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About AntHillPlan

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  1. Released Android Version Today! Yeah. It is free, go get it here on the android store. Mainly I feel relieved as this week 22 of an 8-week project, but still pretty happy with how things went. The iPhone release is coming but Apple is much slower at reviewing and approving each step than Google (business days vs hours or seconds) The promo videos and screenshots were the last things to be done. On a Mac, iMovie will not create movies of the resolution that Apple wants and apple wants, up to three videos in three resolutions each. Same with up to 8 screenshots. Google also wants screenshots and a YouTube video but these are pretty standard and easy to make. I used DaVinci Resolve 15 (free, available on OSX and Windows) to edit the videos and take stills from the videos for the screenshots. It also can change the playback speeds of parts of clips, this was useful for showing lots of features in my party management screen but only taking a few seconds of Apple's allowed 30-second clip. Apple wants screenshots over 2048 resolution and DaVinci Resolve 15 does not handle formats that large so I made 3/4 resolution movie, choose my still and scaled them up in PhotoShop. The videos I made with Unity Record package from the package manager. It is a preview package and you should not make builds with it installed. I could not make Android or IOS builds with it installed and had some strange bugs that only occurred after playing a lot with recording on. Although they could be real bugs, I would advise not making any builds with it installed. If you turn both stills and video record on at the same time the gameplay is very slow, but its time delta and movie frame rate will be fine. For this was a handy feature since I am not that good at my game and I wanted to show high levels when the game has lots of enemies on the screen. the slowed time let me get all features in one take before dying.
  2. Sorry, not a tutorial on game design but tutorials in a game. This Week was spent making the tutorial for FlipTiles:Runner The first Tutorial introduces the Party Management screen and changing party leader. This has 4 steps. 1) Press the party management button to change screens. 2) Select a new Character. 3) Assign as party leader 4) go back to the main screen to play or Press Help. Followed by on how to change the theme, which changes the board. This almost the same as the change leader tutorial but has a ne etra step of selecting a new theme before selecting a new character. A small popup to let people know about the three speeds of play. A couple of large panes to block players view of theme they cannot play yet, with instructions on how to get access to the themes. The first one is explaining that a theme cannot be played until you have a character in the theme. The second on blocks the player from seeing characters in a theme until they have a character in the previous theme. Although it does not look like much, getting the logic right to show the messages when the players had played enough and to keep showing them until the player took the actions, took a while to get right. I did not force players to take the action if they did not want to, also if the had already taken the action I did not show the messages. For example, after playing twice I show the change leader tutorial, but if the player changes leader after playing once the tutorial will never be shown. Also if after changing character the player does not play with a new character the tutorial shows again.
  3. Everyone loves toys. So I made a toy theme. Not much coding this week, only one new feature and it was just an extension not a completely new feature. I added Avatar Rewards for getting over 100 on a level. First Toys. The main change is using straight lines for the corners, not 1/4 circles. This makes playing much easier. I guess we are better at following straight lines than curves. After passing 100 rows of tiles I added an avatar from the next theme as a reward. Going from top to bottom the images below show. 1) First placement, the new avatar is hidden behind score and buttons. 2) Better placement. 3) Some avatars are too small. 4) Adjusted size. 5) Testing Avatar comes up from below. Finally, I made a screen in the editor to show all the Avatars and their powers in one place. This made reviewing settings much easier. In this screenshot Dwarf theme avatars are missing.
