Friday, August 30, 2013

[SBX:I] Ups and Downs - Getting ready to Release on Sept 13th


  Been getting the game ready to ship on Sept 13th!  SBX:Invasion will be available to purchase from the website as well as at and FireFlower Games.  I'm working on getting it up on Desura as well.

It's been a tough week of ups and downs, but things are going well and I'm excited for release.  This is my first game so it's tough sometimes to realize that it's not the best game out there.  It's fun, small and perhaps way too complicated but I've put a lot of heart and effort into making it and I'm proud of it.

I got turned down by, which is understandable, I'm an unknown indie releasing my first game, and it's probably not as good as it could have been.  It was tough to hear, but I'm going to keep moving forward and try to find that niche market out there for the game.

Then I talked with FireFlower games and they agreed to host SBX:Invasion for 2.99 Eur at their site (about $4 USD, it's a little cheaper to buy from FireFlower so go there!)  []

I'm still trying to customize my forums, but the stylesheets for a style I downloaded are pretty complex so it's taking me a while to customize them and it's not the most important thing on my to do list.

I've certainly learned a lot from this project and will keep moving forward and growing as a designer and developer.  I'll probably do an official Post Mortem for the project a month or two after release, but for now I'm just getting everything set up.

The next couple weeks will be testing testing testing!

Cheers guys,


Sunday, August 25, 2013

[WSS] Dropping out of Ludum Dare

I've decided to drop out of the Ludum Dare for a few reasons.  

  • First is:  I don't like the theme too much.  This wouldn't be a huge issue if I could get behind what I was working on and put out something fun.
  • Second:  I couldn't put my heart into my project.  About 4-5 hours into development I found that I just really didn't like my project.  I don't know, I just realized that I hated the game I was making and when I realized that, I knew I couldn't work on it any longer.  It's not the idea, it's an idea I've had for a while but I just didn't enjoy the project at all.
  • Third:  I wasn't going to turn out a decent project.  I was trying to make something completely beyond my abilities and realized that.  
  • Fourth:  I was getting stressed and eating tons of junk food and energy drinks.  This is more just my fault for not taking care of myself but I was so focused on "Ludum Dare yeah!" that I didn't take care of myself properly this weekend.  (And the wife was out of town).
The Idea:

The game was going to be called Tzarr and was based off of a board game idea I've had for a while.  Basically it's kind of like a turn based strategy chess, where you have various units (soldier, lancer, archer, etc) and then you have your 'Tzarr' or king.  Units within 1 space of the Tzarr have bonus abilities so it's balanced around keeping your king safe but keeping him close enough to empower your units.

I like the idea, but I think it's best left to staying a board game idea.

What I learned:

Dropping out of the LD was a tough decision.  I don't like quitting things, but I was doing to the Ludum Dare to have fun and turn out a fun game, and neither were happening.

I fully intend to join up in the LD competition again, but I should probably plan it better and not just hop in when I'm already quite invested in pushing out another title.

So a few things I can take away from this as a learning experience:

  1. I need to focus on my current game.  I'm releasing SBX:Invasion in a few weeks and that needs to stay my focus and what I put my energy into.
  2. Scope.  Will I make something similar to Tzarr in the future?  Probably, I really like Strategy games, but I'll do it if I have the resources and time to.  I was trying to do something new with the Ludum Dare and that wasn't the best idea.  I didn't have the time or energy to figure out all the new things I needed and it was stressful.
  3. Planning.  I need to plan out what my options are for game types and practice making smaller versions so I know exactly what I need to do when the game starts.  Having set of game types to choose from will make coming up with an idea easier and make starting the game less stressful overall.  
  4. Eat properly.  I was kinda  just binge-ing on junk food and didn't think too much about what I was eating (I normally eat pretty healthy too) so my body just kinda crashed and burned as well.

I enjoy game Jams but this one just didn't click with me.  I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what people make for LD though and kudos to all those that finished a game!
For now my focus will stay on shipping SBX:Invasion.  That's what I need to do for now, and when the time comes when I can put my focus into the Ludum Dare, I'll do it.



Monday, August 19, 2013

[SBX:I] Late Week 7 blog + New Ship Graphic


 Little late on my weekly blog post for last week but a bunch of new stuff has been done.

  First I put out a press release on Saturday but it didn't go TOO great.  Some things I probably should have done differently:

  • Not doing it on Saturday when a bunch of the people I sent it to aren't working
  • Make a better polished video, it was my first time making a promo video and it wasn't the most polished so it probably didn't grab people's attention enough.
  • Better explain some of the features of the game in the press release.
That said, I don't know if I'll get a better response over the next week, I'm hoping to get reviewed by at least a medium site, so that I can start to get known.

