Friday, 30 October 2009

Screenshots of new planes!

I've just had some more WORK IN PROGRESS artwork for the planes come in by my artist. They're the beginner planes and they look so damn cute I just had to post them up here - LOOK AT THE BLOBBY PLANE!

I'm just about to head off to get some SFX and BGM now, I've already had all the Voice Overs sent over by The Whitney, I'll see if I can work out how to post the raw recording as it's pretty funny** to hear people try to invent noises for "Octopus Dying".

** Read: Disturbing

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Beta Testing, Preview Building, PR Building and SCARIES

I've had a lot of requests for beta testing, and as such I have been in contact with a few people to let them have a go on the Beta Build of the game, and to see what they think along with discovering any more bugs I may have missed. I think this is how I will go about doing the beta - slowly extending it if required to the people who have asked. It's actually quite a bit of work managing it and providing builds and fixes - so keeping it small and growing it slowly works for me. At the moment it seems to be OK, no real horror bugs yet (phew).

So along with the testing, I am still waiting for assets to turn up. Things have been busy for the artists so they're gonna be trickling in slowly. So in order not to waste time - I've made a preview build with what I've got and submitted the previews to a bunch of websites who were kind enough to ask me for them (TouchArcade, SlideToPlay and AppAdvice). Let's see what they say about it when they've had a go!

Which leads me onto this whole PR malarkey. It's a pretty nerve-wracking time for me, as well as a lot of *nothing*. I kinda write the emails - fire them off....and then wait. I'm really proud and confident of the game and I think it easily stands up to the best games in its category thats out there - but NONE OF THAT MATTERS if no one knows about it. This is TEH GREAT FEARZ. Maybe I just need to shout louder and with more physical force? At any rate, it's going fairly well for the moment but I will need to explode a lot more. I shall save that explosion when I have the App submitted (which will definitely be 1st or 2nd week of November now) so that people can go straight to the App Store and get it.

Here's a picture of a crazy halloween kitty whilst out visiting Bruce Lee when I was in Seattle. I think she likes Mini Squadron. Pity she has no fingers to play it with.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Arts & Ex-Loggers on Planes

It's been UBER busy but I think a proper update of what the hell is going on with the game is in order. Development wise its 95% there now - I am waiting for some further assets with the planes and levels on the art side, and on the code side its bug fixes and balancing the game. I don't think any new features will be added unless its absolutely necessary - instead they will have to go into an update of some sort. The game is already packing a fair punch - the recent release of Aera was completely rad and I love flying shooting things and it's good to see it do so well on the AppStore -along with SkySmash1918 - also a great looking shooter! Mini Squadron would love to join them one day in the hands of all the iPhone/iPod owners of the world! (^__^)

Here is a picture of the "Plane Selection" screen. The planes that are silhouetted out are kept secret - except for some as a teaser (^__~). The question marks are actually missing assets and are waiting to be drawn (--come on artist man you can do it!!!--). So as you can see - some way to go yet (* ̄m ̄)

Here is also a collage of all the themes in the game (except one). They are shrunk so they don't give everything away - but you can click through for a bigger look if you want. They don't have any of the dynamic stuff in these little put-togthers but they are beautiful when moving with the old-skool parallax action in the game! Everything looks great when I have all the dynamic elements in there too (you know, like the planes...).

As for sound, well it's turning out to be more work than I'd imagine (along with everything else it seems). For a little amusement I thought it would be a good idea to have speech when you collected certain power-ups - so I got The Whitney to squeak some sound FX for me - she is below. You will have to wait for the game to sample (geddit? sigh) her voice!

So that about sums up the state of play as it is. There might be some beta testers required soon (like, from tomorrow), and lots of testing. Submission date is still tentaively 31st October - Early Nov, but seeing as how my other "tester" app (for my friends band Subsource) which consists of playing music and some silly lighter thing is taking close to 7 weeks for hopes aren't high it will be a fast process - *cries* - ( つ Д `).

Oh yeah - I also had the fortune to meet an Ex-Logger by the name of Charles (or "Chuck") on a plane. He's crazy - Logging is NOT an easy job. By FAR. He's also blown up some stone hills and out-manueuvred some Lions - and I told him I'd post a picture of him here. So I will:

Mini Squadron is proud to have an Ex-Logger as a Fan. Please leave comments if you happen to be an existing or past Logger for random Big Ups.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Return to UK + Cat Poo

OK, seems like the power mission to Seattle is gonna be over, heading back towards UK in some crazy triple change airplane fun in the next 48 hours. I can then meet my artists physically and ramp the gears back to the MAX for the testing/balancing phases.

Also, the cat pooed on the carpet. This is not cool.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Last stretch of coding!

I booked a holiday a while ago to go to Seattle to see some friends, and now I am coding there in order to finish the game and to get it into the App Store to be submitted on time. This is the final stretch, the art is being put together for all the levels and the planes, the game is being balanced, and hopefully I'll actually have something shippable in time.

Its all a bit tight, but a bit more effort and fingers crossed I can make it!!

Friday, 2 October 2009

An interview with PocketGamer.Biz

Not long ago I had a brief interview with about being a One-man band. The interview is here. I thought it would be amusing to also post a picture of my coding environment so here it is, with annotations (click on it to make it go big):

The PC is lying flat, NOT because it's the only way to fit it under the desk - theres plenty of room, but because the lock for the CPU Fan has actually SNAPPED OFF (how the hell did that happen?!?) so if I stand it up, the fan will literally fall off the side and the CPU will overheat immediately. The Fan is basically using the power of Gravity to sit on the CPU to keep it cool. In fact - *right now as I'm typing using this computer* - if I decide to play video or something CPU intensive - the machine will just switch off. "Extreme" coding...Extremely sh*t more like. (>__>)

I use my iPhone 3G to test, but I do most of my dev on a borrowed iPod Touch 1st Gen - so I optimise for the lowest device. This has proven to be a good tactic generally - it *really* flies on the 3GS.

From this glamorous environment - *MAGIC HAPPENS.

*Crash Bugs