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About Rancorb

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  1. Thanks hplus0603, I'll read up on those (UK based but hopefully similar). If I create graphics 'inspired' by his work it definitely won't look the same, that's part of the problem... Thanks everyone, appreciate the feedback. You've definitely helped me decide what approach to take.
  2. To be clear, ideally I'd still like to pay him for doing the work (he's very good and familiar with the project), though having his permission to use his design would also let me move forward myself or with another graphic designer. If I hear nothing then I'm still in the same situation I am now and wondering about my options. I hope that makes sense, apologies for confusing things.
  3. Thanks Hodgman, good point. There was no contract or payment made for the mock-up, it was more of an ad-hoc "I've got a great idea for how to skin that game, here's a mock-up I put together." You've just reminded me that I did agree to pay him cash and a % of income generated for creating the actual graphics back in February, but things subsequently went silent. Hence my concern and questions. I suppose an alternative question might be along the lines of: He designed a space styled skin for the game (star fields, cloudy overlay, spheres for obstacles), can I now make a space styled skin of my own along similar lines or is that whole style effectively locked without explicit permission now? I'd still prefer him to do the work (or another graphic designer) because my developer art is pretty rubbish and the game would definitely benefit from some simple but professional artwork.
  4. Understood, and thanks for the advice. It's not until you find yourself in one of these potential situations that you realise why they're almost a cliche of beginners mistakes. I've sent an email to check for certain if he's interested in doing the work or not. I'll give it a couple of weeks for a reply before deciding what to do next.
  5. That's what happens when you start working on things with friends but a couple of years roll by and lives move on. I guess it's also one of those lessons learnt from experience. Like most amateur game devs my experience is in programming, so all the other facets of the process are being picked up as I go. So far my last few messages over a month have gone unanswered. I suppose he could have lost his phone, so I'll try emailing him today. Is there a point where you can say "all reasonable attempts to contact him have failed", or something similar?
  6. Thanks Tom. Unfortunately, no contracts were in place when this was done (just a lot of enthusiasm) and I don't have a lawyer available. Things are still at the spare time / hobby development stage.
  7. I have some graphics from a graphic designer of full screen gameplay mock-ups. Unfortunately he is no longer available to work on the project but I still like his concept. Would there be any problem with myself or another graphic designer using his design mock-ups as the basis to create the actual graphics for a game? Essentially it would mean copying / recreating the individual graphical elements to use in game. My instinct is that it should be fine but I don't want to step on any legal toes.
  8. Hello, My second game was released at the weekend. It's called Mesmer and it's an addictive little endless runner with pretty challenging gameplay and a simple twist. In Mesmer you're always moving left or right across the screen as obstacles approach. You can tap to change direction and that's it. The game concept is based on games played while learning to code on the BBC Micro many years ago. I remembered this game style being strangely addictive back when I typed it in as a learning-to-code project, and thought it might translate well to the mobile market. I think I was right, as I've lost a lot of time simply playing it during development. The graphics are reminiscent of the grids and light-cycles from the original Tron film which I enjoyed around the same time. Developer Creative Shadows Ltd - Tim Cooper Release Date August 2017 Links ITunes Download: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mesmer/id1088694679 Company Website: http://www.creativeshadows.co.uk Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MesmerGame/ Price / Business Model Free to download with in-app purchases, interstitial adverts and reward videos. Features Different Game Modes There are two different game modes to the game. In Arcade Mode you collect coins and power-ups, and complete in-game challenges to level-up and unlock more challenging gameplay and start-of-game abilities. Zen Mode offers a calmer, simpler approach. No coins, no power-ups, just you and the game and your high-score. Levelling and Power-Ups System In Arcade mode you always have 3 active challenges to complete, ranging from the simple ones like collecting a certain number of coins to the things like having a certain number of near-misses with obstacles. Completing challenges gives you experience which in turn levels you up, unlocking more in-game power-ups and start-of-game abilities. The power-ups can also be levelled up by spending coins in the shop. The higher the level the longer the effect lasts. Power-ups include: Coin Storm - all obstacles turn into coins. Magnet - attracts nearby coins. Shrink - become much smaller. Makes it harder to collect coins but easier to sneak through the gaps as things get more difficult. Display Customisation Not a fan of the background line colours? No problem. Simply collect some coins and head to the shop to purchase or activate one of the alternate colours available. More customisation options are planned for future releases, including more colours and the option to change both the player and obstacle too. Daily Rewards Check the game every day to receive a random reward of coins, coins and 2 power-ups, or a jackpot of coins plus 2 each of boost, shield and coin-multiplier power-ups. Each day you check-in in a row (up to 5 days) increases the number of coins and the possible type of rewards you can get. If you want more power-ups, once a day you can watch a video to receive 3 each of boost, shield and coin-multipliers power-ups. I hope you like Mesmer. Any feedback, comments or suggestions for improvements would be gratefully received.
