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!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Loop-til Updates

I've been really working hard on Loop-til, and now it's gone through a complete makeover and is finally nearing completion.  A demo for Windows and MacOSX will be available soon, so be ready!

Since the last update, many improvements have been added (besides the new gfx) to improve the game experience and make things overall easier for the user to play.  Here's a quick overview of what I've added besides the obvious visuals:

  • Improved collision detection.
  • More gameplay modes.
  • Improved anti-aliasing.
  • Leaderboards.
  • Profile management.
  • New power-ups.
  • And more I can't remember right now!
As the game continues to evolve, I continuously get more and more feedback from users telling me that this is a game that they would play/buy.  In spite of the mostly positive feedback I've been receiving, I can't allow myself to get smug or fall in love with any idea, ever.  I cannot afford to lose sight of the goal, can I?  Thanks for reading!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mac-Metro Anyone?

Lately, I've been trying to spend at least 60 hours a week coding on my game projects.  Since I don't have a day job (will blog about that later), or other things hindering me or demanding my time, I've got a very large amount of time on my hands to work on this from sun-up, till sun-set!  For the past few weeks, I've been focusing primarily on gameplay and feasibility rather than the other stuff, but there comes a time where closing and re-opening your application every time you want to try again.  So, I spent the past few days designing a new and improved menu API class.  It's not as robust as it should be (a few hard coded things that should be configurable via .xml), but it works for what I need it to do.

For this game, I specifically chose to use the Windows Metro look for the menus.  I've had one person tell me that Windows Metro kinda goes well with OSX, in an odd way.  Another person said that a metro look might drive iOS users insane!  Well, that's a risk I'm willing to take!

As you can see, I am a fan of the Metro style, hence I wanted to give "Mac-Metro" a shot.

Btw, I know the title font looks especially bad.  Just know that it's really just a place holder for the time being.  This will most definitely be changed in the final release of the game!

Aside from that, I don't have much else to say besides the fact that I added a few new game features (ohhh, it's nothing *snicker*).  And as always, thanks for reading!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Let's Play Loop-til!

Lately, I've been experimenting with a new game concept, and so far, it's turning out more interesting, more challenging and over a a better idea than I anticipated.  The idea came to me one night before going to bed, and the name soon after!  Let's have a look at Shogun3D's latest title: Loop-til!

Looking at these two screen shots, you're probably thinking "Okay, what the heck is this?".  Okay, let's get into that.  You, the user, are controlling the black dot, which leaves a black trail behind it wherever it moves.  Your objective: loop around the red squares to create a circle and any squares caught in the circle are destroyed.  If you touch a red square or touch the sides of the screen, you lose.  There are also blue and green squares.  Touching a green square will give you a shield which is good until you touch a red square.  The blue square will destroy all squares on the screen, even the good ones, so be careful.

In order to create a circle, you need to move the dot in a loop and cross the trail you left behind before it fades out.  The circle you created is called the "Kill Circle".  The circle is only good for the moment it was created, and will fade out once it's been created.  Just kill as many of those pesky red squares as you possibly can.  Sounds easy?  Think again!  This game is not exactly a push over or child's play.  Even I've been finding myself challenged and sometimes even baffled by my own game!  These squares come from random directions and move at various speeds.  Just be careful and don't let it tick you off too much!

Another interesting feature of this game is that everything you do will effect the outcome of the game!  Let's say you destroy the first 3 squares but ignore the next three, this will impact the game play session's outcome!  Those who have a high IQ or have good pattern recognition skills may appreciate this game.  I find it best to develop a strategy from the beginning of the game to get the desired result you want after destroying what squares in what sequence does what.  Tbh, this wasn't a feature that I was planning on, but the secret is in my random number generator where every event tied to it effects the outcome directly.  In a short sentence, pay attention to what you do and see what creates more desired results.

Development on this game is moving pretty fast and so far, the immediate releases will be for Windows (Win32/Win8), MacOSX, iOS and Android.  I already have a working prototype for iOS.  The Mac port is working and the Windows port will be worked on within this week.  Stay tuned for updates on this unique concept!


MilkChan Finished!

Okay, now I can finally say that the Super MilkChan project is finished.  That last bug was really annoying but I found a work around for it.  I'm just glad this project is finally done so I can move on to bigger and better things.

I also changed the controls a bit by moving the buttons to the bottom while raising up the scene above it so that the user's thumbs don't obstruct the user's view of the sides.  Add a few more bug fixes and viola, it's finished!

So it will be released on the app store for free very soon.  I look forward to seeing what sort of critique it may receive.  ^^


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Super MilkChan Release Delayed

This is something I've been meaning to post about for quite some time now, but I've had numerous people asking me about the Super MilkChan game and when it will be released.  The wi-fi at my place has been down for a few days now, so I had to run to the nearest Starbucks.

