Saturday, October 14, 2017

Devlog: Serious Scramblers #25

Working on a boss character! Here's how it looks:
Perhaps I'll write an entry detailing how the worm was implemented.

Musing again

A potential publisher we've been in contact with decided after some months that they wouldn't be working with us on Fates & Constellations after all - it's a bummer, but not altogether unexpected. After all, their SDK does not support GameMaker, which is the engine we're using. I'm somewhat disappointed they didn't feel the need to build a Gamemaker version of their SDK but this just mean they don't think F&C is worth the extra work. For shame.

There's still a lot to be done to make the game accessible, and what with the need to further tweak the graphics, it doesn't look like F&C will be done anytime soon. Being the only person in the team championing the game at the moment, it does get a little tiring, and I feel in need of a break. As such, I shall be scaling back the amount of time I spend on F&C to set aside some time to work on a new prototype to pitch to the fellow mages. I'm thinking a game with an isometric view - perfect excuse to give Unity a(nother) go. That shall be the arrangement until I get my groove back so I can finish F&C for real.

This thus far has been a year of delays for Rotten Mage, on all ends. Quite frustrating really - I really need for Rotten Mage to become sustainable soon and not have to entirely depend on the unstable income from my part-time jobs. Pressure from my parents only amplifies the urgency to make things work out. Partly thanks to that, I've been treating my personal side project more seriously as a form of potential income. Serious Scramblers, which was an extremely fun project to work on, looks to be >50% done. Its more simplistic nature and smaller scope, combined with the fact that I get to make all decisions without any restraints or worries about disapproval, likely means that it'll get released before any of our current projects in Rotten Mage's pipeline.

All these may sound pretty gloomy, but I'm really quite eagerly anticipating Spacejacked's eventual release on consoles - it's been a dream of mine to make games for consoles and I very much want Spacejacked to find an audience on those platforms. I suppose I just need to be patient and use the time to prep the marketing materials.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Devlog: Fates and Constellations #23 - Tracking progress

Did a couple things for tracking progress in the game.

Clicking on individual world node will result in the displaying of the number of levels completed in that particular node, as well as the number of stars collected. I will probably have to change the layout thanks to iPhone X's design.

Also made changes to the level selection screen so it now reflects which exact levels have been completed.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Devlog: Serious Scramblers #23

Not a lot of time to work on Serious Scramblers this week, so I set aside a little time to add in this tiny detail.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Devlog: Fates and Constellations #22 - Quick catching-up

Progress on F&C is admittedly on the slow side for the past month, but it isn't at a standstill, I'm still progressing, albeit rather slowly. Part of this has got to do with the fact that my recent tasks are all very UI-heavy, and programming and designing UI is my bane - it's not particularly fun(for most part) and at times is mind-numbing mundane. Still, work is work.

Another issue that has cast some uncertainty on the direction of the project is surprisingly, our choice of game engine. We're currently in talks with a publisher and was at one point close to signing a contract - until we're told that they don't currently have a GameMaker extension to their SDK. Thanks to that we're all kinda in an uncomfortable position of having to wait and see how things turn out. Quite worrying - because I was banking on advice from a publisher on how best we can monetize the game.

What I can do now is to keep updating the game and keep the the publisher updated(which reminds me, I still don't have a presentable build since starting work on the progression system). We'll see how this goes.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Devlog: Serious Scramblers #22

After a couple people pointed out how difficult it was to follow the player amidst all of the visual clutter, I've decided to remove the debris and opt for the more subtle smoke particles.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Devlog: Serious Scramblers #21

Added a new obstacle that continuously fires bullets in one direction. Made the choice for all of the spawners to fire the bullets at the same time - that way players will be better able to anticipate the bullets and have an easier time avoiding them.

Sunday, September 3, 2017


This is one of those post where I absolutely need to pen out my thoughts and not hold it in any longer.

I have, on multiple occasions, ask my teammates about how they think our future releases would do, and get responses that indicates a severe lack of confidence, or worse, absolute indifference. Now, I understand everyone's badly burnt by Spacejacked's abysmal financial performance, but it should be an experience for us to learn from. Spacejacked's poor sales figures is largely a product of our lack of marketing and community building, and we should do our utmost not to repeat the same mistake. And yet, it feels like everyone is somehow content with the status quo, despite thinking that the games wouldn't sell. It's almost as if everyone's just going through the motion because no one wants to be the first to quit.

