Well... I guess its "Done"

2012-07-10 16:33:07 by ThomasMorrison

Submitted a game for robot day & the stencyl jam, although its only very loosly about robots. Its called the The Movefastinator and its more or less about moving around quickly and solving puzzles etc. Somehow I can already see it not doing overly well, but OH WELL. Might update it a bit before the stencyl jam deadline, wanted more features in the game than I had time to implement including a gravity flipping mechanic, a nicer intro/outro animation etc.

Either way, games done, now I guess I should make another which will no doubt be condemned to a 3.x score like all of my submissions :( Been thinking about doing some sort of YouTube devlog thing for games, dunno if anyone would really care but maybe some people would play test for me or something.


Back, Rant, Forwards

2012-02-21 15:06:40 by ThomasMorrison

So, in this post I'm going to:
1) Do an ultra-quick post-mortem of all my games submitted to NG so far
2) Rant a bit
3) Talk about next game

(If you tldr this, there's a summary of all points at the bottom)

1) Post-Mortems
Otrail - This was actually one of the first games I ever fully completed. It is however flawed in almost every way. Why can't you change the direction of the ball? Why did I even bother with the random pickups? Why does this have a similar score to all my other games??? Well, overall I'm glad I made this, but I didn't have a clue about game design at this point, I just got ideas and started creating (which led to 1/10 games actually being finished and 0 being fun).

Make That Block - This game was more fun to make than it is to play. I still like the concept of flipping things around to make pictures but... The controls feel terrible, flipping blocks around doesn't feel good and there isn't enough screen space making you mess up continuously. I had this game up on FGL forever, most sponsors only played it on average under 2 minutes (& I don't blame them lol). This game was made programmatically fairly well, but again, this is just an idea I had and then went with. If I had prototyped etc I would have realized it isn't fun and not wasted 2-3 weeks on it. So, learned Prototyping = Important.

The Last Angel - This game is pretty close to my heart because of the amount of time put into it. I drew so much and did so much work/ tweaks on this game its unimaginable. It took over a year to finally get out there but I'm glad it is. This game did NOT get sponsored (for reasons I'll rant about later). The game could have done with a few more features and definatly levels that actually felt like you were progressing as opposed to fighting a string of random enemies. A great deal of people never even made it past the first level and were like "Why this game stupid big birds, I no get, so boring", Comments like this make me sad but whatever, I learned a ton from the feedback from this game. So, I learned that prototyping WHILE you make the game is a good idea, not just at the end is important (Side note, charging the sword & missile were added 1 week before release & add to the game a lot I think)

So thats all of em, I think basically I've discovered that getting people to play the games during development is important, not just putting my head down and making it.

2) Rant TIEM
On FGL, NG & face to face I got a surprisingly similar response from people: "I liek upgradez, this game needss upgradez". Jesus Christ, I don't WANT upgrades in ever friggin game I play/make. I have (and the whole internet probably has at this point) noticed a huge trend in flash games: 1) Have a mind numbingly skill-less concept 2) Add upgrades that do nothing but increase hidden variable counts 3) Profit + a High ass score. I don't know about you, but doing the EXACT same thing 100+ times slowly upgrading myself to finish a game doesn't equal fun (I'm weird I know). I don't hate upgrades outright, in fact I think they add a lot to many games, BUT I hate shameless crap games that just add simple upgrades and then easily get sponsored etc. I COULD have let the player upgrade every godamn thing in The Last Angel, but why would I? It would just turn the game into "Grind on the first level until you have sword/sheep level 10 then beat the game". Who cares about the game THEN??? There's no difficulty, no reward for skill, just upgrades and rewards for playing the same thing over and over.

Sigh, If anyone reads this don't think I hate you because you made a game with upgrades... Just, I don't think that feeling you get when you "Just gotta get 100000 more gold pieces!!" is actually fun, Its more a weird physiological response to flashy lights and crap (and maybe should be avoided?) Some games are actually very hurt in terms of fun because of their upgrade system. They force the player to start out a weakling piece of crap & not until they grind away for 45 minutes are the nimble/strong/powerful enough for the game to feel balanced and fun. I think a lot of "upgrade games" (Yes it's a genre) could be a lot better just as a quick game (but that wouldn't force the player to sit on a site for 3 hours would it).

Well, with my small amount of success with The Last Angel (front page omg!) I should probably make another game now. Funny thing is... this one's gonna have upgrades :D

Now I know your thinking that I'm a hypocrite, BUT I'm taking a different approach to the game, promise. You're NOT going to start out underpowered, you WILL be able to beat the game sans upgrades (which will be an achievement or some shit), the upgrades WILL change gameplay (not just make you hurt enemies 5 dmg instead of 3 dmg). Why am I adding upgrades at all you ask? Well:
a) Some people are bad at games and I like making hard games so it will be a bridge for them to choose to cross.
b) Experimentation, I want to see if I can make a game with upgrades that doesn't feel like a grindy piece of crap.
c) Expectations, I hate this point BUT, because you can beat the game without upgrades il be giving all the dumb "WGERE ARE UPGRADES?? THIS GAME SUX" people there upgrades WITHOUT completely destroying the underlying concept (and still allow hard-core players to feel challenged)

Oh yea, did I mention the game is going to have roguish elements, yes I know its now the indie cliche thing to do but it CAN work and be DIFFERENT!, promise... I hope.

So rogue-like + upgrade game, how am I going to balance this out so It doesn't feel like a horrible colliding of genres... I don't know but Im going to be play testing like a madman so hopefully it will turn out.

1) My games all suck for one reason or another, making newer better ones now, promise :D
2) Upgrade games piss me off and they should piss you off too
3) Im making an upgrade game in a way that wont piss me off (but it still might piss you off, so you have that to look forward too)

Two Games, One Day

2012-02-15 20:30:02 by ThomasMorrison

Hello thar,

Well I finally finished The Last Angel and it's been uploaded & is going through the submission process now. I'm hoping for a daily award but that seems un-likely at this point :(. Either way I'm glad to have the game completed as it was the only real game I worked on for a WHOLE YEAR! That's right, the 3 level game with relatively simple gameplay took me a little over a year to complete. The extra-long development process is a largely boring story but I might jump into it quickly...

Development for The Last Angel started around August of 2010. I had just "finished" my summer job and wanted to do something I liked for a change (as opposed to being a little bitch at a badly run restaurant). So I basically just opened up Flash Develop and started going with an idea in my head. After about a month the game was at least 60% - 70% done. Then school started (Getting a CS degree btw) At which point I had 0 time on my hands so nothing got done. Then over the next year, and with a final push this holiday season I finished the game :D. Now on to trying to find a sponsor...

Well I was completely unable to find a sponsor for over a month of being on FGL & emailing sites (including PMing Tom [He didn't play the game on FGL though I don't think D: ). After that long on FGL & no one responding to emails I realized that I was wasting time looking for a sponsor at this point. So I decided a few days ago to upload the game here, sans sponsor (and sans annoying pre-game ads).

A list,
1- I have a bunch of games that I made but never submitted too newgrounds (they all suck, don't worry) but I think I might just submit them because... why not?
2- Im going to stop sucking at this whole "finishing games" thing and try to complete at least one more game this year (two in one year, wtf)

Anyways, getting tired of typing, hope I get a daily award or something, then maybe someone will know Im typing this :D

Also, submitted a crap-tacular block pattern game thing today too, made that a while back, its... well, it doesn't crash, so it has that going for it.

UPDATE: Wow! The Last Angel got front page! Even though it didn't get a daily award & its score is hovering around 3.5 it still got front page :) Very excited that people will actually play my game now :D