  9. Not new, but not mentioned it in a (long) while. My iOS game, Happy Landings, just reached version 3.1 and is what I'd now consider complete.   The game is a top down view of hot air balloons that need to be landed on platforms to score points. Swipe to push them round the screen and tap to place a vortex to hold them in place for a few seconds. Match the symbol on the balloon with the landing pad for triple points.   It's free so please go try it out. iPhone and iPad support (but it's easier to play on the iPad).   It has mostly been a labour of love, as it's my first game developed with the intention of being released as a 'Proper' game. It's been through a couple of major revamps over the years and is now a much more polished and focused game than it was on release. A lot has been learnt about game development and project management doing it, so despite being stretched over 3 years it has still been worthwhile. Mostly I've learned how good I am at procrastinating, but there were a few other lessons learned :)   I still like the game after all these years, and have had good feedback from the people I know who have tried it.    Let me know if you have any questions, and any suggestions for future improvements are welcome. 
  10. If it's your first project the problem can often be that you don't even know what you don't know yet, which makes the studying side of things slightly tricky!   One way around this is picking a project to work through from start to finish. Either come up with a game idea of your own or (possibly easier) create a copy of an existing game. In many ways it doesn't matter what you decide to create, just that you pick something to work towards. Make it something you'd enjoy playing (you'll be working on it for a while), but simple enough that you have a real chance of completing it. And yes, this means don't pick a full scale, multi-country rpg game with umpteen classes and skill trees, a monster manuals worth of creatures and detailed back stories for every npc in every town :)   When you set out to create a complete game (or finished mobile app or desktop app) it gives you a lot of experience about what goes into it. Game frameworks, gameplay, game graphics, sound effects, user interface and probably lots of other areas I can't think of off the top of my head. There's so many details that it's almost impossible to learn everything in advance, you have to dive in and try it. As you work through putting everything together you have a much better idea of what goes into a game. Just get started in one area and build things up.   For example: 1. Show a world using tiles and load the world information from resources. 2. Show a character in the world and get them moving. 3. Show baddies in the world (random or scripted). 4. Add some form of combat system (sword animation, attack button, damage versus defence/life and track for each character). 5. Animate the combat - hit animation, death animations. 6. Get some free old school sound effects and create a sound system. Play sounds on attack, hit and death. 7. Add a user interface - character health, items, etc.   and so on. Every time you add one detail it highlights other things that need to be added, or other things that could be done. A lot of this you can read up on as you're going along, which should give you even more ideas for how to do things, structure things or just ideas for more things to add.   So yeah. Pick a game to create and start working on it, and it'll help focus your efforts straight away :)   Good luck!   Tim   P.S. Most peoples first development projects are pretty rubbish. This is completely normal, so if you start to get frustrated don't worry about it (everyone does it) :) First time through you're just figuring stuff out and making all the mistakes, no matter how much reading you do before hand you won't really know it until you've tried it. Each project you work on will be better than the last one you did, as you know more and make better design and development decisions. Stick with it and you'll soon be slapping together little games easily and wondering how you every struggled to get the first one going :D
  11. Science Fiction Book Recommendations

    The Saga of the Seven Suns series by Kevin J Anderson A conflict between human and alien empires, space travel, ancient civilisations, robotic beetles, the destruction of star systems, teleporters, betrayal, love and other such stuff.   If you want old school, I'd still recommend most stories by Isaac Asimov and The Lensman books by E E Doc Smith   Enjoy!
