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Follow the development of our upcoming projects including Linx0r, a 2D puzzle game.

## Time for a Facelift

Linx0r is getting a new face, vote now for what you think it should be:

Option One:

Option Two:

Option Three:

Option Four:

## Hit the ground running :)

Hello everyone!

So some of you might remember me as ShoeString Games but to the majority of you im new so let me introduce myself. My name is Mark St. Jean and I am currently working on my first commercial indie game.

Why the name change?
ShoeString Games stood for "Games made on a budget". Although this is true ( :) ) it doesnt feel personal enough. I pondered the idea for awhile and came up with Besome Games, Besome standing for "be someone" which is something I hope to acomplish some day.

Whats going on?
Well currently im working on my first project which I intend to sell once it is completed. So far its dead in the middle of development so expect screens/info to follow.

What to expect?
This post is to introduce myself back into the community. I will continue to use this space to give a detailed look at the development of my projects. I hope you enjoy reading about them as much as I enjoy telling you about them.

So for now, you can check out the website at BesomeGames.com. Feel free to give me some constructive criticism about the site, or anything for that matter. The point of this journal is for YOUR input so please feel free to open your mind and let it spill.

Thanks GameDev, it feels good to be back!

## And I present to you:

So, I figure it would be really nice for everyone to see the evolution of the project. What better way then to show you where I am right now! Unfortunatly you are going to have to have Microsoft Visual C++ Express Edition installed on your PC, along with DirectX9 or greater. So lets get to the goodies, heres your like:

Rides the short bus
So this game isnt all there yet. Here is a few things you should keep in mind for this version:

- During gameplay once blocks clear the blocks ontop of those do not fall down. I kind of like it this way, yet it cant stay like this for the Arcade mode, im going to have to figure out a way I can incorporate this into my Advanced mode, possibly through some sort of powerup.

- On the main menu, the Credits and Options are not complete. I havent created the new artwork for them yet, and I defiantly havent filled them in completly. They will be rolled over to the newer style of the Arcade mode and Quit menus/buttons.

- When you chose a new game, where your active peices were on the board are where its going to start when you enter a new game, a small issue with not resetting the starting location, cant fix from work :(

- Im not 100% confident in my time based animation system so make sure to let me know if it seems like its a little fast or slow. Also, if you changed to windowed mode in the options there is an issue with mouse coordinates, they are a little off. A bug I plan on fixing soon.

Tell me I suck, or not hopefully
So yet again, im going to harass you for input. Let me know what you think, what bugs you find, or anything for that matter relative to the project. I really enjoy players comments so feel free to express your thoughts, no matter how rude they might be :)

In closing
So, in closing I just want you all to know that from this point on expect many more playable demos to come. There is still alot planned for this game and what I have down in my docs will be a dream to play :) I really enjoy this project so far and think it shows alot more quality then anything i've made to date. Im growing here ppl, I hope you can enjoy watching me sprout :)

## An open book

New logo: Not pride banner

The old one didnt follow the theme of the game, had to change this. I really prefur this!

Besome: To be someone
So I started Besome Games for many reasons. For the majority of my life it seems I've had poor luck . In the last year ive lost my apartment, racked up some hefty bills, and lost the best paying job of my life . It's all been kind of a downward spiral so to speak. As unfortunate as it is im not one to complain. I dont really want to sit around and watch my life fall apart so im going to use my best talents to try and get myself back on my feet again.

Besome stands for be someone. What I have right now is practically nothing. I haven't played HL2, Crysis, or Oblivion on my PC. What im running is (and this is no joke) an old office PC from around 1998. I have a whopping 14 inch CRT monitor that looks like it jumped out of my childhood memories. Fortunately for me I have what would be considered the minimum requirements for the project im working on, a PC that runs Windows XP and DirectX 9. Its the best I could afford, it gets the job done .

