OLD NEWS 2023

December 31, 2023

This is the last day of 2023 so I figure I will do a quick recap of what 2023 looked like as a whole.

To be honest with you game creation wise 2023 was a failure. One game that I spent a lot of time on was lost when I had to restore the computer to an earlier version and did not have proper backup files. Also due to me working a full time job (with a lot of overtime added in) 2023 was plagued with a general lack of time to spend on creating new games.

I also just realized a major mistake I made at the close of the year. I found myself guilty of "reinventing the wheel" by creating things from scratch instead of using readily available tools to do the same job much quicker. I have been guilty of doing that in the past and have apparantly not learned from my past mistakes.

One bright spot was the quick progress I made on the last game I started making. The game memory for that game has been fully finished which is a definate accomplishment. While there are several other key areas that have to be finished what I have created can be used for many different types of games.

For 2024 I definately want to release more games (if nothing more then micro-games created while experimenting or learning new tools). I also plan on using other tools to make the process of creating more games quicker and easier.

For now I want to wish everyone a wonderful new year and I hope your 2024 is definatetly better then your 2023 was no matter how good 2023 was.

December 10, 2023

Last week I mentioned I might have a very small example of a first person dungeon crawler created while testing a new software package designed to create these type of games. I have discovered the package is not fully functional until another two or three updates are released for it. As a result this small sample will not be available until sometime in 2024 (hopefully within the first two months).

I am now in the process of giving the current game being created a memory. By memory I mean that alterations made by the player to the different rooms in the game will be remembered if the player re-enters the same room at a later time in the same game. For example if there is a locked trapped chest in the room and the player manages to find and disable the trap on their first visit to the room if the come back to the room later the chest will still be locked but the trap will still be disabled. Progress on this got off to a slow start because this is the first time I have done this thing in a game but after a delay great progress was made. I would estimate the memory part of the game is about 50% completed.

I have also realized the work I have done thus far (including the game memory) can easily be used for a wide variety of different types of games (such as skill games, rogue like games, controlled movement games, etc...). Simply reusing these parts in other games without having to recreate them will help me to make other types of games quicker in the future.

This will probably be the last update in 2023 so I wish everyone a very merry Christmas.

November 26, 2023

This past week wonderful progress was made on the point and click game. Now the game creates a totally new dungeon each time it is played which will make the game totally different each time it is played. In addition, I also completed the movement system which controls the player moving from one dungeon room to another. Next will be creating some basic rooms for the randomly generated dungeon and work on having each room creating different monsters and items in the room each time it is used in the game. This will also result in a greater variation of player experiences each time the game is played.

Hopefully before too long I should also have a very simple first person grid based dungeon crawler uploaded to this web site. This game will be a short example I create while testing a piece of software that creates these type of games.

November 19, 2023

During the last two weeks since my last update the most progress on game developement has been made on the point and click game with small to moderate progress made on the action game.

Creating games in such a way that they change each time the game is played (while retaining the same goal just having different ways of acheiving the same goal) and also creating the game so that future related games (other games of the same type with a different goal) can be created easily and quickly from the first game has proven harder to acheive then I anticipated. While this is taking longer to make new games I am not going to abandon this goal because I think it will make all future games much better.

I have found several game engines that could be used to create first person dungeon crawler games and I am looking into some of them as well to see how easy they are to use.

One thing I have realised I will have to do is a major update on this website because many of my older games have been retired and are no longer supported. I have just about decided to create a totally new website under a different name because all the new games I am currently making or plan to make are different from most of my previous games and appeal to a different audience. If I created a totally new website under a different name this old website would be updated to show the older games as retired and have a link that you could use to go to the new website but all the old news pages would remain unchanged so you could see the history of this website. These plans for the website are still tentative and could easily change though.

November 5, 2023

I was going to do an update last week but the week was over before I could get it done. It will be 2024 before we know it.

During the past two weeks I have done work on two seperate games.

Most of the work was done on a point and click game where you play the game by clicking on various items in the game to interact with them. I am pleased with the amount of work done on this game thus far.

A smaller amount of work was done on an action game.

One objective I am aiming at with these games as well as all future games is to make the game different every time it is played. The main goal of the game will not change just the way you have to acheive the main goal.

Another objective is to make the games in such a way that future related games (other games of the same type with a different goal) can be created easily and quickly from the first game.

While it takes longer to create a game that has both these objectives it is by far better in the long run.

October 22, 2023

This week I spent a lot of time doing research into which game to make next. I have narrowed it down to one of three types of games.

