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Brain

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Brain last won the day on April 2

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About Brain

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  1. The Seven Spells of Destruction is a third person single player open world RPG, set in the continent of Utopia in a fantasy setting with some sci-fi elements. This game is the continuation of a project which has been in development in various forms since I was 13, originally being created (and finished as a project) twice, once as a choose-your-own-adventure style novel, and a few years later as a web based version of the same. This third iteration will be the final version of this game, coming to steam via early access with an extremely long development cycle. It has been on hold for many years whilst I gained experience in Unreal Engine 4 and completed other projects, once these other projects are completed, development on this project will restart in earnest, as I now have a sizeable collection of usable assets and enough experience to give this game the TLC it deserves.
  2. Hi all, It's been a very long time since i last worked on this project. Now that Mr Boom's Firework Factory has been released, i decided to turn my attention to other projects, namely this one that has sat languishing on my hard drive for many years now since 2015. On deciding to restart this project, I had to take stock of the situation, not only technically about how outdated the code was and how badly written it was, but also on how to build from what i'd learned with Mr Boom's Firework Factory. It's safe to say now that this previous game was a critical success, but pretty much a commercial failure - this isn't to say that this will cause any issues for me, as I was extremely careful not to "bet the house" and only spent small amounts on the development and promotion that i could afford to spare or even lose. On the flip side this meant that the community around the game was very small, not large enough to sustain it upon release. As such I decided that a change of approach was needed, if i was to recoup anything at all from such a huge and complicated project as The Seven Spells of Destruction, which is an open world role playing game inspired by the Fighting Fantasy novels of the 80's and 90's. The Release Approach and Timeline I decided that in the case of this game my approach would be to somewhat open up the alpha testing. For the next two years at least, I would have open and free alpha testing, with the game freely available via itch.io, and trusted close fans who had stuck with me throughout Mr Boom and retained an interest in this project would be given steam keys. On the subject of steam, i would set up a steam page as early as humanly possible, pay for the steam direct fee, and build a page within weeks of announcing that the game was restarting. This steam would bootstrap a much larger fan base into spending multiple years gathering wishlist entries. After two years, in August 2021, if development goes to plan, there should be enough features in the game at this point to flip the switch and move to a full-on steam early access model at a fixed price of approximately $12. This price has been selected as the price point other competitors in the open world genre are charging - this includes indies, with equal sized open world games, and also AAA studios selling their older back-catalog, e.g. Bethesda's Skyrim. Within five years of this release date on early access, I plan to complete the game to a condition that it can be called 'done', and make it an actual non-early-access release. It would be nice to pick up 3D artists along the way to help with content generation, but as with Mr Boom this isn't essential to my plan or schedule. As you can see, i'm currently using a lot of off the shelf art, and can do a lot with it, but i'm sure there are improvements that can be made! The results so far... I announced this plan a week ago today, and in the past 7 days, i have gained 30 alpha testers (it's easy to gain testers when the game is free!) who offer feedback regularly on my discord server. I have also produced a trailer (see below) which has been used to bootstrap the itch.io page, be included into the embryonic steam page, and used on woovit. The response has so far been far more successful than the initial similar one for Mr Boom. I've also run an ad campaign on facebook to build a following there, in the past week I have gained 500 followers on that network, who are responding well to the Seven Spells Of Destruction videos. Speaking of videos... The trailer With the limited content at my disposal, i have created a simple trailer to promote the alpha, and have distributed this on various discords and websites: As always, feedback on this entire plan, and on this rudimentary trailer is more than welcome, in fact mandatory! You will leave feedback... just kidding 😀 The plan going forward The plan now is to fix bugs. A lot of bugs had to be fixed just to get this far, let's not even get started on how much of a pain in the ass it is to upgrade a large project from Unreal Engine 4.10 to Unreal Engine 4.22.3, with a whole load of editor modules and a lot of C++, which also included an update from Visual Studio 2015 to 2017, and threw a lot of modern C++ warnings and errors. I've had to rejig the way the whole game displays, due to tone mapping, i've had weird bugs with the camera rotating as the player walks, I've had strange bugs where the player's sword and shield grow to the size of a car. Bumper sword's got nothing on that. I should have captured a video as it was possible just to walk through enemies and slaughter them due to the size of the sword's hit box and the speed of movement of the edge. Please do let me know what you think of this plan, and if anyone wants to offer any kind of help, well you know where to find me. For those of you who want to actually try out the alpha, you can download it on itch.io. Thanks for reading, everyone!
  3. Hi all, I'm putting a post here in this article's comments to just warn anyone from using StartSSL/StartCom for their certificates. Their root certificate was removed from most OSes (including windows and linux) and all browsers some years ago, as they are not to be trusted. A quick google will reveal the reasons why, this was not the case in 2015 when i wrote this article. For free webserver SSL there is LetsEncrypt, but they do not as of this date support authenticode.
  4. Brain