  4. Sorry for the lack of updates for the weeks. I will try and catch up over the next week ( and hopefully release the app in the next 7 days) also. This weeks topic is more ships. Before working on Line Ships I cleaned things a bit by adding black semi-transparent backgrounds to buttons so progress markers behind do not make the buttons hard to see. Top of the image is what was like, the bottom is the more readable version. Made the theme image for ships on the party screen. I changed the materials for lots of ships to make them brighter. The original asset was going for a darker look but my scenes don't have a lot reflected light so a brighter base makes the ships stand out. I found a bug in the drawing of green edges on tiles to show where new tiles will come on. When a 3x3 group of tiles was flipping some edges would be marked green. It looks cool but is a bug. Found and squashed another small bug with Personal best rewards being given at the start of levels instead of when a new PB is made. I gave a 5-minute presentation at Tokyo Indies and found out. When I am coding and designing time flies. Now when blogging time flies - although I still managed to get behind on the blog. Talking in front of an audience time crawls. The title of my talk seemed to be the highlight. "Week 15 of an 8 week project" got a laugh dry humour seems to work. I also got a few new playtesters
  5. This is Week 14 of an 8 (maybe 16?) week game dev. This week was more work on giving players a feeling of progress in the game. Also, some cleanup of animation for ships. Android beta at https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.ryuuguu.FlipTileRunner. iPhone Beta is available on TestFlight at https://testflight.apple.com/join/IJDl9FXC Ships now change attitude(up/down facing) as well as right/left facing. Also, the ships angle of change is on their long axis, as opposed to humanoids who just spin on their long axis. This means sudden changes to direction look jerky. So I had to change the movement interpolation code and add some smoothing to facing changes. Later I realized that smoothing humanoid's turning made them look strange, moving sideways in the middle of sharp turns. So I made turning smoothing amount a variable. Now humanoids turn a bit slower than before but it looks more natural. I added billboards to give a feeling of motion and to give progress rewards. Simplified score down to just the distance board moves forward so players can see how far they have gotten. Started with just putting a billboard under the board to see how it looked. Next, I added signpost on top that goes away when the player reaches the sign. The color also changes to show this point has be reached. When player reaches this point again in another session the sign will already be showing the reached color. Bonuses are now shown and diamond rewards are given for making certain distances and avatar being used. For example, the first time a player reaches each of these distances, 20, 80, 125, 350 playing with an avatar from the peasant theme you get a one diamond reward. You also get the rewards the first time you reach these distances with each of the other themes ( Polyhedral, Chess, Ships, Dwarf ). Similarly, there are bonus based on Avatar, play mode (slow, regular, fast). All this is set in the editor inspector. There are also four personal best progress billboards, one avatar based, one theme based, one play mode based, and an overall best. The distance for these is increased each time the player achieves them. I had some problems getting the timing right on the angled board. They are triggering to late in the gif below. Also, at the End the week there was still a problem that they make buttons unreadable when they pass behind them. I spent a lot of time fiddling with UI scalers settings to get this right, because I did not understand how they worked at first. Made a promo image and promo video for the upcoming Tokyo Indies event. Also, the video at the bottom was made for the talk. It covers playing many of the themes in a row. I have gotten into the habit of tweeting every screen change. I have added taking a screenshot of whatever I am testing, moving it to the week's folder and renaming the file, to workflow. Then going through the folder and scheduling tweets of the images, when I need a to rest my brain from thinking about some complex code logic or what order a set 3D rotations should be applied in to get the correct result. Hopefully, I can build my Twitter reach and get more playtesters, and more players at launch. I don't think my twitter campaign will have much effect on this game's launch but maybe the next or the one after. Check out @AntHillPlan to see what I am doing. As always thanks for reading to the end, and any feedback to the blog or the beta app is appreciated. Android beta at https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.ryuuguu.FlipTileRunner. iPhone Beta is available on TestFlight at https://testflight.apple.com/join/IJDl9FXC Entry Actions Report Entry
  6. This is Week 12& 13 of an 8 (maybe 15) week game dev. User feedback week, also started on another theme and tested PlayFab. I started the week by simplifying things and removed the strategy and slow game mode. Then user feedback came in. The game is too easy, the game is too hard, no feeling of progress, not sure what is happening. - Too hard and too easy, Added back a slow mode so players have a range of choices. - No feeling of progress, Added shifting the whole board down when the player is near the top edge. Giving the feel of forward movement. Also, it means if a player is good when they reach and stay near the top, the board moves downs which brings them quickly to harder sections of the board and speeds up play a little. - not sure what is happening added new intro instructions. Also added red and green edges to show where the player should go and where to avoid. In the ship theme show about the player has to move down not the usual direction of up. Change GameOver screen to make score bigger and easier to see. I started on Toy Mall as a hard theme. All the paths look very similar. This makes it harder to trace out the path ahead of the avatar. Another Hard theme I made is space ships. The player needs to move down instead of up, so habits from the other themes must be changed. Also, the tiles are angled 45º. I did this just because