Monday, October 31, 2011

A Game releases, and I jabber about random things!

Man its been a while, I have been in a long long development cycle and getting my XNA skills up while working on Endless Princess.  But what matters now is that it is out!

You can now buy Endless Princess on Xbox Live Indie Games, or from the website: click here
EP was in development for far to long, but in the end it was absolutely worth it.  Algitt Studios first commercial game is now out in the world, and we have two titles under our belts.

Let me roll through a little bit of the game plan.  The plan was to go through these stages, release a 2d game (1. Get through the production cycle of a full game, start to finish), release another 2d game (2. Get through the production cycle of a commercial game, and work with a more standard programming language (in this case C# and XNA).  We are now at stage 3, which is do a 3D Game.  That was always the goal, to get up to doing a 3D game, because thats where Algitt can reach its broadest market.

Frankly, I know this might sound crazy to some devs out there, but a 3D game is far easier than a 2D game for a one man studio.  Now of course this is relative, if my previous 2D games had art that was 8 bit retro style, it might have been faster to do a 2D game.  But trying to do flash based animation vs. 3D animation, the 3D is faster.  You can reuse everything if you design for it the right way, and that,s the plan for this next game.  All the characters will utilize the same rig, so their animation can be shared across.  This makes prototypes substantially faster, when in the early stages I can share, run, death, celebrate, idle, etc. animations with multiple characters.  Now that being said, as you can tell from Algitt's previous 2D games, I like to think inside the box, because I know I am not an environment guy, so if I can frame the gameworld inside a small area, I can usually pump a little more quality into it, than I would if the game was bigger and required a level of design that escapes me for architecture.  That being said, the next Algitt game will randomly generate alot of the level, giving it more variety than any game that we've released so far.

I've rambled on enough, more to come on the next game in its own post.  My lunch is over, time to get back to art-ing and networking!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Updates Update everywhere!

So Algitt has changed alot in the past 2 years (geeze, I really needed to update this more often -_-).

Contract Art
Contract Art is now the money maker for Algitt.  My everyday time is spent doing 3D Artwork for Exato Game Studios (as well as some 2D ie. UI, texturing, etc). I handle all of the Characters, from Modeling and Texturing, to Rigging, Skinning, and Animating.  We are currently hurdling toward some major deadlines, and things are looking good.  If you are curious about the game, Progenitor, you can check out the trailer that we released earlier this year.

Our Games
So many things have changed on the game front.  I've been doing alot of XNA lately, so that is the general direction our games are going (not all of them, but the next couple are).  Here's what is currently in development.

Endless Princess (Xbox Live Indie Game)
EP is a endless running game, with action and combat.  You are Sir Charles and you must save Princess Keepaway from your evil nemesis.  Fighting your way through enemies with Huge Axes, Flying Dragons, and of course the ever dreaded Spikes of death.  The gameplay is simple, and the longer you play and the longer your combo chain changes the difficulty and ups your score.  After much debating I'm looking into doing Online Leaderboards (through SpynDoctor's Peer to Peer method), unfortunately this will require you to have Xbox Live Gold to get leaderboards, so I'll make sure that there is a local leaderboard as well.  We are looking for a late April, Early May release date on this one.  The Programming is about 70% done (the main left overs being tied to Animation timing and Leaderboards).  I'll start posting screenshots as the prototype art is removed and replaced with some real stuff.

Orc Brigade (PC/MAC)
This is a reverse tower defense game that I have been dieing to make.  Development on it is just at the planning stages as I'm waiting for Torque 1.1 Final to get a release.  I'm using a combination of several different add-ons, including the Universal AI Starter Kit and Arcafe FX 2.0 systems.  I'm still playing around with how cutscenes are going to be done (could be 2D and animated in flash, or 3D realtime, with some sort of system like Verve, we'll see).  More to come on this one in the coming months, its not going to start rolling along truely into production for another couple of months.

Unannounced Xbox Live Indie Game
So I'm currently working on a game thats running in Sunburn 2.0.  Unlike Endless Princess, this one is Multiplayer-centric, and 3D.  Because of that its going to take me alot longer to get it done than Endless Princess has taken me.  I'm hoping to have it ready to roll in the Fall, but even that might be a little ambitious (there's only so much time in the day when you have a 8 - 5 thats not working fulltime on your game).  This one I'll start pulling back the curtain on after Endless Princess is released, after all I don't want to start double developing of EP will never get out the door.

SO.... that's where we are right now, 3 games in development of all sorts of sizes and ambitions, and long term Contract art in my lap.  I'm going to keep this more up to date with my musings and random updates as time goes by.  Until the next update, enjoy!  And check out the NEW and IMPROVED,!

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's late, I'll make it short...

The New Algitt Studios Website is live!!!!

Check it out!  I will be posting a full Status update on our projects, and whats been going on over the past year tomorrow.  Hopefully that will tide you over while I get some sleep!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Updates Abound!

So the new Algitt Studios Website is live, go check it out, much nicer, and way cleaner!

Also, I put up a Algitt Studios Fan page, as well as a DeviantArt account (which will get loaded with more art as time goes on).

Enjoy, still working on lots of games.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Long slippery slope

It's been a while, figured I would post an update.

So finding Investors has definitely been put on hold. I'm deciding to take the company, in a slightly different route, to arrive at the ultimate goal. I'm currently working on a new Casual Game, and I'm teaching myself C++, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

The New 2D game

The new game, is a much MUCH better, and WAY more fun game than ManaGen. ManaGen taught me alot. From a Software standpoint I learned that I needed to upgrade to doing Hardware Accelerated apps. ManaGen would run too slow on some machines, or if even a couple small apps were running in the background on good machines. So I switched over to the Java Hardware Acceleration. Good news is, my next game will have a wider audience, as this version of Fusion exports to apps as Mac compatible.