It seems that every time I fix a bug in MilkChan, a new one arises.  This one nearly makes the game irritating to play, so there's just no way I'm releasing something that I know is broken.  I've also gotten feedback from other people about re-positioning the buttons to make the controls a little less awkward.  See what happens when you listen to your fans and potential followers?  Your game improves!  Stay tuned.  For more updates!


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Let's do PlayStation!

Now, I feel like a complete twit for not noticing this earlier.  \/_\/

According to this fairly new tweet by Sony Playstation's twitter page, Sony is looking to recruit more indie devs to develop for their current and next consoles.  It appears that Sony wants to get off on the right foot with indie devs and build up it's list of content prior to it's release.  IMO, this is a pretty smart move.  Considering that the PS3's profitability wasn't nearly as high as Nintendo's or Microsoft's console, even the iPhone (as a gaming platform), at a certain point, I don't think Sony can afford to make the same mistake twice.

The indie market is growing at a very fast pace and it can no longer be ignored.  Many say that the indie market is growing too saturated making it harder to stand out amongst the ever growing list of competition.  Of course I agree, but if there's one thing I learned about marketing is that the best time to get into a particular market or area of the market is when the market penetration level is near or at the %2 mark.  This rule has been used in other markets for years and usually pays off.  Maybe it's time for Shogun3D to put it to the test!


Thursday, February 28, 2013

BugPlanet (Sneak Peek)

This is a game that I've been working on for quite some time and have quite literally lost quite a bit of sleep working on it.  It's my 2nd bullet hell shooter, Bug Planet!  Using a more enhanced engine used to create RyuAwai (speaking of which, I haven't blogged about this yet), Bug Planet aims to be a challenging shmup/bullet hell shooter pushing the user to his/her greatest potential under an ever increasing difficulty!  The longer you stay alive, the harder it gets!

Story: "On a newly discovered binary Earth-like planet in another galaxy, you are an elite spacecraft pilot assigned a mission to accompany the team of scientists hired to investigate the newly discovered planet and determine if the planet is hospitable for human colonization.  Very soon after your arrival, you are attacked by a swarm of hostile giant insects who assume you and all other humans as a threat!  It's time to hop in your ship of choice: one with great maneuverability or the other with heavy artillery!  You, and you alone are the only hope (because the military didn't want to send backup)! Choose quickly, before you and your crew are destroyed!"

I started putting this project together in late November of last year (2012) but at the moment I was busy with other things and other game projects.  Now I've been putting the majority of my development time into this game to get it working in a more stable state.  Most of the game's mechanics and features are ready and working.  It still has some fine tuning and additional things to be added before being released.  All of the required resources have been gathered except sound effects.  It's not easy finding the right sound effects for a particular game genre sometimes.  I'm still improving my sound editing skills as I go... -_-

There are a handful of extra features I've been working on.  I won't say what they all are (just in case I see the need to drop any number of them and avoid disappointments , but one troublesome feature to add to MacOSX apps is force-feedback.  Unlike Windows via DirectInput or XInput for 360 controllers, or even iPhone's rumble feature, MacOSX does not have a straight forward means of implementing force feedback or any means of joystick support.  It can be done, but it isn't very easy and the process is fairly long and requires a large amount of code.  Sure, I could always use SDL 2.0 for both, but not only is SDL 2.0 not yet stable, but using it actually broke BugPlanet completely.  Therefore, I'll be setting out on my own to write my own code to implement this feature.  Joystick support is already added and works well with my 360 gamepad (after installing the right driver, of course).

Working on this game has been a good experience, but I hope it doesn't resemble Bug Princess too much.  When I started writing this game, I did not have Bug Princess in mind at all, but it still slowly but surely grew into a game that started resembling it.  Now, I hope I don't piss off any Cave employees ^^;

Release Date: Soon, but when it's ready!

Target Platform(s): iOS, MacOSX (obviously) and Windows.  Maybe more.

Screen shots (beta):

If games like this interest you, please share.  Your opinions count! ^_^


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Metal Skull

Metal Skull: Shogun3D's next 16-bit style Sci-Fi thriller guaranteed to leave you absolutely fascinated.  Blow  your enemies away, or be blown away yourself.  Either way, you'll love it!

Coming soon to a PC, Mac, and maybe even an Xbox near you!  Be prepared...


Super Milk Chan!

A game that was once thought to be lost forever... has now been recovered and greatly improved.  Now it's finally making it's way to the App Store!

