Sunday, July 31, 2011

[SBX] Time, Time, Never Enough

Finding time to work on SBX, even time to sit down and unwind and write is hard these days.  Although with recent events my schedule has opened up, I am still working 6 days a week, although the hours aren't too long per day.  I am an avid gamer but with the development of SBX, my free time has diminished quite considerably and I hardly have time to even crack open Starcraft 2 or Team Fortress 2.  I have been playing a little bit of League of Legends, but partly that is due to the LvL15 summoner requirement for a job position at Riot Games. And then the girlfriend takes up time, but that is time well spent.

Also finding playtesters is hard these days.  Most people won't play a WIP game, and the few that do don't seem to post enough feedback.  Marketing will be tough even when the game is finished, but even tougher now with limited content.  My hopes are that once Level 3 is finished people will post more often on the forum topic I have for the game.

Level 3 has been a trip so far.  I am splitting the level into various areas.  As you "infiltrate" the fortress you go deeper and deeper having to clear rooms 1 by 1.  So far I have the starting outside area with 4 turrets and then it transitions into the inner area.  Due to object limitations, I have each piece of the walls move separately so the timing and size adjustments become tedious.  It's coming along slowly, but should take a week or so to finish.  The second room is now started and I'm thinking about more ideas to make things fun.

For the second room I plan to have small enemies that travel on a path on each side of the room that will randomly stop and fire a thick laser across the room.  There will be 2 separate ones moving independently. Also there will be enemies moving in and out of the room through the slits at the top, as well as 2 turrets with alternating shields protecting them from weapons.  Once the two turrets are destroyed the level will continue.

Job Hunt:
Nothing back so far on the job front, but I am asking around to try and interview different game developers.  Getting connections and really getting a feel for the specifics of what different developers do and suggestions should help a lot.  Keeping busy with work and programming has kept me from being impatient.  I have my project to finish first and that is my priority, although I will keep looking - the sooner a job found the better.  Working at Panera bread is tedious and has become redundant.  I like my coworkers and boss and even know most of the customers that come in by name, but it lacks any sort of intellectual stimulation.  I look forward to a job requiring even a modicum of intelligence.  As it stands, I may not get paid to develop SBX, but I love it and i WILL do this for a living. ;-D

That concludes my wind down for the night.  Back to the grind tomorrow, but I have Tuesday off and I'll be able to get a lot done for SBX.

Thanks folks!


Saturday, July 30, 2011

[SBX] To Develop a Game

Today I am starting a blog about my development of Space Blaster Xtreme - SBX, an indie game made with Gamemaker 8.1 standard edition.  I'll post new releases and information regarding the game as well as talk about what I have done, issues I have faced and how I've learned more about streamlining the code and all the tasks at hand.

The website for the game can be found at:

It is a work in progress for sure, but it is done in my spare time, working for free - to develop a portfolio to become a game designer for a large company.

I have applied plenty of places already but until I finish this game, I have no 'finished product' in which to market myself by.  Once finished I can use it as leverage to get companies attention.

As of now there are two levels and various additions to weapons and the upgrades you can make.
Developing the cores and thrusters is a pain and tedious, but were fairly simple to add as much of the coding was copy/paste.  However, each weapon and most of the special weapons require a fair amount of coding to have them interact with all the objects in the game.  I have just released weapon 4 - Ricochet Laser - to the game as well as some new features not implemented in earlier versions.
Also (not part of the current download) I have added my own loading bar and icon image to the game to set it apart.

Last Notes:
If anyone is a sound designer by the way, I am looking for someone to compose original music and sound effects for the game - you will be given credit of course.