In the Gameplay position, i realized I hadn't really made a "casual game" at all. I had really developed a Casual Game for Hardcore gamers. There were too many controls, the throw mechanic wasn't precise. It required you to have a thurough understanding of how more faster paced games like Super Smash bros were played to really play it well. So I went back to the basics, and I did more research. I wanted to do a game based on swinging, like the Ninja Rope in Worms, only problem is that is a very precise and hard to use item. Entertainment value would be high, but again, casual gamers are going to be quickly frustrated, and still too many buttons.

So I broke down the swing mechanic to be as simple as possible. You line up your cursor with where you want to fire, and then you shoot, all with the left mouse button. If you hold it your character will swing towards the location, and momentum will carry them forward (like swinging on a vine, while climbing up at the same time). To let go and land somewhere you just let go of the left mouse button. Ultra simple.

Prototyped it, and it was a lot of fun. I added Hazards the progressively get harder, pickups, and a timer to your demise. This one is looking way more promising. I'll post some screens about it, and the name, once I get working on the art for it. This one will not be free, unlike the last one. But I will release a demo, I'll also try to chart my progress on it as I go.

Me, Programmer?

It's not as crazy as it seems. Anyone who knows me, knows I am an artist at heart. But I have been programming for a long time. I used to do Java and ActionScript in highschool, created alot of Cpmmand Prompt apps in java (heh, gotta start somewhere) and did some very basic web stuff in Actionscript. I learned a little C++ for two summers, when I took some courses with internaldrive, It really got me learning about C++, and I releaized for what I was doing it was alot like the Java I had already learned. So I've decided its time for me to become fluent in C++ (hopefully C# afterwards).

I've dabled in C++ for the past couple of years, tinkering around in Torque, but I've never really done much because my foundation just isn't good enough. So I'm starting from the beginning. I'm going to keep working with it, and interface with Torque as I go, getting a better feel for a game engine that I really enjoy working with. This should also open some doors for me, because I'll be able to prototype, and from pitching to publishers, that was the one thing that most of them wanted to see that I was just not capable of showing them. So I'll probably post about how the programming is going as I push ahead with that, especially once I start modifying torque.

So where does that leave Algitt?

Algitt is still in the same position it was before. I'm not gonna give up on it, and It's only going to get better as I get better. I already have the Art side down, If I can get the some of the Game Programming to go with it, it will only make the company stronger. Stay tuned there is more on the way!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

ManaGen postmortem

ManaGen has been a success!

It currently has 113 downloads on, and for the past two weeks has been #5 in the action puzzle game category download (in downloads per week). I thought it was about time, to do a post mortem.

What worked?
- Levels: I wanted to have a system in place that would let me develop a lot of levels at a relatively quick pace. The system I developed worked out great, allowing me to just paint a new environment per level. It gives the player 50 levels to play, while never having a repeating world.
- Co-Op: Funny thing is I almost didn't have co-op! But that is what I'm all about, so there was no way I could leave out co-op play.
- Music: The sound track was great, Aidin did an amazing job. Also it doubled as giving me background music for the cinematic. I would love to bring Aidin back to do music for WK.
- Fun: It's fun! This was a big deal for me, when you make a puzzle game its hard to know its going to be fun, so the fact that its as fun as I hoped it would be is a perfect.
- Difficulty: Listening to my Beta testers I understood that it was very hard to get 100%, and in some levels near impossible. So i implemented Co-Op mode to take care of this. The game is still difficult, but you can jump in with a friend if the going gets tough.

What didn't work or could you have done better?
- Co-Op controls (in the 1.1.0 version): I didn't properly test co-op play before releasing the first build. The throw button was broken, and that was an unacceptable problem. Next time, even if a feature goes in late, I will make sure it goes through the proper testing.
- Cinematics: I wish I had more time to make the Boss animate more. I changed my idea to hide the lack of time I was able to devote to his animation. I went with more humor in the intro, to hide the lack of actual animation in the animation.
- Menus: I wish I had put more time into my menu's being a cohesive system. They are all controlled differently, and the way i made the select screen stopped my from letting you play the game entirely without the mouse. I should have tested earlier, so i could have changed this and not had a problem.
- Controls: I wish i could have made pick up and throw the same button! I should have focused on making an inventory system to help make this possible.

Did you meet your expectations?
Yes, I was hoping to make a Action Puzzle game that was a quick pick up and play game, and fun, with a little humor in the Cinematics. I think I suceeded in that.

In closing
My biggest goal was to take a game from design to finish by myself. This was to show me that I could handle completing a project. I've watched too many games and mods get started and show so much promise and never get completed. I needed to be sure that wasn't going to happen here, now I know, and anyone interested in my company can see that at Algitt, if nothing else, we are Finishers.

----- Studio Update -----
I'm in talks with two publishers about funding for Warlord Kingdoms, I'll keep you posted as talks continue.

Friday, March 13, 2009

ManaGen released! On to the funding Stage!

ManaGen has been released (and patched)

I've added these features:
- Co-Op
- Hi Score and Progress Saving
- In Game Pause
- Tutorial Level
- Intro Cutscenes
- Ending Credits/Cutscene

You can now download ManaGen 1.1.1 from .

Now that ManaGen has been released its time for me to get the ball rolling with getting funding, though a publisher or investors. Stay tuned!