Saturday, August 23, 2014

Website Updates, RSS Link to this blog, new test game in the works.

So I've done a little bit of work to the website, namely pulling in the RSS feed from this blog and displaying the four latest posts on my blog page.

And I'm always changing up the formatting trying to find a color scheme I like for the page.  So any feedback on whether it's too cluttered or not exciting enough etc, helps.

Here's a screen shot of the blog page, pulling data directly from this blogger site.

Also I've begun working on a new browser based game.  The first iteration will launch with the new website under the games tab, and I'll probably keep the game javascript/client side (which lets you cheat super easily) for the first few iterations until I figure out if the game is fun or not before building in server side verification.

The game is going to eventually be a mobile game, and is a take on pattern recognition.  It's called Anomaly, and that's all the teaser I'll give for now, but as I get free time I'll try to finish up my website and get that info out.

That's it for now, the website is slowly coming along as I have bits of free time here and there to work on it.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

New Website in the Works

Well it certainly has been tough setting aside enough time to blog.  It's been the farthest thing from my mind lately!  Lot's has happened over the past few months, I've traveled, I've loved, I've lived, I've climbed mountains and well... it's pretty hard to top climbing mountains while staying moderately truthful about my past few months.

Anyway, I'm working on a new website, full with registration capabilities, some fancy JQueryUI modals, and all sorts of goodies.

It's still a LONG way out, I need to link up some MYSql Databases to store users in, build in some anti-spam functions (thinking about doing this custom, captcha is ever so annoying), and then actually add in all of the CONTENT for the website.

Right now I have the bones of it up.  It's going to use JQuery to dynamically load the html into the main page, so there's really just 1 main page that will be updated.

Here's a sneak peak at what it's looking like so far:

I'm definitely going for a sleeker look but I'll add some flair to it later and spiffy it up a bit.

Once the website is finished and up, I'll probably start working on my next game.  I'll likely just release a tower defense for android/iOS in the vein of SBX: Invasion, but that's a LONG ways out and who knows what will change in the meantime.

Anyway, I've got work in the morning so I should probably get some sleep.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Vacation! Life and some loose ideas for next projects.

So first things first, I ended up canning my review of ESO.  I got partway through and lately I've stopped  playing so it hindered my research into giving a good quality review of the game.  The game is good, but I've been busy and I'm honestly just looking for a more sandbox style MMO.  We'll see if EQ:Next is ballsy enough to be a true sandbox world that gives the player unparalleled freedom to be the type of player they want to.

Anyway, at the moment I'm on vacation out in the mountains of Colorado, which is giving me some time to catch up on my blog and relax a bit.  My consulting projects at work are ramping up quickly and I have 3 development projects as well so I've been extremely busy and tanked out during the week, and thus haven't spent any time working on my own projects.

I do have a few ideas I've been knocking around, first is rebuilding my website to be a more solid website and include a database of users to register with my website.  I do need to get a better version of Visual Studio on my home machine, but likely I'll rebuild the website in C#.NET ASPX pages with a couple html pages sitting on the front end.

I want to make my website a very interactive, fun place for people to go to and check out my projects.  So that's the first task I need to start working on.  The second is my next game project, which will likely be a mobile / web project.  I'm thinking of making either a traditional Tower Defense in the SBX Universe, or possibly combining Tower Defense with an RTS/MOBA style game.  When I say MOBA I mean imagine League of Legends without any champions where you build your towers and spawners and the "minions" have automated AI based on the type of ships you build.  Just a loose idea, I'd have to iterate on it a bit to get a solid working plan, and I might release a traditional TD first and then make that style of game after.

These are just some of the ideas and plans I have at the  moment.  My programming knowledge in C# .NET has been improving quite rapidly as I have 3 projects that are entirely in C# or use C# as the web application back end language, so I've had lots of opportunities to learn in that area.  Next will be using Java and Eclipse as I'm less comfortable with those compared to VStudio  and C#.

That's it for now, I know it's been a while since I've posted.  I'll likely do a 4th of July Sale on Indie Game Stand so stay tuned for that!

Auf wiedersehen,

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May the Fourth Be With You Sale!

It's been QUITE a while since I've posted but things have been crazy busy (which is a great thing.)  My new job is going great so far and I'm learning new things about web development every day which is a lot of fun.

Today is a special day.  For me it is an especially special day as it is both Star Wars Day and my first anniversary with my wife.  So I decided to throw a special sale of SBX:Invasion at Indie Game Stand for just 99 Cents!  That's a whopping 80% off!  Nifty.

I'm also going to be writing up an extensive review of Elder Scrolls Online as I've been playing it a bit (some even with my wife!) and it's a lot of fun but there are some glaring issues I want to touch on and how they could be improved.