The first type of game is a first person dungeon crawler similar to the Eye of the Beholder game. I have wanted to do one of these games for a long time but I have not found a good tool for that type of game. Recently two tools were released that would work for that type of game and I am now investigating them.

The second type of game is a 2D action game similar to the original Legend of Zelda game. I have always liked this type of game and I actually made a game very similar to it in the past. There are several tools created for this type of game so it would not be too hard to create it.

The third type of game is what I call a point and click game. Most point an click games move the character to where you click the mouse at in the game but this type of game is played by clicking on items in the game (like treasure chests) to interact with them. It works similar to how escape games work but it is not an escape game. I actually created a very short game like this a long time ago.

One thing I definately want is to create a series of games using the same interface and game engine but with each game having a different objective. In order to acheive this objective I might actually choose some other type of game other then the ones listed above.

October 15, 2023

I had to do a compete reset of my development computer (which means I had to restore the computer to the original form it came from the factory in) in order to fix a problem that occured. As a result I lost the entire file that contained all the work on the next game I was working on and I am going to have to start from scratch.

First, I am going to do a quick evaluation of my options to see if I think it would be better to rebuild the last game I was working on or to start a totally different game. Since it has been so long since I have released a game I would like to release something before too long so I might go with a shorter game that can be completed more quickly.

That will teach me to make backups that are stored on the internet more regularly so this will not happen again.

One area I have noticed that I have changed in is that I make more of the game assets (music, graphics, models, vfx, etc..) myself when in the past I have purchased them from other people. In the short run this takes longer to create new games but in the long run it helps me to make better games (and makes game creation cheaper too).

This week I hope to choose the next game I am going to make and at least get started on it.

October 8, 2023

The change I mentioned last week worked very well. I created the music for my next game and started doing some VFX work (which is visual special effects) for my next game.

In the process of doing the VFX work I discoverd that VFX is a much larger area then I previously thought it was. I also discovred that I like it very much and look forward to not only doing it for this current game but for future games as well.

Speaking of future games I now have two good ideas for the next game. Which idea i will choose I do not know yet but I still have to finish the current game I am working on before I make a decision on what will be next.

October 1, 2023

Ok. I have a good anouncement for the update today. A good deal of my time has been spent keeping another website updated. I have decided, based on the traffic the other website receives, that it is not worth my time to continue to update it. This should free up some time to working on new games and other projects. I still work a full time job so while time will still be limited it should still be an improvement.

The current plan is to have three projects going on in my spare time. One is making games, another will be making maps and other products for Role Playing Games (which I am a big fan of) and a third will be creating some 3D content (like monsters, aliens, items, armor, clothing, etc...) used in 3D games, movies and other similar products. If all goes well I should be able to spend at least 30 minutes on one project each day that I work my full time job. Days when I do not work at my full time job I should be able to spend at least one hour on each project.

This should hopefully allow me to finish my next game before too long. I hope to do another update one week from today and let everyone know how this change is working.

September 3, 2023

Between the work load at my full time job increasing due to a major labor shortage, me working on other things and still having a lot of trouble finding the right assets to fit my next game there has been little work accomplished on my next game. It is very frustrating not having the time to do what I enjoy doing and it is causing me to look forward to retirement (but that is still a ways down the road).

Instead of making another guess as to when the next game will be released and being wrong again I am just going to assure you that work is continuing on the next game with what little free time I have available. Please be patient (that is what I keep telling myself too).

August 7, 2023

Just a quick update today. I have finished learning a lot about 3D animation and I am starting to look for good 3D models that fit the type of game this is going to be. Thus far finding the right 3D models for the game has proven harder then I thought. I am going to start working on special effects and sound while I continue searching for the right 3D models.

One other note. I have been following a new game engine that was released awhile back called Game Guru Max. It was originally designed to produce first person shooter games but it is being expanded to produce role playing games as well. If you are new at game creation and are looking for a game engine that can produce either of these two types of game with little or no coding you might check it out.

July 16, 2023

I have now finished all the game play and have started working on getting and importing game assets. I must mention that in the past I have had problems with feature creap (which is new features being added to games just before they are released which delayed them being released). I will try not to let feature creap delay the release of the game but feature creap is a weakness I have (it is hard to resist adding something new to a game that makes the game better even if it results in the game being released later).

Speaking of the game being released it looks like the game release will be pushed back to the end of August (or maybe even September) due to animation (I have done very little 3D animation and am having to learn it as I go for this game).

I also have a good idea for the next game that will be released after this one but I will save that news for later.

June 18, 2023

Just a quick update to let everyone know how things are going.

