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Climbing Mt. Everest in sneakers and shorts: My attempt at going pro

ceosol

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I'm back from the convention. So what day time were you guys thinking of? What about something like Saturday at 3pm GMT?  That would be 8am for PST people and 11pm for Philippines. If someone else has a suggestion, I can do any time as long as I have prior notice.

squeeb

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@squeeb

Interesting because you seem to have a very profound understanding of Stencyl already.
I would probably use Unity for 2D though.
Im getting there :) haha.  i mostly meant that if i cant push the limits of stencyl past what my games need to be, theres no reason to leave.  Theres another learning curve in how to use new software... ie Unity..   Also with learning  extensions now, i can code whatever i want and get it into IOS and Android, like a universal compiler instead of using android studio and something else for ios..



KramerGames

  • Posts: 402
I'm back from the convention. So what day time were you guys thinking of? What about something like Saturday at 3pm GMT?  That would be 8am for PST people and 11pm for Philippines. If someone else has a suggestion, I can do any time as long as I have prior notice.


Still waiting for my headset from amazon...I should be ready to go next week.
Parasites United  (Idle Parasite Game)

KramerGames

  • Posts: 402
It's been 30 days now since I started working on my next game, a number that is making me a bit nervous. I'm only about halfway done and hence the stakes will be bigger than I wanted them to be. I've taken some countermeasures, which is applying for a part time job and taking driving lessons (which will enable me to get a job fairly easy in a few weeks/months).

My next game combines my passion for cooking, my growing interest in gardening and my love for nature: It's about managing a tribe of cannibals and help them to get rid of the tourists that are destroying the island. It originally started out as a tower defense game where you have to craft your weapons/ammo, though by now the tower defense part isn't in the game anymore. Instead the player will be presented with a side view of various trees on which huts can be built, and some space for farms on the ground. One of the core elements of the game is assembling groups that are sent towards missions, such as gathering rare ingredients or capturing tourists which can be butchered directly or put in prison and fed. As gruesome as it sounds, the game will feature no visual violence. I'm rather hoping to create some humor through the absurd contrast by making things look innocent and colorful.


As for the graphics, I have decided to go with colored pencils. About two weeks ago I discovered about a 100 or so in the attic, and unlike watercolors, I can use cheap printing paper.
I enjoy real drawings so much more than digital and since I decided to take things slower anyway (that job thing), I'm going in the direction I want to go, even though it means more work now. From a purely aesthetic perspective, it will be worse, but here are my arguments:

- I'm fairly certain that in the long run I can unleash a lot more creativity going with real drawings/paintings
- it adds to the contrast of killing, butchering, baking and eating people on one hand and childlike drawings on the other hand
- I keep hearing a lot that you should try to make a game that is unique, and using real drawings/paintings is something that differentiates me from 99.9% of other games. I'm not saying that this will make a difference yet, but it is going in that direction.


Here are some attempts of drawing and scanning colored pencil drawings, none of this will be used though. I will be using Gimp to mix images, the tree for example will have stuff growing around it and at the bottom, but I will draw those individually and paste them in.
Parasites United  (Idle Parasite Game)

squeeb

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Man.. I really like this one!  Love that tree!  Go this rout with the art...  the guys almost look like cave art.. Great game concept as well!  Id play this one on my phone.. Let me know if I can help out at all

decafpanda

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Sounds cool!  Any gameplay footage?

yoplalala

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Quote
It's about managing a tribe of cannibals and help them to get rid of the tourists that are destroying the island.

I think you have great ideas for stories, like your Parasite game.

KramerGames

  • Posts: 402
Thanks guys!

No footage so far, I've only just started with the graphics and still have to work on some of the mechanics. Currently I'm using placeholders I've copied from a Disney movie, so posting that would not be a good idea :-) .
Parasites United  (Idle Parasite Game)

KramerGames

  • Posts: 402
Another month has passed in which my mindset has jumped around between giving up (get a job and work on my games on the weekend etc.) and the hope that I can make some significant money (300$ for each month I've worked on this game). Today I've been looking for jobs and doing some clickworking, so that's where my expectations are right now :-(

This game is taking so much time and when I look at it I can't help but to see an amateur game that doesn't compare to other one-man-indie-games. I was hoping to get this game on Steam (assuming I win the race against the removal of Steam Greenlight or the new fee won't be very high) but I've done some reading and a lot better games than mine have failed to pass. Flash might not be an option because of the performance, making my previous strategy of publishing the game on Kongregate to get the word out for the mobile version not an option either. So basically I'm working endless hours on a game that no one might play and won't get me any money – feels a lot like my writing career...


The good news is that despite all that I feel motivated to finish it. I have just completed a first version of the graphics, I will add some plants and new mountains etc. later on. On the one hand I'm quite content with the graphics in terms of “I drew that”, but on the other hand it still doesn't look very professional. My lines are squiggly and the thickness seems to vary quite randomly. What is bugging me as well is the way the huts are placed on the branches, meaning that in real life they would just fall down. Maybe I'll add some ropes, but so far that doesn't look good either.