Compared to the times when everyone was working on Spacejacked to the best of our abilities, these days everyone just seems like they can't be bothered to:-

- Communicate any issues faced to the team
- Communicate with crucial partners
- Work

It is absolutely torturous having to pour blood and sweat into a project and feel like no one else have their hearts in it. Or maybe it's just me.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Devlog: Serious Scramblers #19 - New flying pattern

Added a new variation of the flying enemy type - they'll continuously move left and right!

Devlog: Fates and Constellations #21 - WIP World Selection Screen

Here I am testing out the very much still-in-development world selection screen.

We've decided upon separating the levels based on the mechanics introduced, as well as the difficulty in general.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017

Devlog: Serious Scramblers #14

Added variation to platform length after the player has progressed far enough!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Devlog: Fates and Constellations #20 - Revamped art assets

Finally got around to integrating the new art assets by Victoria.

Also added functionality to scale do-dads!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Devlog: Fates and Constellations #19 - Different split angles

Testing out a new splitting angle. The intention is that we'll have a central hub in the game that acts as a world selection, and each world could potentially have a different splitting angle - level progress is something I've yet to work on; I'll have to get around to it once I'm done replacing the current artwork in the game with Victoria's art assets.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Devlog: Serious Scramblers #12

Figured I should start tracking the number of coins collected during a play-through. So here it is!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Applying for DEJUS Rating

One of the more mundane task that I found myself having to do for Spacejacked is the administrative side of things. In order for the game to be eligible for distribution in the Americas, we have to apply for the appropriate game rating. CS already got us the ESRB rating, which thankfully is recognized by almost all countries in the region saved for one - Brazil. I'm writing this entry to document the steps I took to apply for the Brazilian game rating - I'm mighty forgetful and I can't read Portuguese.

1) Go to
2) Click on "ClassificaĆ§Ć£o Indicativa"
3) Click on "Procedimentos"
4) Click on "JOGOS E APPS"
5) And there we have it, the explanations on the page from this point on should be obvious.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Devlog: Serious Scramblers #11

Runs on iPad too! Accounted for the difference in aspect ratio by erecting two walls on both ends of the game area.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Devlog: Serious Scramblers #10

Still can't get my GMS 2 to detect iOS devices using my current laptop. Had to switch to an older laptop before it works. Here's the game running on an iPod!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Annoying issue

Welp, this is a real annoying issue and I have no idea what I should do about it.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Drawing a line in Construct 2.0

I was quite recently asked how a match-3 game like Tsum Tsum can be implemented in Construct 2. Thought this could be a good chance to check out how Construct 2 is like.

I figured I'll first implement a line drawing functionality, then have whatever "gems" it intersects be destroyed.

I'm sure there are better ways to implement this, but at such short notice, and without any prior experience with Construct, this is what I have for now:

Essentially, the line is just a series of short line segments each created with a scaled sprite. The original sprite is 1px by 4px. With 4px being the thickness of the line. Each segment is rotated and has its width set based on the touch position.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Another Spacejacked Update

Been adding waves to the second endless mode. Here's one more!

The blue giants are a lot more durable than the red ones, so it's essential to chip away at their health as much as possible when they are still in the upper arenas!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Today I learned #02

  • The ref keyword differs from out in that ref requires the corresponding argument be initialized first before being passed into the function. (C#)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Today I learned #01

  • I can't apply an access modifier to a method in an interface, they're public by default. (C#)

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Spacejacked Update

Working on a new variation of the red giant. Introducing... blue giant (lol)!
So, this blue version is faster on its feet, but takes a lot longer to recover from landing and turning. It's designed to emphasize the importance of building turrets in the higher arenas.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Devlog: Serious Scramblers #03

Managed to find some time to add in a few things.

Coin collection:

Also, here's the title!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Devlog: Serious Scramblers #02

Haven't had an update in a while (no thanks to having to teach a holiday camp).
Anyway, I managed to spare a little time to add drop-shadows to the various entities. Here's how it looks!