I work in a factory, in a shipping room sending packages of yarn all day. I cant really get paid to do what im good at seeing as im young, unexperienced, and uneducated. I cant exactly afford to go to college :/ Gotta make best with what I got

So if I was to stand a chance at getting back on my feet again, and being a stable person I'm going to have to take things into my own hands. Im going to try for the "American Dream". I'm going to attempt to start my own business. I'm very knowledgeable of video games, and the industry itself. I have read reviews and developer blogs for games I will never play, I have spent the last 15 or so years of my life being an active gamer and developer and trying to learn everything I can about the wonderful world of video games.I believe I know what it takes to create a quality game. I think with my knowledge of the vast amount of games out there that I can craft something that lives up to the standards of great video games.

Linx0r is what im putting all of my "chips" into. Its do or die time for me. I am going to put as much effort as I have into this game and im going to take my stab at the industry. Hopefully I draw a little blood and go somewhere, no matter how little the distance.

## Wow

Thanks alot for all of the input! I definatly love when people have a voice about what I do. Thanks for all the comments everyone!

Yet again, Saturday is just a day away and I have alot ahead of me this weekend. I dont have much to say now, but oOooOooO looky:

## Off with a BANG!

What ive come to learn
Well apparently when I chose GoDaddy for my hosting service I was making a mistake. When I saw in there hosting plans that I could host unlimited website I was sold. Apparently that means you can host one and another one you have to allow advertisements in, and allow it to load at rediculously low speeds. I need to change my hosting, got any reccomendations? All I need is hosting where I can host two domains from the same account, and if possible support interesting things like PHP and whatnot. Im not to sure where to go to, so let me know what you reccomend.

So WTF are you doing anyway?!?

Linx0r started off essentialy as my humble return to game development. I previously got employed with a game development company and slowly began to learn that if its not my games I dont enjoy it. It had KILLED my favorite hobby for me, taking out all the fun. Not only that but if you worked full time as a game developer, you dont really want to go home and code anymore do you? I had taken a few months off making games so I could try and gain enjoyment for it again.

Once I got that itch, I had to scratch it. My girlfriend had been playing away on her cellphone enjoying her nice little puzzle game. I figured, if I am going to make a game, why not atleast make one I know SOMEONE with play [rolleyes].

Development on the game began. It was intended to be a classic remake of this timeless puzzle game, and it still is... sorta. While developing it I began to notice,I didn't really enjoy this game alot. Its fun, dont get me wrong, its just not really for me. I began fantasizing about what I could do to make this better, how with so many changes it would begin to mold into something that I would want to play. If I did this though it would ruin the whole reason the project started, to provide that original version that people have come to love. Hence, the term "mode" came into the games vocabulary.

Arcade mode is the classic approach at this particular style of puzzle game. The formula works, why should I change that? If your firmilar with this style game, you know you wont be disappointed.

Two blocks fall together, rotate them and move them around the board so that four or more of the same color blocks are touching. Clear enough blocks, advance in level. See who can get the farthest, or who has the highest score. You have played this, its a classic.

Advanced mode is, um, er..... well im not going to tell you what Advanced mode IS, but I can tell you what it will be (lost ya yet?). Advanced mode will be MY version of this game. Theres so many elements I just find to be plain old and boring, Dont get me wrong, time has shown how popular it can be, but with my experience in gaming, I need something else. This will be my representation of this classic game. What I hope to accomplish with this is update this game so it can stand tall amongst all of the newer games out there, and try and provide a new challenge into this old time tested formula of gameplay.

Where things stand

I have set two milestones for this game. I am currently on Milestone one. It consists of:

- Finish linx0r homepage

The website obviously needs to change hosts, I cant believe how misleading the hosting plans are with GoDaddy.... I need to capture some videos/screenshots and start filling in the content. There has to be a nice presentation where people can go to get ahold of the demo. This is important because in order to get people to want to spend there money on this, they have to believe what they are buying is a professionally handeled product. That they arent wasting their money, and what they are buying is a quality product. The website will be where most of the people will first see the project, so I have to make sure that this is very nice before I consider it finished.