    Path Calculation

    You could look into a proven pathfinding algorithm such as A*. Make sure to cache the resulting path information though as A* can be rather expensive. See: https://dev.to/jansonsa/a-star-a-path-finding-c-4a4h Hope this helps!
  5. Brain

    Did I really remake Minecraft?

    It's possible to make something that doesn't look like minecraft and is still voxel landscape. A great example is no mans sky which is voxel generated at planet level. I wish you all luck with your game. In the end it isn't my opinions or anyone elses that matter as much as your own opinions if you want to make a game to please yourself
  6. Brain

    Did I really remake Minecraft?

    I still think it looks exactly like minecraft due to the cube shaped blocks, pixel art, and construction of scenes plus the landscape generation seems just about the same. If you wanted a completely different aesthetic you could consider spheres, or something else that tesselates, nobody has done triangle base pyramids yet...
  7. Thanks @IndieRanger and @TheFever716 for the excellent review I really enjoyed reading the review and am glad you enjoyed playing the game!
  8. Brain

    unknown-25.png

    Delivery truck for Mr Booms Fireworks, delivering just in time for independence day!
  9. Brain

    unknown-34.png

  10. Brain

    Mr Boom's Firework Factory

    Move Mr Boom’s firework crates from the machines to the exit without destroying them. Beware though, as nothing is quite what it seems in the Firework Factory! This is an extemely fast moving, unforgiving puzzle game which requires lightning fast reactions and quick thinking to avoid disaster. We are not responsible for any flipped desks, broken screens, destroyed gamepads, or frustration you may experience trying to finish this game! Work your way through the factory’s many tasks whilst avoiding explosions, to reveal the truth behind the firework factory and your enigmatic boss, Mr Boom… This game was released on July 10th 2019 on Steam, Itch.io, GameJolt, Green Man Store and Discord, so watch this space and let the explosions begin!
  11. Hi Everyone! In preperation for the release of Mr Boom's Firework Factory, i have created a release trailer which has been uploaded to various storefronts and to YouTube: The release trailer is an incremental improvement on the previous three trailers, one created in 2016, another created in January 2019 and the other in April 2019. This trailer was created in Lightworks Pro, using a whole load of video footage of existing gameplay, some stock footage, and static images made in GIMP with green-screen effects to overlay them onto moving images. If anyone's interested in the technical production of this trailer (as i've seen nothing technical relating to creation of trailers on this site) please let me know in the comments below, however please note that I'm generally quite new to video editing myself, certainly no expert, and this may be "a case of the blind leading the blind". This new trailer adds the following: I've used some of the voice acting I'm using in game, most notably at the end when the name of the game pops up, Mr Boom tells you to hurry up. I thought this would be a good addition as the main character of the game addresses the viewer directly, accusing them of sitting on their ass, basically goading them to go to the steam page. I've added some extra level sequences, mainly level 22, the server room. I'm keeping pretty tight-lipped on new levels now, so that if you want to find out all about later levels, you'll just have to play the game and experience them! At the very end of the trailer, the sequence goes to a VHS style 'noise', and then to some footage of the streamer NorkDorf playing the game. He got extremely wound up by the difficulty at first, and shouting angrily at the game, scared his pet cat out of the room. Every person i've shown this footage to laughed, so i decided to insert it at the end of the trailer, with his permission of course. Within the trailer, i've added YouTube cards which encourage clickthroughs to the store page, basically calls to action. As always feedback is welcome in the comments below
  12. Brain