Next up: collecting coins

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Devlog: Serious Scramblers #01

Lately, much of my time is spent working on Fates & Constellations (and to a much lesser extent, Spacejacked). That said, I've managed to sneak in a couple hours of development a week on a small project based on a game called "Rapid Roll" on my low-end Nokia phone.

The objective of the game is simple - moving your way down elevating platforms and avoid getting pierced by the spikes.

So far I've gotten a prototype up and running (seen above). There's still much to be done, as there isn't any form of level progression at this point. Please look forward to future updates!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Devlog: Fates and Constellations #18 - Split label removed

Each level in the game is to be cleared within a certain number of splits. Till now, we have been relying on displaying a number on the top-left corner of the screen to communicate to the players the number of splits remaining - it proves to be fairly ineffective (few people notice the label, much less read it while solving the puzzle).

Consequently, we're trying a different approach to displaying the split counts, as featured below. We'll need to test this.

In other news, our artist who's previously worked with us on Spacejacked has offered to help improve the looks of the game. Early mockups seem promising. It may be a while before we're done with the graphical upgrade, but we look forward to showing it to everyone once it's ready!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Devlog: Fates and Constellations #17 - Tweaks

Before proceeding on to adding more content, I thought it'd be a better idea to address some of the feedback we received during playtesting.

One of the minor changes we've made was to reduce the size of the nodes hoping it'd look better.

Before & After:

Another change we added is even more subtle. It has to do with the amount of time you have to wait for the lines to reach the edge (after the final split) of the game area before the level restarts. To fix that, we gradually speed up the line after the final split.

Here are the gifs for comparison:



Friday, February 24, 2017

Devlog: Fates and Constellations #16 - Particles!

Added some particle effects to emphasize the cutting of lines. The tiny particles seem to work well enough with the glow =)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Devlog: Fates and Constellations #15 - Glow

Finally added some glow to the constellations. Still got to tweak this further - the glow makes the white nodes look like balls of fuzz, so we'll probably have to change how they look. Also, jon fixed up the lines so they now look smoother, good bye aliasing!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Devlog: Fates and Constellations #14 - Post-processing

We thought it's time to finally do some post-processing to spice up the look of the game and to break away from the somewhat flat color tone. There was much experimentation, and we eventually settled on changing the hue and saturation towards the bottom of the screen so it looks like the landscape is reflecting light.

Here's the comparison (before & after):

We try to keep the effect subtle in order to not draw too much attention away from the puzzle. In fact, we're thinking of making the constellations stand out more by implementing glow - so that's something to look forward to! =D

While implementing the shader I came across a weird issue on iOS - unlike its Windows counterpart, which gave the above result, the iOS build had weird graphical glitches (flickering white dots, black colors turning white, etc). As it turned out, the issue was caused by floating point imprecision. More specifically, for GLSL (ES), precision qualifiers are a thing. (Much thanks to my teammate jon for fixing this!)

For some reason, the float variables in the shader were of mediump (medium precision) and is unable to represent a value as small as the following:

float e = 1.0e-10;

Consequently, e becomes 0 and resulted in a division by zero in the implementation, thereby causing weird graphical artifacts.

The following links greatly helped us in the implementation of the post-processing fx.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Devlog: Fates and Constellations #13

Work-in-progress level selection screen. Here's a look at some of the levels we've made!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Devlog: Fates and Constellations #12

Quick update!

After attending my first local indie get-together and showing a bunch of people the game, it became quite obvious that the level-restart transition is confusing to a lot of people. Here's how it looked:

Terrain rotates to the right on restart

Here's the updated version:

Hopefully it's now a lot clearer and doesn't look like it's going to a previous level.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Devlog: Fates and Constellations #11 - Tools

Last week has been about building up our tools. As the number of levels we've made increases it becomes increasingly tedious to have to cycle through other levels to get to the one we want. As such, we took some time to build a crude but functioning tool to preview and reorder levels:

It's also become pretty obvious that sorting through all the levels by difficulty without some form of automation would be a less-than-enjoyable and time-consuming task, so we also wrote a tool to help us sort the levels by difficulty. It works by presenting the user(that's us), a series of questions asking which of the 2 presented levels is harder. By the end all of the levels would be properly sorted by difficulty (files are numbered in the gif below for testing purposes).