Ventures of an ex indie game developer

Release, come to daddy

My son is feeling better, so everything back to normal. I'm guessing some pin-worm induced amoeba, but not sure. Game-wise, I'm (almost) done with everything apart from the menus, and I'm celebrating this by taking some development time off! Here is a small explanation on why it takes for ever to make a game. 40 days ago I thought I'd just spend 15 nights on:
  • Create the menu.
  • Create icons and splash screens.
  • Surf around for free music.
  • Create or download some background images.
  • Fix some bugs.
I haven't have time for creating the menu just yet, but this is what I've done instead:
  • I looked around and listened to some free music, and eventually settled on reggae. I downloaded, mastered and converted seven tunes to OGG/Vorbis.
  • Improved music loading code.
  • Downloaded some nice scenic photos, photoshopped them for left/right tiling and used them as background textures.
  • Tweaked look and feel of iOS touch buttons.
  • Fixed level 3 bug (camera sometimes moved above through the ceiling). Fixed door shadow bug in level 5 (door looked awkward with shadows). Added three levels, one of which was the crazy final level with some strange content. Added a couple of different turret enemy thingies on a couple of levels.
  • Improved configuration for turrets.
  • Added scaling when loading meshes.
  • Added a nice "well done" thingie when the player completes a level.
  • Added support for saving settings on iOS.
  • Renamed the application (and all files within) from project name HeliForce to Downwash. Pretty easy to do using my neat Python script for cloning applications.
  • Fixed native auto-rotation for iOS. Before (Kill Cutie) I had just rotated the camera, but I really wanted the nice frame and iOS feel. It was a bit fiddly supporting my home-brew rotation, iOS6 and iOS7. Keeping iOS stuff portable and flawless between the 6 and 7 doesn't seem easy if you're doing anything advanced with the UIKit. For portable games and simple apps it is pretty much a walk in the park though.
  • Fixed volume settings. Before I'd just turned the volume way up, but as I started playing the game on all platforms, I realized I need to adjust the overall volume to get the sense of distance and direction I'm after. Also added support for setting the music and master volume individually.
  • Fixed the joystick look, and adjusted the feel somewhat. Now it's pretty good in the iPad, but too small on the iPhone. I won't fix that.
  • Fixed order of levels. The next level doesn't exactly start where the previous ends, but it's along those lines. A bit.
  • Added better support for measuring in-game time. Before I only had support for measuring calendar time, but that is not very good when there is support for slow-mo as well as app moving to background.
  • Added support for actuators which are very simple to configure. As an example I used one for a boat that bobs up and down in the water.
  • Fixed a bug in the actuators which caused them to move in the opposite direction if they didn't have any dynamic parent (i.e. the world is the parent). ODE is a little bit strange in that respect.
  • Added (nice) support for playing ambient sounds.
  • Added support for spawning objects with an initial velocity.
  • ... and a bunch of smaller stuff.
After my break I'll add some more content to some levels, I'm thinking barrels and coffins or similar man-made stuff, just to make them feel less sterile. It will have a marginal effect, but I'm not doing more than that. And then I'll fix the menu. And then release! It should take about six evenings, I'm guessing. Let's see if my guesstimations are 3.14 times off this time too.

I feel that the engine is in a much better shape now than after Kill Cutie, and the support for adding simple content (without having to wrestle bugs) is a lot better. The engine is still lacking some nice rendering, but apart from that I could very easily do some physics sandbox games. But that wouldn't be a challenge, so I'm not doing that. But I should.

About the author

Mitt foto
Gothenburg, Sweden