The menu system is in place. There is some nice graphical effects like some really cool menu transitions and button movements. My design requires that I place a few more menus in between the title screen and its appropriate action. Some of these include adding in a menu that asks the user if they are sure they want to quit when they click on the "Quit" button from the main menu. There is also a color scheme I have made for the game. Each button has a color and the menu that shows upon clicking it will follow the same color scheme. It works pretty well consider it follows the colors of the puzzle peices ingame.

To complete arcade mode there is a few details that need to be implimented. Right now if you were to fire up the game you can actially play it. The peices fall, the user can move/rotate them. When they place the board clears (ty raydawg for the algorithm, was a brain teaser for meh). The game is essentially there. What needs to be implimented now is the level and the score. The most dificult part of this is creating a font library to use with DirectX9. Raymond Jacobs of EDIGames has been nice enough to provide me with a copy of the library used in his upcoming project Malathedra, what I need to do is modify it to fit with my project, essentially changing how everything draws to the screen.

State o' things

If there was ever a lesson I learned from all my past experiences with trying to run a project it would simply be this: "Don't tell people what you are going to make, tell them what you have just done". I dont want to provide you with false expectations and I dont want to give you release dates I cant keep. I will mostly be hush hush on things to come, and I will focus more on what I am currently doing, and how things are evolving into the finished product.

Im also really into feedback so if at anytime you would like to make a suggestion for the game/product/myself PLEASE feel very free to let me know. The reason I pay for this blog is so that I can reach people, and they can help myself and my projects go.

if(myself != artist)

I really need to freshen up this game. Seeing as this is my first attempt at breaking into the industry I will be funding it out of my pocket. I would like to keep things as cheap as possible. I plan on selling the game for a low ammount and im not making the next Halo so I have to keep the buget low if I intend on turning a profit. So far for the domains/hosting/journal I have spent roughtly $50.00. The current target price I float around in my head is$9.99 so I would already have to sell 5 copies. That might not seem like alot to you but I have to take into account the worst case senario that I dont actuially sell any copies. I have allocated myself a $100.00 budget to completly overhaul the art for this game. I am hoping to find someone whos new to the biz, who has the talent, but needs the experience. Im not looking to drop$1000.00 on art (which some people over at Pixelopolis expect to make) so if you have artist skills feel free to head over to my post on the Help Wanted forums and let me know.

return 0;

In closing, I hope you know who I am, what im doing, and where im going. Questions/Comments? Let me know! Until next time, thanks for your interest in what I have to do. I have already gotten over 100 hits on the website and 150 on the journal within the first 24 hours. I know that www.BesomeGames.com isnt alot, and its not intended to be, so thanks for reading what I have to say, and I hope you stick around until I can provide some more information on the projects homepage. I hope you enjoy watching my company, and my games grow. I put alot of effort into showing you all, I hope its not in vain :).

## Untitled

One After Another

It was a pretty productive weekend for myself:

- User input on the beginning splash screens speeds up there fade time tremendously.
- Blocks now drop after ones below them clear.
- Implimentation of new artwork
- Bug Fixes

Every Comment Matters

I took into account what comments I had recieved. Some being bizare ("Make it so that you can play on the Wii") and others being constructive ("Speed up the begining splash screens"). I went over the whole idea of how to do my splash screens based on what was said and I came up with two solutions.

1. Have the beginning splash screens only run the first time the game is played, after that they can be viewed in the Credits menu.

2. If the user makes any input during these screens it would quickly fade them out.

I decided that using option two was the way to go. Simply because I want Besome Games to be something that people remember, so if I had given them the option of watching it once it might slip out of there mind. By seeing it every time it gives me a better chance of having people remember, but with the option to speed through it those that begin to grow tired of seeing it [lol].

Besome's First Rule of Gravity

This was by far my favorite part of the weekend, the implimentation of the games gravity for the blocks. Let me run you through what happens in this process. After the active block you have is set into place the game checks through the board to see if any blocks are connected in numbers greater then four. Once any matching blocks have been cleared off the screen (with a very nice visual effect) all of the blocks above those are dropped down until they are resting ontop of blocks again. Once they have dropped down, we check to see if there if any blocks connect. If they do, repeat process. If not then you gain control of a new peice and the game continues. It looks very nice in motion, Unfortunatly I cant take any videos of this, as the FPS drops to about 12 while trying to record a video. Maby after the game sells a few copys, I can upgrade the old PC!

