7DRL2014 Update: Success!

I’ve finished my roguelike! You can play it on my dropbox for now. I’ll probably upload it to various other sites once I’ve recovered from the week. I uploaded the game to itch.io. Play it here (and feel free to donate if you like it ;) ).

EDIT: I just uploaded a quick bug-fix update to fix a possible issue when loading a save. You can play the new version here. The old version is still available as well.

The game is both turn-based and real-time, which was probably too ambitious of an idea, even for seven days. I’m happy with how it turned out though. Maybe I’ll do a full post-mortem soon.

By the way, there is a sort of cruel “easter egg” in the game. See if you can find it. ;)

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7DRL2014 Progress Report 2

7DRL and Procedural Death Jam are half over! At my current rate of work, I think I can finish Commission Impossible just in time.

Combat is partially done, so the player can now kill enemies (who can’t fight back yet). Real-time mode works at a basic level, but I still need to make switching back to turnbased-mode work correctly. The player can switch active/inactive weapons now. The HUD/UI is done, except for the messages that will appear to describe what is happening. I’ve also almost finished the title and menus. And check out that player name…

Status!My next steps will be to add AI for the enemies, and let them fight the player. I’ll also make sure the enemies will work correctly in real-time mode, and make switching between modes work correctly. Then I’ll finish the menus and story. After that I still need to add messages, the ability to save/load and a lot of other action for the player to take.

And if I have time, maybe add music and look on OpenGameArt for suitable graphics.

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7DRL2014 Progress Report

Another year, another 7DRL! Last year was my first attempt at this challenge, and I’m sorry to say that I failed due to “real-life” complications. This time, it looks like I’ll finish.

My game’s name is “Commission Impossible”, and involves a secret agent hunting down a broker who cheated the agent’s agency to get a commission. The game will be able to be played in turn-based mode or real-time mode, and modes (hopefully) can be switched at any time.

A title screenDungeon generation works, I have a player that can move around, and I’ve mostly finished the title and help menu and credits screens. I also have some classes for things like weapons and enemies.

Next I’ll probably get combat added in some form, or perhaps add the “message box” for descriptions of actions the player takes. After that, I’ll finish implementing real-time mode.

progress

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How I got Unity to (mostly) work in Wine

This post will simply be a record of what I have done to run Unity using wine on Linux. This may not be the best approach, and the process you need to go through might be different than what I have done.

What you will need:

The Unity installer. I installed version 4.2.1.

Wine. This is best obtained from your disto’s repositories, unless you feel comfortable compiling wine yourself. (Don’t. Just don’t.) I used Wine 1.7.1.

A small amount of skill with a command line interface. Not a lot, because I’ll show you the commands I ran during the installation of Unity.

To begin, create a new 32bit wine prefix:

export WINEARCH=win32

export WINEPREFIX=$HOME/.wine-unity

winecfg

The prefix has to be 32bit for Unity to run correctly. Next, get winetricks. Right-click that link and save it somewhere. Then run:

winetricks tahoma

winetricks d3dx9

winetricks dotnet20

winetricks dotnet40

winetricks forcemono

You might also need to install other fonts. If Unity doesn’t work at the end of this, try running winetricks and selecting “install fonts” after selecting the current prefix. Don’t install “all-fonts”, but instead choose fonts individually.

I’ve heard that creating the folder “$WINEPREFIX/drive_c/users/$USER/AppData/LocalLow” in your wine prefix will allow you to create new projects, but it didn’t work for me. Try it if you want.

Next is the fun part: tricking Unity into thinking you have a registered Windows install. Run your wine regedit (Windows registry editor). one way to do this is by using winetricks:

winetricks regedit

Navigate to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\” and create a new string value. Call it “ProductId”. It doesn’t even have to have an actual value, it just has to exist.

Now, finally, we can install Unity. In my case, this is:

wine UnitySetup-4.2.1.exe

Install it wherever you want.

One last thing: I couldn’t get Unity to actually create a new project, so here is my workaround: create a new folder wherever you want a project to be saved. In Unity’s initial dialog, open a project folder, navigate, to the folder you just created, and tell Unity to open that. it creates the necessary asset folders and project settings.