  12. Well, congrats on having set some big goals for yourself. It never hurts to aim high :)   First, the easy one. Depending on where you live, owning your own company simply costs a little money to start and a little more money+time to keep going. E.g. in the UK it cost me £35 to have a company do it all for me. I just told them the company name and my details and they did the rest. Every year I have to file some company accounts and pay a few fees and that's it. It helps that I don't have any employees, I'm just the unpaid Director ;)   Next up, all the rest of your goals - this is a little trickier...   The game side of things: There are several areas involved in making games, which you'll be learning as you go along: Game Theory - making a good, fun game. Try reading "The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses" by Jesse Schell, or other books on the general theory of game design. Software Development - The nuts and bolts of getting the game working. Either build everything from scratch or speed things up by using existing engines. Graphics - Making it look pretty. Get an artist or graphic designer on board, people can usually spot Developer Art a mile off. Sound - Never underestimate the power of good sound effects and music. Marketing - I started thinking about this as I released the game, which was way too late. You're young so hopefully social media and constantly blogging everything comes easier to you than me :D There's all sorts of other things, but those are the broad strokes. The first thing to remember is that you're going to make mistakes in all the above areas (don't worry, everyone does). Then you'll figure out what you did wrong and do it better next time, and if you repeat that often enough you'll become good at it and a professional in that area.   What does this have to do with your goals? Simply that you need to build your teams skills and abilities, and keep their motivation for doing more projects. If you start a huge project that'll take you all 2 years (at best) with nothing to show until the end, while none of you know quite what / how to do it, then I'm afraid your chances of finishing aren't so good. If this is the first project you're all working together on then I suggest trying something a little more achievable than a full scale 3D MMO based off your own game engine.   Try building up to your planned big game with a series of smaller apps and games that help your team learn what they need to know. E.g. Simple app or browser based single player game - not MMO :) - Simple game play, simple (2D) graphics. Gives you all experience in creating all aspects of a game, should shake out any problems in the team and get you all used to the process. Plus it shouldn't take a team too long at all (3-6 months?), so you'll all have something to show for your efforts and can feel good about doing it. If you want to create games, use an existing game engine to speed things up. Otherwise factor in the extra time needed to create your own framework and get the graphics guys working on even better art work with all their spare time. 3D app or browser single player game - Same as number 1 above, add 3D and some other features that you want your main game to have. 3D adds a lot of graphical overheads, plus requires a different display engine. Use an existing game engine to speed up development if you want to make the actual game, or continue developing and improving your game engine from the first game. Multiplayer game - convert one of your games to support multiplayer gameplay, or write a new one. If you plan this in from the start it can be pretty easy, otherwise it can be a big re-working. Either way, you'll learn a lot about what's needed in this area, plus you get to re-use your projects. Stop and realise you currently have a portfolio of released games people can play, which is awesome. Make your big game. By now you've got most of the experience you need to create the game you want. Sure, there's more to learn but now it's a step up to it instead of a giant leap. Add more games in there if you like. You'll know more about what you need to learn once you've actually started, and may find you can jump to your big idea right after your first game.   One note: I say focus on creating and releasing your games for a reason (which some may disagree with)... It's easy to cut corners on quality in pet projects that aren't for release ("it crashes if you open that door, but that's ok", "Ignore that texture, it's just filler graphics", etc). By committing to creating a finished product right from the start it changes the level of quality you're aiming for (or it should, at least), and gives you a different mindset when thinking about things. And by releasing your game you get real feedback on how well / badly you've done so you can learn from the experience.   If you follow and commit to this sort of process - progressively improving your skills and producing demonstrable evidence of your achievements - then becoming a professional <anything> should pretty much take care of itself.   Anyway, hope some of that helps you all.   Good luck!
