Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Helping those devs who are less fortunate

Sorry for the disappearence as of late.  I've been sick for a while, and game dev is one of the last things I could focus on to be honest...

See that laptop up there?  This was one of my extra laptops I had laying around getting ready to be shipped at the UPS store.  It wasn't doing much good just sitting in an unmarked drawer, was it?  So, I offered to give it away to a friend in Poland at my expense, only it needed a bit of TLC to get it running again (BIOS related issues).  Since he's been having a lot of trouble finding a job in his area, getting an affordable computer that supports core OpenGL has been a challenge.

This guy works really hard on this big war simulation game, but his old laptop is a bit of a bottleneck for him.  He wanted to buy a new computer, but due to his financial troubles, sadly could not afford one.  Wanting to do something about it, I remembered the ASUS laptop I had laying around just waiting to be fixed and used again.  So I made him the offer, and he gladly accepted it, with confidence he could get it fixed.  Afterwards, he gave me the shipping details, and I was off to the UPS store.  Although the cost to ship a parcel to Poland (and eastern Europe in general) was more expensive than I thought, it was worth it.  Fortunately, I could afford to cover such ridiculous costs...

Almost two weeks later, it arrived.  Now, he has a working comp with a decent GPU for a change!  Intel's OpenGL drivers aren't the best, especially when building a game, so hopefully he'll have less bugs to deal with.

Just thought I'd share this story with everyone and hopefully encourage others to help other devs who are less fortunate than us.  I'm not saying put yourself at financial risk to do so, but just think of a great game you could help someone else create.  In this case, I wanted to help my Polish friend in his time of need! :)


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Native Demo? Let's Do a Beta Instead!

Lately, there have been a fairly large number of tasks sucking up all of my time, and because of that, building a tailor made demo of Looptil will just take more unnecessary time.  So, instead of that, I'm going to just give out some beta versions of the game while you all have been waiting ever so patiently!

Of course, before just throwing it out there, I have to get make sure it's acceptable at least.  I ended up breaking some major features in the story mode, so until that's working again, I won't release it.

What platforms, you ask?  So far, this demo will be readily available for Windows and MacOSX.  Linux will be coming soon, I hope.  What I need is a separate boot of Linux on one of my machines.

As the details surface, I will keep you informed.  It's almost 3AM, and I've been working tirelessly on various technical things, so I really need to head for bed.  Good night!


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Looptil: the HTML5 demo (Beta)!

Wow, I can't believe I forgot all about this blog.  Not very wise to do so; not very professional either... :(

Moving on...

Lately, I've been putting a large bit of effort into an HTML5 demo of Looptil!  One reason I did this was to give something to those who have been waiting ever so patiently.  Sorry it's taking forever to finish this title.  The code base for this game was poorly written, and now that I've learned my lesson, I'll never write such terrible code ever again.

For those who want to dive in and play it right away, click here!

Keep in mind, this is a BETA.  There are a few gameplay elements I haven't gotten around to adding.  Besides that, unfortunately, different browsers yield different results.  Some browser bugs are more severe than others.  A rundown from each browser I've tested so far:

  • IE10: This browser tends to be the most compatible (in my experience), however, under Windows 7, the canvas tends to slide out of place once gameplay starts. :(
  • Firefox: Generally works without bugs, but many users report low frame rates.
  • Chrome: Performance varies and the spline tends to form "kinks".
  • Safari: No problems so far, except for a bit of latency with sound effects.
  • Opera: Works great for me.  One user reported the "kinky" spline under Windows Vista.
One last note, since I've been having far too much trouble, I've decided to drop support for mobile browsers.  It's far too much trouble and headache at the moment.

So, keep these in mind, and I deeply apologize for any inconvenience.  By all means, give it a go, and share your feedback!  

In the mean time, I will be working on a native demo (one for mobile, as well as Windows and MacOSX).  If I'm fortunate, it will be ready before the holidays end!


Monday, January 27, 2014

Let's Play Loop-til, in 1080p!

I finally got around to investing in a new LCD monitor.  My Macbook's maximum resolution is only 1440x900; that's good, but not quite good enough.  Even better, I can replace my old standard LCD monitor with this HDMI compatible one.

So, I tested it out, and took a few 1080p screenshots.

Not bad, hm?  It plays really nice in HD resolutions.  And now, I have no excuse not to have an HD trailer out soon (which is WAY overdue).  That will be my next goal, of course.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

New Hardware and More Self-Esteem!

Awww yeah!  Now my office is starting to look like a place of business!  I just got a new PC for development, as well as some new hardware specifically for one of my upcoming game titles (of course I'm not going to tell you what it is yet; the 3D model you see on the screen is a hint though).

Well, I honestly don't have much to say at the moment, but I'm just grateful that things are going well so far.  What's the next challenge?  More legal stuff, that's what. =/


Saturday, October 19, 2013

BugPlanet on iOS!

I finally got around to porting BugPlanet to iOS a few days ago!  It didn't take too much work, but even this game had me frustrated during the porting process from time to time.  A few screens:

I should have done this before, but I was too focused on other things, so sadly, it fell on the backburner for a while.  While it's not ready to be released, it runs pretty well... as long as you're using an OpenGL ES 2.0 compatible device, that is.  I tried running this game on a 1st Gen iPod Touch and an iPhone 3G, but the frame rate in game was 48fps on average, and would often drop to 30fps or below, even when scenes weren't too intense.  Although I tried to optimize the code for the iPhone a bit more, it did little to nothing to help improve the frame rates.  On my iPhone 4S, however, it runs at a rock solid 60fps the majority of the time.  I have yet to try this on an iPad of any generation (I don't own an iPad, anymore).

Aside from the bad frame rates on older iOS devices, the touch controls could probably be a little bit better and I somehow broke the pause feature.  All can be fixed rather easily though, but what ticks me off the most is that, once again, iOS 7 breaks something simple, like audio.  Whenever I'm leaving the credits or game over screen, the audio stops completely, until I step into a different menu screen!  Urgh, and I have no idea what's causing this, as it shouldn't be an issue.

For the most part, it works, rather well.  Just needs some fine tuning, and then it's ready to submit to the App Store!

Just thought I'd give you guys an update of this game.


Shogun3D's New Office Location

Lately, I've been extremely busy with my regular day job and other stuff.  Sorry it's been so long since I've updated this blog guys...

What's been going on while I was busy?  Well, for starters, I've managed to acquire some new office space!  It was affordable, fully furnished, and in the same city.  A really sweet deal!  Now, slowly but surely, it's going to become more "cluttered" with tools, tech, and what not.  For now, it's a neatly organized office with an awesome couch to crash on!

Sweet, huh?  Only one problem... the owner of the building can't find they key to the desk, so I'll either have to get the lock replaced, or get a separate file cabinet altogether.  Oh well.  I don't believe anyone in this small and isolated office building is going to steal any of my equipment or other confidential stuff.

It's a really big win, and now I can be taken a bit more seriously... or at least I'd assume so!