It has been nice to distance myself from game development for a bit to reset and not become so attached to my projects.  It's good to become more objective when viewing my own work to learn and become a better designer.  I've been staying very, very busy as well so there hasn't been much time to work on my own projects but I'm getting the itch to design something again and work on something creative.

Likely I'll start on some smaller projects (perhaps an Android App now that I have a phone!) and try to finish a few more small games.

Stay tuned for an ESO review soon, and go pick up SBX:Inv at Indie Game Stand!


Friday, March 21, 2014

New job, the end of my time as an Indie and , ESO out soon!

Things have been going well lately.  I'm stepping back from some of my projects to give myself some time and room, particularly because I got hired on as a Professional Services Consultant at Experian Data Quality.  My new job starts this Wed and I've been enjoying my last couple weeks relaxing, playing with my dog and redditting (a lot).

I plan to come back to my projects on the weekends eventually, but I think a good break will give me some space to think about where I want each project to go and what I want to do with them in the end.  Being an indie has been a TON of fun and opened me up to a world I'd never experienced before, but for now it's time to get a stable job and start planning for the future.

So, things have been going great and I've got an exciting career ahead of me in systems development and consulting and it's pretty exciting.  PAX East is also in a few weeks and The Elder Scrolls Online Launches next weekend.

I convinced my wife that we should play ESO (Elder Scrolls Online) together when it launches and gave her a friend key to try the beta out.  She's not much of a gamer, and has only dabbled in making characters on some other games, but she really liked ESO so we'll be playing together on the weekends as an extra hobby to do together.

I'm actually surprised at how much I've enjoyed ESO so far, I went into the beta weekends thinking:  "Eh, maybe this might be good but we'll see." and didn't have high hopes for it, but the immersion factor has really drawn me into the game as well as the freedom to create neat builds and customize your character to how I want to play.  It's kind of a breath of fresh air.

Anyway, the updates to the blog will likely be slower as I'll be working full time, but I'll keep things updated about when I continue working on my projects and other things that come up as well.


Jason C.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

New Homepage with a Minigame - Interview!

Lately things have been coming together.  The past few days have been hell getting Git integrated on our server for Tzarr but it's finally working and we can start making progress on getting an online multiplayer version up and running.

Also, I've been teaching myself JQuery and JavaScript integration into HTML/CSS this week so I reworked the homepage on my website to include a minigame.  It uses the sprites from SBX: Invasion to create VERY basic galaga style minigame.  I'll expand on it later, but for now it has simple functionality.  Working on getting the minigame running today has been a royal pain, but I worked out all the bugs.

I probably spent a good half the day today staring at my screen thinking:  "WHY AREN'T YOU WORKING?"  and then realizing I was missing a colon or a comma or something stupid.  Half the time I had the syntax completely wrong too and spent a lot of time looking at the API.  BUT... I completely custom made a little game entirely in JQuery and custom JavaScript.  It  may not be super special, but I think it makes the home page just a little more fun.

Check out the new homepage here:  My Website Home

I also have an interview this coming up week in the Software Development Industry so that's exciting.  Having a stable job is something that seems more and more appealing as my wife and I get closer to having kids.  Not that I don't love being an indie mind you... it's just not the stablest of jobs.

I'll still continue on my projects of course, I still have a lot of ideas for EvoDash and Tzarr that I want to do.  And of course the 'next' project after Tzarr.  Hopefully there will be enough time for that one :).

Everything said and done, the past week has been pretty eventful and I've enjoyed myself.  I'm looking forward to more opportunities to learn and grow in the future as well.



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mid February Update - Life and Work

Well it's been a few weeks since I've posted but things have been going along well.  Business has been as usual lately.  I'm still working on Tzarr and EvoDash and working on getting some new builds out.  Also I've been learning a bit of JQuery to integrate into my website as well and build a stronger skill set for myself.

So as far as projects go, EvoDash has been coming along nicely.  Our Global Game Jam group decided we would all build our own versions of the game and then get together in the future and merge them into one combined game and take all the best ideas.

I've been reworking the way Procedural Generation works in the game and updated the UI a bit.  The movement system still needs some fine tuning as well but here's a sneak peak at the new UI and the basic Level Generation:

Also I've reorganized the way unit commands are issued in Tzarr which is getting us ready to start working on an online multiplayer build.

Things are going alright, but I've been looking for some work lately as well to supplement income while being an indie.  It's a hard balance to strike between doing what I love and planning for the future.

Also, our young dog, Max, is learning how to behave indoors and is finally becoming trustworthy unattended.  Here's a little picture of him playing in the snow (we've gotten too much of it.)  

Other than that, things keep moving on.  SBX: Invasion just had a sale on IndieGameStand for Valentine's day and we sold a few more copies there as well.

All in all things are going well lately.  Hopefully I'll have some more exciting news in the future and I should have a new build up for EvoDash in the next week or two.

That's it for now, auf Wiedersehen!