the game. Section two is not due until May 2017 but I want to get started early so I will have the section finished in time.

February 26, 2017

My primary goal last week was to release GEM COLLECTOR in the app stores. That goal was accomplished. I also created a new entry for it in the ADVENTURE GAMES part of this web site. After submitting it and having it approved a bug was found so they game will be updated soon.

A secondary goal was to either do a third test on GAME GURU or start another game which I also succeeded at doing. I started what I am calling a prize game where the player is awarded a small prize if they beat the game. The game is intended to be an HTML5 game which is to be inserted as advertising on various web pages. This concept needs some more thought before I proceed with it but it is an interesting idea.

Next week the first goal will be to fix the bug in GEM COLLECTOR and update it in the app stores. As a secondary goal I also want to do some kind of work on another game. Either the prize game (if I get the concept worked out) or something else.

February 19, 2017

There was only goal that I set for myself to accomplish this past week and that was to finish Gem Collector. I succeeded in accomplishing that goal and Gem Collector makes the third game I have finished this year . I previously decided to divide Gem Collector into 6 sections with 24 levels per section. After the first section was completed I would launch the game and add additional sections (with each new section containing 24 new levels) in the future as they were completed. I have also decided to try a new pricing strategy which is to offer Gem Collector as a cheap paid app ($1.00) when it is first released and then increase the price each time a new section is added to the game. This way people who purchase the game early will get a better deal then those waiting until later because the game will automatically update itself each time a new section is added. Section 2 of Gem Collector is currently scheduled to be released in May 2017. I have included a screenshot of Gem Collector at the end of this post but the screenshot is not to scale.

My first goal next week will be to release Gem Collector in the app stores. As a second goal I am considering trying a third experiment with GAME GURU to try out the new build-in building creator to see if I can make a game much smaller in file size then the previous two GAME GURU experiments. As the second goal I am also considering doing another battle game or experiment with several other game engines. I guess you could say the second goal will be to start either another experiment or game.

Below is a screenshot from LINK.

Gem Collector Screenshot 1

February 12, 2017

I had two goals this week. The first was to do another short experiment using GAME GURU to see if I could make a smaller sized game. I created a game called ESCAPE FROM THE PLATEAU where the object of the game is obviously to escape from a plateau. I restricted myself to one type of building, one type of tree, one type of bush, five different types of opponents and several types of weapons and ammo and the final file size was still 196 MB. The game is basically composed of several connected plateaus surrounded by water filled canyons with the player moving on the top of the plateaus looking for a way out. I was not the happiest with the finished game because you can see your opponents across the water filled canyons which is something I did not want to happen. While you can see your opponents they can also see you which results in you having to move fast and plan your attacks carefully and quickly to avoid being killed. I might do a third experiment with this game engine in the near future now that they have added a building maker to the it but that experiment will not be during this next week. While this is my second game completed this year I will not be releasing it in the stores and have instead placed it in the LAB section.

My second goal was to get Gem Collector completed and ready for publication. While I made a lot of progress removing newly discovered bugs, adding new game play elements (like armor) and finishing other parts of the game it is still not finished. Gem Collector is turning into a much larger game then originally planned.

I think I will only have one goal for next week and that will be to finish Gem Collector.

February 5, 2017

This past week I completed an experiment testing a game engine (called GAME GURU) I have been looking at for awhile. The experiment resulted in a game being created called CANYON OF DEATH and can be downloaded from the LAB or by clicking on its name in this post. CANYON OF DEATH is a simple first person shooter where the goal is to simply fight your way to the end of the canyon. I was impressed with how easy and quick it was to create a game using GAME GURU. I was not pleased with the final size of the exported game (220 MB) but I used several different trees, bushes, buildings and opponents in the game (all of which increased the size of the game). I think I will do another experiment next week and restrict myself to only two types of trees, two types of bushes and one type of building and see how that decreases the game size. I was also displeased with the fact that it only runs on the Windows platform. I hope more platforms will be added in the near future because that is one major weakness that needs to be overcome. While I will not submit the game to any of the app or game stores this experiment did result in a complete game being created so I guess it counts as my first game released during 2017. Overall GAME GURU has a lot of potential but still has room for more development. Fortunately GAME GURU is continuing to be developed so it has a bright future.

This past week testing GAME GURU was not the only objective that was achieved. I also fixed the major bug with the movement system in Gem Collector as well as increasing the game play by making several small changes to the game. I also added another weapon for the player to use. Gem Collector is now not far from being completed.

Next week I will have two main goals. The first will be to do a second experiment with GAME GURU and the second will be to finally finish Gem Collector.

January 29, 2017

I am going to keep the update for this week short. Last week I modified Gem Collector so it now works on Game Pads as well as with the Remote on the Fire TV. This turned out to be a much larger job then I planned on and as a result I only had time to do a few more minor modifications to Gem Collector in addition to adding Game Pad control. I did not even get to do the experiment with GAME GURU I was hoping to do nor did I get to do any work on Forbidding Dungeons.

Next week I am going to try to do more work on Forbidding Dungeons, Gem Collector and finally get to do the experiment with GAME GURU.

January 22, 2017

This past week I actually done a good amount of work on Gem Collector. I managed to make it fully compatible with the Amazon Fire TV using the Remote for input. I still need to test it on the Amazon Fire TV using a game pad but I do not think adding that extra functionality to it will be that hard. I still have one more major thing to do (fix the movement system) as well as several smaller things to do to finish Gem Collector.