So Many Squares

The artwork so far is coming out great! I recieved a batch of multiple block sets from dbaumgart
, check them out!

There will be use for multiple block sets in the game, however how they will be used your going to have to wait and see [cool].

Man I hate bugs

I spent alot of time fixing a few very nasty bugs. The worst being a way in which I control the state of my menus. Previously you could click the buttons and such before they finished moving to there final places. This led to alot of issues mostly causing the menus to freeze. I had to change this and how things work great! Another little nasty bug that has made it this far was the fact I never checked colision correctly when the block was rotate to be below the main block. You could use this to erase blocks right off the board, defiantly not a good one!

On The Horizon

Theres alot coming and I can't wait for it to get here. The art is being finalized right now so that for this first milestone everything will be set up with the final versions of its artwork. Also im in the middle of making a new website for Besome Games Official Homepage. The one I have now is drab and very uninformative. Keep an eye out, theres many new things to come.

In Closing

Fill me in. Let me know what you think of the new blocks. Once the artwork is finished and implimented I will release another playable version, this time compiled in release mode [grin]. The best part of my day is seeing what people have had to say to me, so let me know what ya think!

## Worth a million words

One new book: $39.99 Website This book I reccomend to anyone interested in the game business, wether they be greatly experienced or a newb. There is some great topics that are covered and a wide variety at that. If you have$40.00 to spare on a book, this should be the one

New Art: \$100.00+
So I decided to take some of the money I make slaving away to the man and use it to better this project. I got into talks with dbaumgart of fellow GDNet++ fame and he has decided to do some artwork for the project. Fortunatly for me he is extremely talented and it will be money well spent. So far we have a few concepts worked up for new buttons and blocks

So far we are more or less leaning towards the rounder buttons, let me know what you think!!!!

so far the blocks fourth row down seem to be the most popular. Like ive already stated, which do you like more?!?!

Doing what you love: Priceless!!!
Can't wait for tomorrow, as Saturday is my primary development day. There will be a nice post to look forward to, so for now let me know what you think of the art, and I will be getting back to you shortly! Thanks for all of your time, its greatly appreciated!

## Going down.....

must......format.....now......

Fortunately I have everything backed up and scanned for infection. Apparently my computer has gotten so infected that its registry cannot be saved. I don't understand why either, since the day I had fresh Windows installed I have had the free version of AVG, it scans the whole computer on startup and within the last two weeks its just gotten the same virus alerts over and over again. I assumed that it would catch them as I started to download any infected file. I guess not. Do you have any recommendations for programs to install after I format?to install after I format?

Update: Just finished formatting, first thing I installed was AVG, second was Firefox :)

Its good to know that I can get back to work, lol.

## A little alpha goes a long way

Having the unfinished menus makes me pissed! I want to get them finished seeing as I have to work inside them every time I try out the game. I just recently finished rolling over all the buttons to the newer style. The background is still empty, but that will change soon :)

The actual menus them self have had an overhaul. I really like how the came out. Inside this menu the button that is brighter is highlighted with the mouse, for some reason the cursor doesnt show up in the screens

Something that I think is really important is smooth transitions in the game so im working on changing the way you enter the game. In the last release it just popped into the game where as now im having the main menu fade out, and the game fade in, followed by a count down. 3....2...1... GO! and then the game begins. It makes it seem alot more pollished, im eager to get some comments on it. It doesnt show it to the best of its ability but here is the game dead in the middle of the swap out, you can see the main menu leaving and the game entering, it looks great in motion.

Were going inside....
Theres alot more to this project then you know about. For my next post its going to get a little person. Theres alot about me I think everyone should know if they are going to continue to follow this project. This weekends going to be all coding for me so look out for update, till next time!