  13. Staying motivated.

    Quick tip - Turn off the distractions and work for at least 30 minutes without them, and keep working after 30 minutes until you really, truly need a break. Repeat.   You've decided that you want to do something in your life, but your not progressing as fast as you'd like. If you find yourself being distracted easily then ask yourself the following: Is this something I really want to do? If the answer is no then you need a new goal. If the answer is yes, then you have some self development to do   Generally, if you want to achieve anything in life you need some of the following skills. Fortunately, if you're not too good at any of them then you can practice and improve. - Self discipline - There's a lot of definitions out there so take your pick. The one I like is: "The ability to make yourself do what you know you should do, when you need to do it, whether you feel like it or not." - Perseverance - The ability to keep working at something until it's finished. If you want to avoid half finished projects and unfulfilled dreams, practice this. - Hard work - Ever heard of the 10,000 hour principle? The people who are truly great, and masters at what they do, have spent over 10,000 hours developing their skills. There will certainly be exceptions, but it basically means if you want to be good at something you need to put in the time and the hard work. Get good at (and enjoy) doing this and you can pretty much achieve anything in life. - Set goals - Know what it is your trying to achieve. "I want to get rich" isn't a goal, that's a dream. "I want to write and release my first game <game codename> on the <platform> by July" is a goal. Nailing down what you want to achieve helps you focus on what you need to do and build passion around your projects. Sure, you won't achieve all your goals (who does?), but you'll be better for setting and regularly reviewing them. - ... Ok, I forget the rest. These are the most important ones to start with so lets just focus on these.   If you want to be good at games development then you're going to have to put in the time. If distractions are your problem then you need to remove them until you've built the habits of self discipline and hard work to the point where you're not easily distracted. Basically if it pings, buzzes or talks at you then turn it off. Tell your parents / partner your going to be working for an hour and not to distract you. Stick some music on (if you like), set a timer, and get to work. Once you've done your time, go nuts and check you email, social media stuff, look at cats, whatever. Just remember to set another timer for, say, 10 minutes. After that, get back to work for another block   Practice doing this several times a week (every day if possible), every time you need to get something done (homework, writing CVs, programming, educational reading, etc). While this might sound boring there is another way to look at it. Say you have homework to do. You can spend 2 hours working at it, checking email, chatting with friends and feeling like you're wasting your time and would rather be doing something else. Or... you can get it out of the way with one solid 30 minute block of work and spend the rest of the evening happily doing something else.   A final tip is constructive procrastination. If you don't feel like doing programming then distract yourself by reading a book about it instead, or by looking up programming stuff on the internet, or researching games and game theory, or try out a game that has a feature you're trying to reproduce in your project. Sure you're not working on programming as such, but you will be feeding your head with ideas to try out next time you want to do some work.   Right, that's enough waffle from me, hope some of it helps. I should really get back to work (doh!) ;)
  14. What would you make armour out of?

    Ghost armour - makes you incorporeal. Totally useless against anything that's already incorporeal or weapons designed to hit ghosts. Those tattoos might come in handy at that point.   Sun armour - Woven from light. Enemies attacking you are blinded, increasing their chance to miss. Could burn them on hits. Optional special ability to occasionally flare the armour and deal damage to everyone around you.   Natures Sacrifice Armour - The armour spawns (or summons) small creatures and birds that constantly circle you, sacrificing their lives to save you from attacks. Animals spawn over time, so enemies can wear away your defences if they can keep attacking. Optional special ability to spawn cute kittens for the kitten eye attack (will save negates).
  15. Randomly Generating Lines...

    My guess is define your own "viewport" that is smaller than the screen size. Then you just need to find the intersections of each line with your viewport rectangle and draw the segments of each line in the required colour based on the start point, intersection point(s) and end point.   Don't forget to draw the rectangle to show your viewport.
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