This past week I also done some more work on another game I have named Forbidding Dungeons. It is designed for the new platform I am experimenting with. I created an area map that has a selection of dungeons and ruins that need to be explored for the player to choose from when playing the game. Due to the fact that there are ruins to explore in addition to dungeons I might rename this game something else. You can see a screen shot of the area map below.

Forbidding Dungeons Area Map

This next week I plan on continuing my development of Forbidding Dungeons and I am also hoping to do some more work on Gem Collector as well. I might also do a short experiment with a new game engine (GAME GURU) that I have been watching for awhile. I am mainly interested in seeing how easy it would be to create a first person shooter with it but the problem is that it currently only creates games for the windows platform but I have been hoping that it would eventually be expanded to create games the Android platform as well.

January 15, 2017

This past week I done some more work on a previous game I started (called Gem Collector). I completed creating a save system that will keep track of when levels are completed. There are two big things and several smaller things that need to be completed before Gem Collector is finished. The two big things are firstly to rework the entire movement system to remove a bug and secondly to make the game run on a TV.

I also took a long look at what it takes to create games for the new platform and discovered that it is not an easy task to create games for. I acquired the needed tools and started a small game for it but this game is something that will take some time (mainly because I am having to learn how to use the new tools) and thus I have relegated it to a secondary goal to work on as time allows. The progress I have made on it thus far is to create the cover, a background and provide a range of characters (a warrior, sneak, archer and normal regular human) for the player to choose from when playing the game.

I have continued evaluating third party game engines. I have decided to choose one (001 GAME CREATOR) and create a very small game to see if I can use it to create EYE OF THE BEHOLDER types of games).

Next week I hope to do at least a little work on Gem Collector as well as continue work on the game for the new platform. The DLC for 001 GAME CREATOR which allows me to create games similar to EYE OF THE BEHOLDER is due out soon so I might spend some time on that as well.

January 8, 2017

First off to make an extension to my plans for 2017 (posted last week). I need to modify it to reflect my plans for partially finished games I currently have been working on. I have spent too much time developing a lot of games that are partially finished to abandon them now. As a result I plan on finishing all partially finished games I currently have (I would guess there are around six of them) but it will take longer to finish one of them then it would take to create a new game using the new engines I am looking at. Due to that fact finishing partially finished games is a secondary goal but I would like to finish at least two during 2017.

I have been looking at several different game engines (or engine + template solutions) that will help me build the type of games I want (RPG and Adventure games) more quickly. The two I am most interest in (MYRPG MASTER and the UNITY GAME ENGINE with the RPG All-In-One kit) need some more development before they are fully ready to produce the games I want for the platforms I want. I have also looked at two other engines (RPG MAKER MV and 001 GAME CREATOR) both of which are specialty engines which offer a way to create 2D (instead of 3D) RPG and Adventure games. 001 GAME CREATOR" looks especially promising for 2D games because they are about to introduce the ability to create games similar to EYE OF THE BEHOLDER in an update scheduled to be released in January 2017. A fifth possibility is the UNREAL ENGINE with the RPG Engine Toolkit which has excellent graphics but a bigger learning curve then the rest.

To further complicate matters I have discovered a new platform that has no (or very few) RPG and Adventure games on it. Due to the lack of competition I may go in this direction first.

My current plans are to take a serious look at how easy it is to build a game for the new platform as well as to continue evaluating the possible engines.

January 1, 2017

To start things off I wish everyone a happy new year. I hope 2017 is better for everyone then 2016 was no matter how good 2016 was.

Last week I set two goals. The first was to add a save system to the latest game I was working on (Gem Collector) and the second was to prepare a special year in review post looking back at 2016 with the following update looking ahead to 2017. After positing the update for last week I decided to drop the first goal and to expand the second to include my plans for 2017. As a result the save game system for Gem Collector was not created but this weeks update not only reviews 2016 but also looks forward to what 2017 has in store.

First up to review 2016. In 2016 I finished a total of 6 new games as well as expand one of my older games by publishing it on an extra platform. This was great progress compared to some of my earlier years and I was happy with it. I also noticed that many of my new games were more complex then my older games which also made me happy. Where I failed in 2016 was finding ways to get more people to play my games. Marketing has not been my strength in the past and that continued through 2016. One area that was a partial success in 2016 was to experiment with some new income mechanisms in my games. While I did experiment in this area I only had partial success implementing it.

Now for my plans for 2017. Effective January 1, 2017 I am launching a new project (which is related to music and has nothing to do with games) that will require a good deal of my time. Since I started making games years ago I have been unable to generate enough income from my games to live on so game making has been a hobby for me. An expensive hobby not only in terms of money but also in terms of time spent doing it. With the new project being launched I no longer have the time to spend on creating games that I have had in the past. As a result of this I am going to scale back on my game making but not entirely quit making games. I have decided to choose one (or two) specialty game engines (or a general multi-purpose game engine with a specialty template) to create my future games with. It will be a game engine that specializes in creating RPG and Adventure games. This will eventually reduce the time needed to create games so that I will not have to stop making games completely. I have also decided to release all future games as paid games. Why? First because it takes a massive number of game plays to produce any significant income with free add supported games. Second add blockers are starting to reduce the income from free add supported games. And thirdly (and most importantly) when looking back through my records I have discovered that I have made more then ten times as much money on paid games then on free add supported games (including games with rewarded videos). So those are my plans going into 2017.