It's the beginning of a long journey to getting recognized as an up and coming indie dev.  

Anyway, I'm not discouraged, just pondering how it could have gone better.  I've read a lot about marketing but experience is the best teacher.

So about the game:  I've been working on the Custom Map Editor.  I've got the map creation finished.  And I've got the loading capability and editing capability added, all that's left is to actually make the maps from the map file and create the waves.  This will be the difficult part.  I have the data all there exactly how I want it but now I need to put it all into action and tune the wave creation process (that's the actual hard part).

Also, I just made a new player ship graphic.  The old one just didn't look ALL that great.  I'll probably be streamlining my graphics and updating some of the older stuff until the game is released.  I'm trying to rework graphics to keep them similar thematically (such as buttons, etc).  Or at least have thematic groups (to avoid monotony in graphics).

The new Ghost Mode looks a lot better than the old one and it fits a bit better with the enemy graphics.  The old ship model was too pastel compared to everything else.  I may rework some of the enemy graphics and turret graphics as well but they're less of a concern than the player ship.

The reason you have ghost mode (secret lore tidbit) is because you have Fuscian Powered tech on your ship.  There won't be any story secrets within THIS game, but part of the Fuscian back story (if you play SBX [Space Blaster X]) is that Fuscian energy was discovered and humans attempted to harness it's immense power by fusing it with various alien lifeforms.  But it got out of hand and Fuscian Parasites started taking over machines and other lifeforms.  Yadda yadda, you have to go save the galaxy, that's the first game.  SBX:Invasion is kind of a side story separate from the lore.

But anyway, that's why you have the Fuscian Tech on your ship.

This week I'll be trying to finish up the Map Creation from the save file and getting the game into it's final state where I just need to polish it up.  (Bug fixes galore, though I don't have any on my list atm, but I'm sure they're out there hiding.)

Also, I'll be going to the Boston Post Mortem Summer BBQ on Wednesday and I'll be taking part in LD48 # 27  (Ludum Dare Comp 27)  I'll be streaming my entire FIRST Ludum Dare Comp at

Also follow me at my new twitter:  @WakeStudio

I'll try to post sooner this week,


Jason Carter
aka WakeskaterX

Monday, August 12, 2013

[WSS] Ludum Dare Coming up and Press Release


  Well I'm gearing up to do a press release soon for SBX:Invasion.  I've got a list of a bunch of reviewers and writers for various websites and what not and I'll be pushing out info on SBX:Invasion to all of them probably  this weekend!

Also I'm going to be taking part in the Ludum Dare this year and I'm super excited!  It will be my first Ludum Dare and I'll be streaming the entire process.

I'll also be streaming for a few hours on certain days to start building up a stream audience and let people see what I do on the game.

You can check out the Ludum Dare here:


-Jason Carter-

Thursday, August 8, 2013

[SBX:I] Week 6: Vacation & Marketing


  This week is a short one.  I'm leaving to visit my wife's family this weekend so there wasn't a whole lot on the game production side.

  Mostly I've been working on a Promotional Video for SBX:Invasion.

Here is an early version of the Promo Video:

Also I'm working on getting the game up on some Indie Game sites to prepare for release.  The next month and a half will be finishing the game, polishing it up and then getting it ready for release!

Exciting stuff!

Well, there will be more next week as it'll be a longer work week and I'll have started work on the Custom Map Creator, which is the only big thing left.


Jason aka

Monday, August 5, 2013

[SBX:I] Week 5: Endless Level / last leg of Development


  Little late about posting the blog, but here it is.  The Unlimited level is finished, a bunch of things were optimized and a few bugs were fixed.

The Endless Level is slightly random, giving you one of five different:  Starting Caches of Materials, Base Locations, Ore Locations and Portal Configurations.  These make for a wide variety of difficulties and starting options available.

Some of the configurations will be very difficult at the beginning, some of them much easier, but it provides a little bit more variety and randomness.

What is coming up this week?  Well I'm going to be working on a Custom Map Editor, that will allow the player to save maps to an external file and load them in and play them.  This will let people make custom maps and then send them to their friends to play and try out.

You have to get 50,000 points in Endless Random Mode to unlock the Custom Map Mode, but it'll have a lot of options for customization and will reward you with four new enemy types only available in the custom mode.

Over the next couple weeks I'll be working on these new enemy types, implementing the saving and loading mode and re-working some of the graphics for the game.

And then once that is all finished I'll be polishing it off for release!  It's exciting and I'm looking forward to shipping my first game.

Well that's it for now, maybe next time I'll have some screen shots to view.



Friday, August 2, 2013

[Art] Starbound Wallpaper


I made a wallpaper out of the characters I have made so far.

Here is a 1600x900 version: