May 21 2010

Tutorials revisited

A while back, I held a little monologue about educating the player to play your game. As you won’t remember, since you didn’t read it, I ended it by proudly pointing out that we would have a very useful in-game-manual with videos and stuff explaining game concepts instead of having players go through tutorials.

Well, as it turns out, some people actually really, really want their tutorials! I guess this is why beta testing on a variety of people is useful. While us pr0gamers are too proud of our m4dsk1llz to go through a silly tutorial, casual players seem very fond of the concept. Since Dwarfs is a game that pretty much needs to appeal to the casual crowd as well, we had a change of heart!

At the moment, we’re working on implementing the campaign. Here is a screenshot of a prototype, pretty much only polish away from being fully functional. What is seen is from the first “mission”, which briefly explains the controls and how quests work.

En kaktus

A prototype of the campaign... subject to changes!

Needless to say, the Campaign Mode will be very different from the Arcade Mode! The missions will be divided into smaller quests, and it will play… sort of like traditional RTS-campaigns. Apart from being entertaining, we also hope that playing the campaign will inspire players to compete against friends, family and complete strangers for the highest score in Arcade Mode!

Oops, blog time is up. Back to crunch!

May 12 2010

Entering Crunch Mode

It’s late springtime here in Sweden, and in student game development, this means CRUNCH TIME! For Power of Two, there are two indie game competitions coming up.

First off is Gotland Game Awards 2010 (http://gotlandgameawards, taking place at Visby Strand June 7-8. Here, we compete against other games developed at our school. There seems to be a lot of potential in many of this year’s games, so we’re really looking forward to it!

Shortly afterwards, June 12 to be specific, we’re going to the grand, magnificent capital of Sweden for the Swedish Game Awards 2010 (http://gameawards! We’re the only team from our school, so we hope to represent. :)

So, anyways, these upcoming events equals shifting into a higher gear. We want the game to look and feel as solid as possible when we show it off! The things we want done until then is:

  • Working high scores
  • Thorough options screen
  • No major bugs
  • Polish
  • Some more polish
  • Wax on, wax off

The first three points are basically complete, so… time for some good ol’ polishing!

May 4 2010

Iterations: Dwarfs Now and Then

A word of advice to anyone developing a game: save your iterations!

Just like it’s good to keep a visual diary for comparing weight loss when dieting, or keeping recordings from when you started playing an instrument, having earlier builds of your game saved down is a great source of morale. Given that there is progress to show, of course.

For Dwarfs, we started to archive our “stables” (every 0.x gets extra bug-test attention) at v0.3. When I’m stuck with some really soul crushing programming, and it feels like the game is going nowhere, I like to start one of the old ones up and remember that’s what I thought back then too.

V0.3 – January 2010

v0.3 - Menu

The "menu" in v0.3

v0.3 - In game

Screenshots cannot even begin to describe how insanely hard the game was back then

V0.4 – February 2010

v0.4 - Menu

A slightly improved splash screen, from before we decided on the name "Power of Two"

v0.4 - In game

It might not look that different, but the improvement to gameplay is immense.

V0.5 – April 2010

v0.5 - Menu

Finally, an actual menu! The version number at the bottom is a liar :(

v0.5 - In game

Without doubt the sexiest iteration yet, with huge graphical and technical updates

Current – May 2010

v0.55 - Menu

A new WIP main menu! We're taking our chances with one of those extravagant thingys.

v0.55 - In game

Not much of a difference to be seen... but you'll have to take my word for it: there's sounds and music now. :)

The difference between these versions are much more profound than is shown by the screens! I won’t bother you with patch notes, but I’ll repeat what I wrote at the top of this article:

Save your iterations!

May 1 2010

Super Street Fighter 4

Super Street Fighter 4 + TE Stick

10:15 - DHL-guy arrives with stick.
12:45 - mail guy arrives with game.
I win.

That is all.