Here's an image, the background is split in 3 parts so it has this cool parallax effect when scrolling around. The two deeper parts will be made a bit weaker and mistier in color, takes a lot of time though and therefore I want to place everything correctly before I do that. Those boxes on the ground are my farms, they were done in colored pencil and with a drunken perspective, so I'll redo them next. Btw I have ditched my idea of doing everything in colored pencil since it would take way too long, I've never had such an appreciation of the paint bucket tool after using colored pencils.

It would look cooler if there were a ladder of some sorts for the cannibals to climb up, but I'm not going into that because the ladder steps and animation would have to be perfectly synchronized, so I'll just leave it at that and say that cannibals are amazing tree climbers. I should just do what one of my favorite writers did: whenever he needed something “unreal” to be realistic in his books, he wrote it the way he wanted it and changed the Wikipedia article.




As always critique is appreciated, don't hold back just because it might feel like kicking someone lying on the ground :-)
Parasites United  (Idle Parasite Game)

domagojbulat

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It seems to me your art skills have improved pretty much! I like the screen you made! Regardless the points you stressed out, your art is warm and original. A bit of naive style direction does not hurt the impression at all, it is very nice. Hut on the branch looks good, it does not need any support platforms or ropes in my opinion. Too bad performance in Flash is weak, I think your strategy of advertising mobile version would work well for this game... I believe you will think of some good solution or someone experienced will point you in the right direction!

decafpanda

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Looks nice!  I think the huts in the trees are fine as is.  What about this game makes it run slow In flash?  It does not seem like a game with lots of collisions, drawling events, and fast moving objects.

Is it not running smooth when you test in flash?  If so that might not be a problem at all.  I find that games run like garbage when testing in stencyl, you need to publish and upload to a site to test the "real" performance

For example. My current gsme is completely unplayable when I test it, but when I publish it and upload it to Newgrounds it runs butter smooth.  My current game has crazy amounts of collisions,  fast objects, and particle effects.

I would think that this game would run fine in a published flash setting

Also, there is no shame in getting a job to help alleviate financial stress.  It might even help with your time management skills and creativity.

merrak

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I thought the colored pencil idea was neat, but this new style looks like an animated cartoon--so I think it still works well. I don't see why it wouldn't work in Flash.

I think the ladders would be worth the effort. For one thing, if the perspective is such that you only see the backs of their legs--not their toes--then there isn't anything to synchronize. When people climb ladders their feet don't remain perfectly straight, they bend.

The huts would be structurally sound if they were built around the trunks. I just did a search for "hut in tree" and didn't see any that were balanced on a branch. They were either sitting on top of a fork of branches, or built with the trunk going through it and bracing attached to the trunk and supporting the floor.

squeeb

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I love the art style!  keep it up.. no harm in getting a job also.. i work 45 to 50 hours a week... i spend 1 to 2 hours a day working with stencyl, now that i am committed ;) have you published anything to mobile? sometimes the app or game doesnt do well.. then out of the blue it starts selling.. i had a lotus flower live wallpaper that made me a buck or 2 a month (paid app)  and then it made me $1,000 in 2 months.. then nothing but a buck or 2 again haha.. was on the amazon app store

KramerGames

  • Posts: 402
Thanks guys, good to know that the huts aren't too bad. Once I thought they are bad, I couldn't look at them without thinking how wrong they are. Probably because I love tree houses and have, like merrak, looked at how they are constructed and of course they are never on a single branch.


@decafpanda: Interesting, because for me it was the reverse: I had this idle game “outsourced hell” on Kongregate and it was running fine for me when testing with the flash player, but a few people complained that the game was lagging for them on Kongregate. It had around 40-50 memory usage when testing, and my new game is already at 70, and since I'm not done adding things, I just assumed that it won't run in flash anymore.
“It might even help with your time management skills and creativity.”
Very true, having been a vagabond gambler most of my adulthood, I never got up early. I'm currently taking drivers lessons which force me to stay in a good sleeping rhythm, and in the mornings I get quite some work done plus I skip those inefficient hours late at night.

@merrak: I really cant imagine doing this ladder thing without it turning into a nightmare lol. I'll take a stab at it later when I have definitely decided at which y-position they walk around. As for the feet, the problem is that their legs are incredibly small compared to the rest of the body. I looked at some cartoons to determine the ratio, I wouldn't have guessed to be the heads as big as they are, for example Peanut characters head's are nearly as big as the rest of the body, with the legs being very short as well. Makes sense to choose the proportions according to what matters to the reader/viewer.
When making the climbing animation, that is a bit of a problem though since I want the feet and hands move the same y-amount, otherwise it would look like they are just using the arms to pull themselves up.

@squeeb: 1000$ for a wallpaper, that's pretty awesome! I have published my games on mobile but the installments were only through the link on Kongregate, and when the games faded away after about a month, so did the mobile installments.
Parasites United  (Idle Parasite Game)

ceosol

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Everybody keeps giving you the same advice of "big project of a game you want to play" and such. I cannot stress enough that a beginning indie should focus on simple and short concepts. Once you get some revenue by either selling the games, doing some contract work or getting lucky with some ad revenue, then you can try some of your own personal projects. Look at squeeb's wallpaper idea. It was simple. It was quick. It generated some revenue. I'm not saying to make wallpaper, but I believe you should think smaller in your concepts.