OLD NEWS 2020

October 11, 2020

This past week I finished doing the work required to submit my latest game Blobs And Sheep to two major distributors. The game is now in the process of being approved by both publishers but I do not know how long the approval process will take but hopefully Blobs And Sheep should start appearing in some online HTML5 game portals in the near future.

That brings me to the question of what I should do next. I think first I will take a quick look and see if there are any other major game publishers that I want to release Blobs And Sheep through and if so I will do the necessary work to release it through them as well. In regards to game development it is time to take a look at a few other nearly finished games and see if I want to complete one of them or start on something totally new.

October 4, 2020

For HTML5 games there are three main monetization methods. The first is sponsorships, the second is through rewarded videos and the third is through normal ads.

Sponsorships are when gaming portals purchase the right to put their logos on the splash screen and insert their high score systems into the game. I have not accepted any sponsorships for Blobs And Sheep so this method is not being use.

Rewarded videos is when the game player is rewarded some in-game bonus in exchange for watching a short video. The length of Blobs And Sheep and type of game it is does not easily yield itself to rewarded videos so I did not use them.

That brings us to normal ads which is the method I am using for Blobs And Sheep. Most major publishers and distribution platforms have their own advertising network they want each game submitted and published through them to use. This past week I have been inserting some of the plug-ins necessary for Blobs And Sheep to access the advertising networks of the publishers that will be distributing the game. It took longer then I thought but the process is almost finished so hopefully Blobs And Sheep will be released soon.

And lastly, why would I want to monetize Blobs And Sheep at all? Firstly, because making games costs money if the developer cannot produce all the game assets themselves (graphics, music, sound affects, etc…) which I cannot. Secondly, if I could make enough money creating games to do this full time and not have to work a full time job that would result in more games being created for you as well as allowing me to do something full time that I really enjoy. That is why I am monetizing Blobs And Sheep in the first place.

September 26, 2020

Last week there was no update because, to be honest with you, there was no news to report. I just spent more time looking at different frameworks without finding one that satisfied me enough to use it.

Last week I also realized that I had a fully finished game (named Blobs and Sheep) that I had never published. I originally created Blobs and Sheep using Construct 3 (https://wwwconstuct.net) but after I created it I discovered, much to my regret, that Construct 3 dropped Canvas support (which was supported in Construct 2) and only created HTML5 content that used WebGL which only works on devices that had hardware acceleration. This means that millions of older devices cannot run projects created with Construct 3. So I converted Blobs and Sheep to GameMaker Studio 2 (http://www.yoyo games.com/gamemaker) which supports Canvas. After I converted it I discovered that when I modified Blobs and Sheep to fit on all available screen sizes this resulted in the speed at which Blobs and Sheep operated to slow down to a crawl. At that point I was going to convert Blobs and Sheep to Phaser 4 (https://github.com/phaserjs/phaser4) but Phaser 4 was still being developed. They were making good progress developing it so I joined their Patreon and waited. After three months or so the developer of Phaser 4 decided to go back to work on Phaser 3 to improve it more and most of the work on Phaser 4 came to an end.

That left me with a fully completed game with nothing to do with it. I did not want to waist my time or resources invested into the game so I decided to go ahead and release the Construct 3 version of Blobs and Sheep on the HTML5 platform using WebGL. That is what I am in the process of doing right now though how long it will take I am not sure.

I also have several other games in various stages of completion before I decided to switch to Unity (https://unity.com). I would like to finish some of these games that are almost done so as to not waste my time and resources I spent creating these games. I have decided that while I keep looking for the right framework I will spend some time finishing and publishing these partially completed games.

September 13, 2020

Not much to report this week. Basically I spent the time experimenting with more frameworks that did not do exactly what I was looking for. The only bright spot was I found a 2d framework that does a lot of what I was looking for when it comes to producing one of the 2d games I am considering. This gives me the idea of starting with a 2d game instead of a 3d game next but for now I am sticking to the 3d game. Well, back to testing more frameworks.

September 6, 2020

For the next game I have made one more solid decision. The next game center around exploring dungeons complete with quests, loot, monsters, etc... Whether that exploration will be in the form of a first person shooter with RPG elements or a standard RPG is yet to be determined. I do not want to reinvent the wheel again by creating an entire game engine from scratch when there are many good game engines already available for use with Unity (https://unity.com/) and I have already been looking at several of them. I also have not decided if the next game will be a 2D or 3D game.

This past week there was some good progress on testing some of the available game frameworks available for Unity. At least I discovered there were a few that did not work like I wanted them to work. This next week will probably be spent doing more of the same as I continue to test more game frameworks to find one with the right feel.

August 30, 2020

My patience has run out. I have been waiting on a program named Phaser 4 (https://github.com/phaserjs/phaser4) but it has been delayed for two straight months while Phaser 3 (an older version of it) has been worked on.

