The last 6 months have definitely been a roller-coaster!
About this time last year I was just starting out as the Technical Director for Happy Finish, but after a year of working their I’ve decided I should go my own way and follow my passions of making video games. Both my partner and myself found ourselves moving from London, our homes for over five years, and packing everything to move down to a place we had never really spent any significant time in. It’s been fun!
Starting up a little studio to “follow our dreams” ™ has been an interesting experience in itself, my partner Roberta has really stepped up in terms of handling the day-to-day operations and accounting which has allowed me to focus on what I’m good at doing. In the past it has always led to me being the one-man-band for everything development, which ends up overwhelming me over time as I want to have perfection in every element of the development, not just the code.
So whats next?
Currently I’m working on our first game at Just A Pixel called Flipper, video below. We wanted to start out with a small project that would allow us to see how we work together, get the creativity flowing and help us understand the pipeline for production. We are little over a month and half in development now and I’m quite happy with where we are.
There are things I would like to change though:
- Bigger levels – The problem with this: As we are planning for mobile devices, I either need to add a pinch / zoom type feature or make the blocks bigger.
- Nicer effects upon level completion – This comes from feedback I was given by Robin Baumgarten, I totally agree it needs to reward the user more with nicer completion effects or something..
- New game mode – Currently working on this one, wanted to take the concept we already have and add a twist to it.
The game relies heavily on both 2D Toolkit and iTween (Though have been hearing good things about HOTween) to handle the heavy lifting of cross-platform UI systems and animating those interfaces. The levels themselves are built in-game and then saved out using a custom JSON level loader I wrote for the project (initially so users could share levels). Everything works in a modular fashion to allow for easy extension and re-purposing of pieces for other projects (The JSON loader actually lets you serialize/unserialize anything you pass into it so long as it has the interface class attached to it).
The project has been a nice test-bed for ideas and I feel that we can do quite a lot with it. Online level generation was interesting to develop as it required creating a web back-end that was tied into WordPress (Because why not?) and communicated by a REST API.
If you haven’t already, please check out our little video for Flipper (which you can play online for free here) and if you could please give any sort of feedback it would help greatly. I plan on putting out an Android build before the iOS version first as we can quickly iterate on that without having to deal with Apple submission windows but once the Android build is finalized I’ll be sure to put it out on iOS too.
Thanks for reading and if you would like to know anything more about Flipper send me a tweet to @DGoodayle and I’ll be sure to get back to you!