I've been spending much of my time perfecting this iOS game that I thought would never be completed after my first Macbook Pro was stolen my a methadone addict.  Fortunately, I did remember that I backed up the source code somewhere and have been building upon it ever since!  I initially wrote this game to test the waters of iOS app development by first writing the game for windows and then porting it to iOS.  It was a messy, but awesome learning experience.

"What is Super Milk Chan?"  It's an anime show that originally aired in 1998 starring a spoiled and sometimes greedy 5 year old heroine named Super Milk Chan living in her house with her robot maid Tetsuko, and her pet Hanage.  Milk Chan receives her orders from the President (of everything), and then goes on some wacky adventure filled with goofy and sometimes crude humor.  Don't worry, the game is family friendly!

The game is nearly complete and just requires a bit more testing and tweaking before being released on the App Store no later than the end of this month.  It has a bit of a fast pace to it, but the controls should be easy to grasp.  The objective is to kill the invading blob monsters with your shurikens while collecting various pickups (i.e. food, valuable items, jewelry and money).  Take a look at the screen shots below:

After releasing this app, I plan on making an update for a second "episode" based on one of the anime's actual episodes (of course I'm not going to tell you what it is, it's a surprise).  So look for Super Milk Chan hitting the App Store very soon, and as always, be honest with your critique.  Be it positive or negative, it's always welcome! :)


Monday, February 4, 2013

Welcome to Shogun3D's blog

Hi there reader, welcome to Shogun3D's company blog.  The purpose of this blog is to keep people informed of Shogun3D's latest developments, discoveries, random on-topic tid-bits and such as consistently and as frequently as possible, while allowing followers to voice their feedback, opinions and critique (all of which are greatly appreciated).  Up until fairly recently, I never did understand the importance of having a blog for your company.  These days, it's always good to have an method to post news updates about your upcoming game projects and releases while keeping things as interactive as possible.  I'm sure it would please the fans greatly knowing that the company owner is willing to answer their questions directly while considering all forms of feedback personally.

1. What is Shogun3D?
This company arose out of the interest of creating fascinating game content for a wide variety of users and platforms while keeping the "fun and creative" element while giving users the power to influence parts of the game's development process!  Shogun3D currently has 5 games being actively developed on a daily basis.  Although only one of these games has been unveiled, they all promise not to disappoint when the surface!  For logical reasons, Shogun3D will not announce any titles until they are proven to be both working and feasible concepts.  Those concepts that aren't will be canned without controversy.

Now, one that Shogun3D is NOT, is some random indie developer who just learned C++ or C# last week with a game idea hoping to "make it big" off one single iPhone game and retire after making millions.  Shogun3D's vision and expectations are more realistic than that.  This company has it's own marketing strategy, sales projections and business plan with resources to continue into the future.  Targeting one platform with one "run-of-the-mill" game is not likely to succeed, therefore, it's logical to expand the horizon with multiple and well-executed multi-platform games.

2. What types of games will Shogun3D make?
This is difficult to sum up in one sentence or small statement.  Shogun3D prefers to build 2D and 3D games of all types while not catering to one specific crowd.  Currently, Shogun3D's games consist of 3 arcade-style games, 1 puzzle and 1 3D simulation.  Games that anyone, regardless of age, gender, etc. can pick up  and play with a minimal learning curve.

There's no plan to create some run-of-the-mill multiplayer FPS with the intention to be the next Halo, Killzone, or Unreal Tournament killer.  Shogun3D stays away from the more "saturated" game genres because by statistics, those games are likely to be failures that are superseded by larger companies.  In order to build a successful track record, it's best to make smart business and marketing decisions and avoid common and unfortunate mistakes made by many startups.

In short, Shogun3D prefers to target the casual as well as the more serious gamer, but while making logical decisions as to what genre to pursue.

3. What platforms will Shogun3D's games be available for?
Shogun3D's games will be developed for Windows, Mac OSX, and various mobile platforms such as iOS and Android.  Console distribution methods such as Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network will be considered in the future for specific games.  Steam is also a distribution model of interest, for all of you Steam fans out there!

4. When do you plan on releasing your games?
Well, when they're ready, you'll know.  Release dates will be confirmed and announced once the proper preparations are made.  Nothing will be released without prior warning or previews.

At the moment, it's a bit to early to start estimating release dates.  They could surface a month or two from now, to even 6 months to a year.  Even though Shogun3D has working concepts, it's still a bit too early to tell.

5. Where is Shogun3D located?
Shogun3D's location is currently in downtown Seattle, WA, USA.  The exact location will not be revealed except to those with serious inquiries.

I'll go ahead and leave it here for now.  Right now, I have many things besides source code to write.  Thanks for reading.  Be sure to subscribe and leave comments.