That’s it. As I said before, this might not work for you if you are using a different version of Wine, or a different version of Unity, or for any other reason. Still, I hope this post helps you get started installing Unity! :)

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Jetpack Jacob in The Postmortem

Another Ludum Dare has come and gone, and the jammers have emerged once again with a new game. This is the postmortem of my entry, called “Jetpack Jacob in The Quest For Time” (May or may not be named after me).

The basic idea is that you have a jetpack and a shotgun, and have to collect clocks while destroying robots. Yes, it’s another 2D platformer. With a jetpack.

What went Right:

The ‘feel’. I spent a lot of work making the platformer and jetpack physics feel great. In fact, this was my priority. If a game feels good to play, people will want to continue playing it. The jetpack feels expecially nice, and it’s satisfying to simply zoom around a level. My favorite part is the knockback from the shotgun. :)

The level design. The levels aren’t exceptionally well designed, but I think they do a good enough job of introducing the mechanics to players at an easy pace. They are also very large.

The combat. You have a shotgun. Enemies also have guns. You can shoot them. They can shoot you. You have a jetpack. They don’t. The jetpack is actually what makes combat so satisfying. It can be used to hover below enemies, waiting for them to turn their backs on you, it can be used to position yourself as you let them shoot before you take your shot, and it can be used for quick getaways when things go wrong.

It’s finished. The game has an intro, gameplay, and an ending. It’s a whole game, even if it is a short game. Wanting the game to be ‘complete’ is the main reason there aren’t more levels.

What went wrong:

The number of levels. There aren’t a lot. Actually, there are only three. Fortunately, the difficulty¬† and size of the levels helps offset the small number of them.

The difficulty. The game is definitely too difficult (especially the first version). There wasn’t a lot of time left for me to balance the game, so it ended up being much too hard overall, though I think the third level is actually the easiest.

The graphical polish. Notice that I didn’t say “the graphics”! I’m actually happy with most of the art in the game. However, I am disappointed by the fact that I didn’t have time to really polish up the visuals and add particle effects to the jetpack.

Summary:

I’m quite happy with Jetpack Jacob. In fact, this is probably my favorite game that I’ve made! Well, one of my favorites at least. The title makes this game sound like it’s part of a series. Hmm…Maybe I can make a series from the base of this game. Anyway, that’s all I have to say about it now. Play the game if you haven’t, I ‘d really appreciate it! :)

As a bonus, I might be doing a speedrun of this game, if I can find a good tool to record it. I hope you’ll enjoy that!

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Results of a sale

The Interesting Sale is over, and the results are…not unexpected, but perhaps interesting to someone reading this.

By the end of the sale the number of people who downloaded the free version of B1T DR0P increased by 1, and the number of people who bought the full game increased by 2. Most people would call this a failure, however, I’m calling it a partial success.

B1T DR0P is a rather niche game. Over 40 people visited the post I made about the sale, and 2 people bought the game. That’s 5% conversion. Not bad for a game by a single developer without a previous major hit!

The other reason I don’t think the sale was a failure is that more people are playing the game. I’m quite proud of the game, and am glad that more people are now able to enjoy it.

My advice to anyone else in a similar situation: Don’t make a game that is targeted toward a small demographic, or if you really want to do that, don’t give up! The more you make, the better you will become, and there will be more opportunities for people to enjoy your work.

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The Interesting Sale

I’m going to try something different. Starting tonight, when B1T DR0P is updated (It’s started!), the paid version will be on sale for 50% off (the free version will still be free of course). So what’s interesting about this? The length of the sale will be determined by the number of purchases.

A single purchase will extend the sale by 4 hours, and so the total length of the sale will be:

24 hours + (purchases * 4 hours) + (the time Google Play takes to return to the pre-sale price)

At the end of the sale, I will give full statistics on the number of purchases, when they occurred, and anything else that seems interesting. This will give you a look into the success (or lack of success) of a niche game from a small developer.

Do you want more? Alright, here’s a deal: If B1T DR0P makes 20 or more sales at the discounted price, another game of mine (Avoider) will be made free. Forever. For you. For your friends. For everyone who wants to play it.

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