Progress on my next game is continuing at a good pace. I have completed roughly 50 percent of the game play. For the last few games I have released I have created the game play and acquired the game assets (music, graphics, etc…) about the same time. For this game I am concentrating on finishing the game play first and the acquiring the game assets last. I though that might speed things up slightly. This next game is also being created with Unity (unity.com) which I am familiar with so that makes the game come alone faster.

I still hoper to release this next game by August 1st 2023 and I already have some ideas for the next two games I will create after this next one.

May 14, 2023

It has been awhile since I updated this website so I figured I would give everyone a quick update of how things are going.

Just when I was starting to make some progress on my next game the place where I worked at for my full time job moved to a different location. The new location takes about 20 extra minutes each day for the commute to and from work (unless there is a traffic jam which adds about 20 extra minutes per traffic jam). That cut into the little time I have to do game creation.

As a result the work I was doing on my next game slowed down greatly. I am trying to compensate by using tools that I am very familiar with to create games and selected a simpler, shorter game for my next project. This helped some but it is still slow progress.

I am hoping my next game will be finished before August 1st (2023) but there are no guarantees.

March 5, 2023

After doing some more research I decided to go with two separate game engines.

Unity is the main game engine I plan on using for most future projects. I have started a programming pathway course to learn the engine well enough to make much more complex games then I have in the past but I have some experience with this engine so progress has been quick. Before long I will be starting a personal game project as part of the learning course and it currently looks like this will be the first game I share with you as a result of talking the course.

Game Maker Studio is the second engine and it will only be used for HTML5 2D games designed for devices that do not have hardware acceleration but require HTML5 Canvas to run games. Basically Game Maker Studio will be used for games (or applications) targeting the web where it is important that all devices that can access the web can be able to use them. This will probably be specialty games (or applications) serving special purposes. As a result Unity will be the game engine I use most of the time.

February 15, 2023

I started making the first mini game with the new game engine I was planning on using and quickly discovered it had some bugs that was making it not work right. It is a small team of people that are building the engine and it will take awhile for the bugs to be removed. As a result I started considering other game engines that I could use.

I have narrrowed it down to three seperate game engines and I will start testing them with short mini games and see how they do.

February 5, 2023

As I was looking for a replacement game engine I realized I was making a mistake that I had made earlier. I was reinventing the wheel by trying to create a type of game from scratch when there were already game engines available that were custom built (or had extensions) to create that type of game. Using an already created solution would be easier and quicker then trying to build the game from nothing by myself.

As a result I have current selected two different game engines that I could easily use to create the type of game I am wanting to make. I will probably make one (or several) very small games to learn the game engines much better and then proceed on to the main game from there. When I make these games I will make them available to play so you will also get to enjoy them.

Now on to making the first small game.

January 22, 2023

This past week I finished creating the messaging system but when I started work on the new user interface I discovered the game engine I was using to make the game was not scalling properly when switching to different display sizes. This results in black outlines around the edges of the screen if scalling is required. One of the primary platforms I am planning to release the game on is Android and due to how many different screen sizes there are for the Android platform this will not work.

My only option is to use a different game engine. Fortunatly, I have not developed much of the game so it will be easy to start again. Next, I will examine several other game engines to find a replacement and then start on the game again.

January 15, 2023

This past week I added traps to chests. I have fixed it so that each chest can have a different trap (or be untrapped), require a different key (or no key) to open it, can hold a different type and amount of treasure and have a different appearance. In addition to this I have also created a basic game system to use for resolving all actions (searching, picking locks, disarming traps, combat, etc...). I also started creating the message system that tells the player what is happening as a result of their actions.

Next I hope to finish the message system and create the user interface. Creating the user interface might require that I make some changes to the chest so it is best to create the user interface before I get too much of the game created.

January 10, 2023

After working on the latest game for a while I made the decision to change the goal I was working toward. Originally the goal was to write a short banner sized game but I realized after I got through it could only be used for more banner sized games. I prefer to create something that would be of more use then that.

As a result I have changed the latest game into a template that can easily be used to create other games in addition to banner sized games. While this will take a little longer to create the first game all following games will be quicker to produce. The game template will be a point and click game and thus all games created with it will be point and click games as well. Due to my years of experience with Role Playing Games all the games produced with it will also be adventure games of some sort.

My method of operation will be to create the first game with the game structure and only the needed objects for the first game. Future objects will be added in additional games (as well as new features to the game structure). I have just finished creating a chest object to be used in the game and I have equiped the chest so it can be locked (requiring a specific key to open it) and it can hold a wide variety of treasure (but will be empty if the player comes back to check it again later). I am in the process of adding traps to the chests (with the player having to successfully find the trap and then disarmed it).