My original idea was to create some shorter HTML5 games using Phaser 4 and publish them on HTML5 game platforms. I could use GameMaker Studio 2 (https://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker) to do this which I have used in the past but I got to thinking of something else.

When I first started creating games I concentrated on creating a series of smaller shorter games. This was in direct contrast to what most developers do which is produce a larger game and then regularly update and expand it.

After some consideration I think my next game will be a bigger game that will constantly be expanded with new content. This way the game can be released sometime this year (2020) but will steadily be increased until it becomes a much larger game.

I think I will also follow the freemium model which is to make the game freely available to all players but have items and areas players can unlock either through game play or by purchasing access to them using real money.

I will be using Unity (https://unity.com/) for this new game and it will either be some kind of Role Playing Game or a First Person Shooter with role playing elements. That also means you will start seeing new updates on this website as progress is made.

March 21, 2020

Just like last week this weeks update is being posted one day early.

Last week I done a good amount of work to port all the assets for Blobs and Sheep (my next game) into the new tool and then created the game framework to run the game. I then done a more intensive test and realized while the game would run on Canvas2D it was very slow. So slow in fact that it would have made the game very boring. As a result I abandoned that tool for creating HMTL5 content (which makes a total of two tools I have abandoned because they either would not run on Canvas2d or because they run very slowly on Canvas2D).

On the bright side I did find another tool that will not only run on Canvas2D but will also run fast on it (at least fast for a non-hardware accelerated tool) The only drawback is that the tool is currently being created (though it has a dedicated individual creating it seemingly full time who has done a lot of quick quality work on previous versions of the same tool ). I do not want to use a previous version of the tool because support for the previous version will cease when the latest version is released and there is a lot that will change in the new version of the tool making it incompatible with older versions of the tool.

At this point in time that puts me in a waiting pattern until the new tool is released (which I hope will be within three months but no promises). Until I come out of this waiting pattern I will probably only post once a month on this website because there will be a major lack of news to report.

March 14, 2020

This update is being posted one day early (I had some extra time today so I figured I would use it wisely).

This past week I discovered I made a major mistake on the latest game I was creating (Blobs And Sheep). After the game was finished I discovered the tool I was using did not have the ability to create a version of the game that would fall back to Canvas2D when WebGL was not present on the device used to play the game. An older version of the tool did have this feature but the feature was dropped when the newer version of the tool was released and if I had known this I would not have used the tool. Due to Canvas2D not being supported the game will not work on the millions (or perhaps billions) of devices that do not have hardware acceleration. Personally I have over half a dozen older mobile devices that I still use on a regular basis (even daily) which do not have hardware acceleration and if I still have and use them I know many others will also still have and use older devices that do not have hardware acceleration.

This left me with a choice that I had to make on Blobs And Sheep. First, I could either publish the game as is but this would have gotten the game many bad reviews from people who have devices that do not have hardware acceleration and this was unacceptable. Second, I could abandon the game and start another game but this would result in me not using all the assets I purchased for the game and loosing all the time I have spent on creating the game so this option was also unacceptable. Third, I could recreate the game using another tool which does support Canvas2D in addition to WebGL (and which I have already tested to confirm this is true) and this is the option I am going with.

Fortunately for me I can easily transfer all the game assets previously purchased form the old tool to the new tool so the only thing I will have to redo from scratch is create the game play which will not take too long. If everything goes well I should be able to release it this month (March 2020).

As a side note I have also realized that I am going to have to create a new website when this next game is launched. Why? Several years ago (after I had been running this website for several years) I created a full 401C corporation named Blue Fire Games Incorporated (not to be confused with this website which has a very similar name) and was planning on releasing all new games through the Corporation. One thing led to another and I ended up not using the Corporation for anything and subsequently dissolved it a few years ago while continuing to run this website as a private concern which I have done since this website was originally created before Blue Fire Games Incorporated was formed. To continue publishing games I need to separate the website used to release future games with more fully from the old name used for the Corporation. Thus I will be creating a new website (with a different name) before I actually release my next new game.

When the new website goes live I will post a final message here notifying everyone of the new website.

March 8, 2020

Today the update is going to be short. I did not get as much done this past week as I was hoping. I ran into some trouble implementing the final thing into Blobs and Sheep and as a result I did not get it finished and did not start submitting it to portals. Hopefully this week I will fix that. I did start on the next game (which will be a 2D vehicular combat game) thought some of the work was spent getting some graphics assets for the game instead of creating actual game play.

Next week I am going to only have one goal and that will be to finish Blobs and Sheep and get it submitted to several portals.

March 1, 2020

This past week I almost completed my next game. I have decided the official name will be Blobs and Sheep and when you play the game for the first time you will understand why I choose this name. In addition to getting all the sound affects for the game I also acquired the game music and made several small adjustments to the game to make it play better. There is only 1 thing left to do and the game will be finished.

Currently I plan on publishing the game on this website and start submitting it to portals this week. Other then that I also plan on starting the next HTML5 game this week.