    Celebrating 20 Years of GameDev.net

    The early 2000's called, and sent you birthday memes.... Nobody has mentioned hockey MMO's yet though? 😂
  13. Hi Everyone, Now that I've returned from Casual Connect London 2019, I can finally progress with pushing Mr Boom's Firework Factory to release. Casual Connect was extremely productive, and an extremely useful resource for getting the game polished and put in front of many eyes. There is a gallery for the photos of Casual Connect below: The main things that happened were: Over 70 people played the game, with overwhelmingly positive feedback. The game is as hard as we'd intended, but I need to review the tutorial and usability to ensure people are getting stuck in a good way with the game's difficulty curve, and not with the controls and learning what they actually need to do I managed to grow my professional network, meeting many other indie developers One of the people I met has encouraged me to get proper voice acting done for Mr Boom, so the main 'antagonist' of the game will have a voice! What worked? Actively encouraging people to come and play the game worked very well. Where most people patiently sat and waited for people to come and play their game, I was not content with this, and would stride with purpose into the walkway and try to convince people that they needed to play my game. A casual introduction of "hi, how are you?" would start a conversation which usually ended with 15 minutes of play. Having a rolling video of the game helped massively, if one person was playing, or we were busy networking, a second person could simply watch the video. Similarly, if someone did not want to play the game, but wanted to know how it worked they could simply watch the rolling gameplay video. Recording various players on my phone as they played help two ways; firstly, it allowed us to analyse their body language and expressions afterwards to determine where they were pleased, happy, frustrated, or confused. Secondly, these may be useful later in footage to promote the game, at key moments where people cheer to themselves or curse the game as they lose or win a level. Having Trello on our mobile phones allowed us to quickly make a list of observations in the background as people played. The appeal of the game was very strong, many people played until they had other places to be (e.g. they had a set of games they wanted to try out, or had to go to a talk or meeting) with the average game session lasting 15-20 minutes. I purposefully chose to take equipment to casual connect which could not edit the code and perform fixes. This forced me to ensure that the game was stable enough on the equipment to not need hotfixes at the event. We didn't want to be the ones sat trying to edit our code at the event for all to see. Reaching out to previous winners gave a whole wealth of useful advice, which we used. Thanks very much to Robert Kujawa at Neurodio for his in-depth email responses which helped tailor my approach to the conference. They produced a guide, which is now available to everyone, based on the emails they sent me. What didn't work? The tutorial was not strong enough to stand alone at the conference, Craig and I ended up becoming an interactive tutorial, with each player, explaining the controls and goals repeatedly. This soon became tiresome, but at the same time afforded the opportunity for the player to ask questions as they played. The hardware we had planned to use was not up to the task - the netbook I had ready to stream 1080P video was not up to the challenge on the day, luckily we had backup hardware. Recording people on our phones did not yield the excitement we had hoped to capture. While people got very excited to complete a level that had challenged them for ten minutes or more, they would react naturally and excitedly when we weren't recording, but if they were aware of the mobile phone recording their reactions would change, perhaps due to being uncomfortable with being recorded. What did I learn? This may be directly related to the types of professionals at the event, but we were repeatedly asked when this would be available on mobile. Due to this, I intend to look into a mobile port soon after the steam release, either porting it myself or finding a third party able to port it, such as a publisher. Once you put a game in front of real people, outside your testing team, they will uncover bugs you never dreamed possible. Amongst the positive feedback were at least two crashes to desktop, two different forms of lockups, and some weird non-game-breaking visual bugs. For the non-game-breaking bugs, usually the player did not notice as they were too deep into the gameplay and concentrating on finishing the level. The game needs more visual cues. For example ghosted crates on the exit, and above the machines, to give hints to what is going to happen next and what is expected of you: I am now starting on the list of feedback obtained from Casual Connect, so there should be another blog entry of these fixes soon. Stay tuned! If anyone has any comments or feedback as always please do leave comments below!
  14. Brain

    Casual Connect London 2019/Indie Prize

    Photos from showcasing Mr Boom's Firework Factory at Casual Connect 2019 as part of indie prize.
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