I thought it enhanced the 3D effect, but it also makes it harder for me to see which diagonal flip I want to use. If I had realised the 45º would make things harder I might have done it in a separate theme first. Lastly, I installed and setup PlayFab. I want to use their leader boards. Google and Apple both have leaderboards but then I have 2 API to deal with, more differences between builds to track and players are in separate leader board sets. Also, I am not sure if googles leaderboards work for non-Google Play android store builds. PlayFab has 25 leaderboards for free. It also has resettable leaderboards. I can then use a single leaderboard for daily challenges. For example, I can have a contest for the highest score playing the Druid avatar one day and then reset the leaderboard and have a challenge playing the Chess White knight. For now, I just wanted to check that PlayFab works OK with Unity 2019b and that I understand how it works. As always thanks for reading to the end, and any feedback to the blog or the beta app is appreciated. Android beta at https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.ryuuguu.FlipTileRunner. iPhone Beta is available on TestFlight at https://testflight.apple.com/join/IJDl9FXC
  7. This is Week 10 & 11 of an 8 (maybe 14) week game dev. Game Over is this weeks' major feature. Also, a new theme, some sounds, and I learned about Google Instant Play. Android beta at https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.ryuuguu.FlipTileRunner. iPhone Beta is available on TestFlight at https://testflight.apple.com/join/IJDl9FXC First Game Over: This includes how you died, diamonds picked up, the score for this character, and game mode (regular). Also, your various best scores. This was not my personal best or my best regular game but beat my previous best in the Peasant theme and with a Druid. If internet connection is working there will be a button beside the diamonds you can push to double your diamonds. It is now possible to double diamonds by watching ads. So far that is the only monetization I have. You can double up to 3 times in a row (8x) there is a duration timer on the "watch-> 2X" button and when it is over the message goes away and you receive your diamonds I added a chess theme to show off the 3D effect better. Also added sound FX when things happen. Here is the enum public enum Key { GatherDiamonds, Fall, Killed, BumpScore, WallKilled, EnemyKilled, WallBounce, EnemyBounce, PowerRotate, PowerSpecial, PowerAreaRotate } Basically when dying, killing, using a power, scoring or picking up diamonds there is a sound FX. I also added a heartbeat in the background with this asset. In the regular game, it starts slow around 50 bps and then increases with the avatars speed up to about 130. Definitely increases the tension when playing. Read a bit about Google Play Instant (GPI). The instant app needs to be under 10MB initial download with another 15MB of downloads after OK. Played around a bit and I think I can get what I need in Unity engine around 7MB plus some amount for GPI SDK leaving me a couple of MB for the game. I think I could fit the initial level in 2 MB. The additional 15 MB would cover pretty much the whole game. Currently, the game is 45~50MB but that includes 13MB of unneeded Unity Engine and textures at 2Kx2K size also no texture atlassing or any other special compression. That would probably add a week or two to do it properly including using all the features GPI SDK. If I had known about GPI at the beginning it would have been much easier to remove unneeded Unity packages before coding. When the game is complete I will see how I feel. Maybe I will launch on Apple and non-Google Android stores first, then try to make a GPI version. As always thanks for reading to the end, and any feedback to the blog or the beta app is appreciated. Android beta at https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.ryuuguu.FlipTileRunner. iPhone Beta is available on TestFlight at https://testflight.apple.com/join/IJDl9FXC
  8. This is Week 8 & 9 of an 8 week game dev. Already past scheduled completion time. Time to re-assess my plan. Looking like 12~14 weeks is more realistic. Android beta at https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.ryuuguu.FlipTileRunner. iPhone Beta is available on TestFlight at https://testflight.apple.com/join/IJDl9FXC Spent most of my time doing things that did not get finished earlier or should have been done earlier. Release beta for Android on Google Play. Got some good feedback quickly. The player felt frustrated by bouncing at the top of the screen. So I will make the visual and audio rewards as well as scoring points for doing it. Also will try shifting the board down very fast when they reach the top tiles. Which board tiles were dangerous was not clear so I want to add green edges at the top and red edges at the bottom. This will take some thinking since the board can be placed on an angle and move at a different angle, making it tricky to define the top and bottom edges. All these are for future weeks as I just added them today to my list. Things that did get fixed up this week were new wider dwarf paths so dwarfs can fit on the path and not hit their heads going under arches. Some other new tiles so themes look different from each other. And played around with other tile ideas. Added 2x2 tile flipping. The code to flip NxN rectangles of tiles was already working but the code to generate icons was not written. This also meant handling change where the center of the flip was compared to the character. Finally, data structures to store this in JSON friendly classes and allow input of all these options in Unity IDE was needed. Please check out the Android beta at https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.ryuuguu.FlipTileRunner and let me know what you think.
  9. AntHillPlan

    Concept: Week 1 of #8WeekGameDev. FlipTiles:Runner

    Thanks, I added a link at the bottom and noted these are for PC browsers. Even outside Kongregate my game won't run on a mobile browser. To do that I would need to learn Tiny Unity and rewrite everything and work around the 3D part. An interesting project but would probably take 8 weeks on its own Also in mobile native apps, I can use incentivized ads, not sure how I would monetize a browser game effectively.
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