February 23, 2020

This past week was an excellent week in regards to completing my next game (still named Take Em Out). All the remaining levels were completed and several bugs were fixed as well. In addition to these I made some changes to the GUI (Graphic User Interface) to make it easier to play the game. The only thing left to do now is to finish acquiring the remaining game assets (game music and sound effects). In all probability the game will be completed this month (February 2020) but might not get launched until next month (March 2020).

I am reconsidering creating a new website because that would take a lot of time which would be more productive if spent on making games. As a result I may just stick with continuing to update the current website for now.

I hope to create and release at least 4 HTML5 games in 2020. That being said I already have an idea as to the theme of the next game I plan on creating.

February 17, 2020

This past week I had a goal of creating the next 10 levels in my newest game (still currently named Take Em Out). I succeeded in creating a total of 11 levels so I achieved that goal. I have discovered that completing levels for this game is harder then completing them for previous games. Maybe I am rusty or it could be the type of game it is but I hope to improve in the future. As of now there are only 9 levels left to complete. I also discovered another major bug in the game this past week (but did not have enough time to fix it) and though of a couple of ideas to improve the user interface of the game.

For next week I will only set three goals. The first will be to complete the final 9 levels., the second will be to fix the latest bug I discovered and the third will be to make the changes to the user interface I thought of. I still have a few more assets to acquire (game music and sound effects) but I am getting closer to finishing the game.

February 9, 2020

This past week the biggest thing I achieved on my next game (still currently named Take Em Out) was to find and correct a major runtime bug that was causing the game to behave in erratic ways. I had to do a lot of changes to the game to fix the bug and get the desired results and these changes took a lot of time but was necessary. Beyond that I did finish creating the first level for the game as well as acquire a few more graphic assets needed for the tutorial system and background. I think I have now acquired all the graphics assets needed for the game which only leaves the game music and sound effects left to acquire. The first and second levels are going to be tutorial levels so they require more work to create then normal levels.

After some consideration I am currently thinking about creating a new website (with a new name) and use it for new games created from this point onward instead of making major changes to this website. The reason is because the time it would take to make all the changes I am considering making to the old website would take longer then the time it would require to create a new website. I would then leave all the old games on this website and add a final news post on this website directing people to the new website. All new updates and new games would then be listed on the new website while no longer updating this old website. That is the way I am currently leaning but I may do something different at the end of the month when the time comes to actually do it.

Next week my goal is to create at least 10 more levels (it would be nice if I could create all the remaining 19 levels but no promises) and if I manage to get the game music or other sound assets that would be great. I still expect to release this new game this month (February 2020).

February 2, 2020

This past week I completed the level selection page for the new game (currently named Take Em Out). It took a lot more work then expected because I had to create a lot of customized artwork for that page. I am not the best artist in the world so it took several attempts to get it right. I also finished most of the programming for the level selection page as well. Last week was definitely productive.

I also managed to get almost all the graphical assets for the game which only leaves game music and sound effects that I still have to get. Unfortunately I did not get any levels completed for the game. I am realizing it is taking me longer to acquire the assets for the game then it is to create the actual game play itself. Despite this I am hoping to release the game this month (February 2020).

Next week I think my primary goal will be to create as many levels for the game as possible. It looks like the game will have a total of 20 levels available so I might make a lot of progress on finishing the game if I get a lot of levels created. Beyond that if I can acquire some of the sound affects and game music that would be an added bonus.

January 26, 2020

This past week great progress was made on obtaining the assets (graphics, music and sound affects) for my next game (which is tentatively called Take Em Out but I may select a new name before release). I would estimate about fifty percent of all the needed assets were obtained. In addition to this I also added a few new game play elements and fixed a bug or two.

I have also decided to reorganize this website about the time the new game is released. Instead of creating a new website from the ground up I will probably move things around a bit. Specifically, I am considering moving all the old games I have previously created to a new section of the website by themselves under the title of “Old Games.”

Next week I plan to start creating levels for the game as well as working on a level selection page for the game. It would be great if I could finish obtaining all the needed assets as well.

January 18, 2020

A new year and a new start.

Last year (2019) I managed to complete several major non-game projects that I had been working on for some time. Completing them has freed up some spare time for me to start working on computer games again. I have currently decided to concentrate on HTML5 games due to the fact that in the past I discovered it took just as much time (if not more time) to submit each game in all the app stores as it did to create the game itself. By concentrating on HTML5 games I will only submit each game to game publishers to do sponsorships and those that sponsor it will then publish the game in the various game portals. This should be much quicker then submitting each game to all the individual app stores.

Great progress has already been made on the next game which is a physics shooter game. I choose this particular game because it is easy and quick to create and I thought of several new elements to add to the game that current games in that genre do not have. Most all the game structure (the actual game play) has already been completed and I just need to create the individual levels (21 total) and get the game assets (graphics and music).

Hopefully 2020 will be a great year for a comeback. I enjoy creating games very much and am very happy to be returning to it.