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!

Friday, March 6, 2009

ManaGen, launch today?

So I've been working on ManaGen on stop. Aidin finished the soundtrack and it sounds great, I'm going to also be using his great music in the cinematic.

speaking of which... that is all that's left art wise. I'm going to get to that in say... 7 hours? So I should be able to do a release of ManaGen tonight!!

Some new features I've implemented since I started:
- High Score percentage is saved
- Your progress can be saved
- 50 Levels are playable all with individual art
- Boomie has stopped, walk, and run animation
- The Nibs are all in and functional.
- The World fades in as you play!

To Dos for Tomorrow!
- Test out Co-Op!
- Implement the remained of the music
- Check for Bugs (fixed the game breaking ones)
- Make Tutorial out of level 1 (Arrows and text)
- Get the Cinematics in-game and finished (Audio is done for them)
- New Controls page
- fix the Pause Tips (text is blurry, Flash export problem)

I'll try to post an ongoing track of whats happening as I do it tomorrow. When all is said and done I'll post up some screenshots, and this weekend I'll get a launch trailer up (probably saturday).

I'll also get a post mortem up soon (probably an in-depth one will come with the new website (see bellow)).

----------- In other Algitt News ------------
I've got some concept art being worked on by Josh. It looks great, its for my next Project (an RTS).

Also the design for the new Website is almost done (Thanks Drew!)! So Hopefully by sometime next week I should get a brandnew site up. With community features, a forum, dev blogs, project pages, news updates, and more!

----------- Last Words ------------
Go see Watchmen! I saw it at Midnight, hands down the most intelectual SuperHero Movie I've ever seen. Reminded me of Identity Crisis (Also a DC graphic novel). Don't miss it! (Oh and its pretty graphic, so be ready for that)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

ManaGen update

So I said I would post an update (technically its 29 minutes late, but I think its still good =) ). So the game is pretty done, I'm bug fixing with my Beta testers right now. I'm also working on the two cutscenes (intro and ending cinematic). I've sent it off to Aidin for Sound, and to BigFish so I can get an idea of what they think.

Whoo! I'll post screens tomorrow (should be complete thursday(minus sound))

tentative release March 5th!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Progress Update!

So I'm finishing up gameplay on ManaGen today. I've got to get my score system working, and then I just need to get my overimage fade in, fade out to work, and copy and paste the Nibs, so the assorted colors work.

Should be able to post some images late tonight! (hopefully)

I contracted a great composer, Aidin Ashoori, yesterday! He's worked on Be A King, Perfect Dark Source, and several other indie projects. He has a great sound, you can check him out at

He's working on a quick set of songs for ManaGen, so It should be ready for next week (Feb 24th)!

Again, I'll try to post tonight so there are screens here. I'll do the same on Algitt, and probably on GarageGames.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Domain Fixed!

So I went live with the site yesterday, but I realized that I was having problems with my domain name linking, so I cleaned that up. You can now just go to!

I'm also about to post on Garage Games that I'm looking for a Torque Programmer! Yay, more on that as the time comes, anyway, enjoy all! And my GarageGames introduction blog is up!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

2D Game Development (2 Sided Coin)

So I'm currently working on several projects but I thought I would describe the process for both, incase any budding Game Developers run across the same thing that I do.

Case 1: Xbox Live game
- So I started off working on an xbox live game as my first game. Not a huge problem, I have an engine that ports directly over to my xbox 360 for testing (no need for a dev kit) and when all is said and done, I can just package for 360 distribution (thank you visual studio express + xna!) and all is good to go... right? Well not so much!

I have been a 2D game developer for a long time. And I assumed that this would be a quick and easy game for me to make, I planned features that with other engines that I'm more familiar with would have taken me a manner of hours to get a prototype working. Instead after wrangling with the engine I realized I was in over my head. Not one to give up I decided to reprioritize what needed to be in the game, and focus more on what made this game fun. Once I finally had that all settled it made the game a whole lot easier to deal with.

I hit a bit of a wall when GarageGames changed their website (couldn't access the developer network for a little bit), but I was able to continue to plan out what was happening with each level on paper, optomizing my time as best I could. I continued working when TDN was avaible again, but hit a snag, when I realized I needed Torque X 3.0 (which supports XNA 3 and community games), I of course only had Torque X 2. I was forced to shelf the game idea until TX 3 gets released. So sometimes, even the best plans still fall off the track, even with the best planning, and a will to adjust to the environment. I'm currently waiting for the release of TX3 daily, and working on my new game...

Case 2: Casual game
- I never was much of a casual game fan. I like a little more action in my games usually, but I thought it might be an interesting change of pace. So I broke out an engine that I've very comfortable with and decided to make a 2D PC game to tide me over while waiting for TX3.

I started work on my game, and in just a day had a working prototype (i've been using this engine since I was 7). It was fun to play, and I felt that could carry alot of it. But I also knew that one of the most daunting task I could do was add alot of levels. So naturally thats exactly what I did! I planned to put in 50 levels so someone who buys this game, really gets their moneys worth. I knew that if I was going to try and actually make this that long of a game, I was going to have to develop a way to just iterate levels at a faster pace. So i developed my storyline around something that would support that, and I was very happy with it.

I ended up with the Story of a young ship Captain (Boomie), working for Buildet Construction. Buildet is a company that makes it money by terraforming land into whatever its owner wants. Do you want a tropical island in the middle of an ocean, you've got it! Do you want a Barron waste land filled with a little sun, they are on it! But Boomie runs into a little mishap while heading out on his very first day, and his ship starts to malfunction. After a firm verbal beating from his superior Boomie is forced to make do with a malfunctioning ship and make the people of Calfor 6 happy, as long as his ship doesn't get him fired!

Keeping Boomie is the deployment section of his ship and working with a malfunctioning machine allowed me to have multiple combinations of levels, but still, reasonably, reuse the art, because his location is stagnant. I think this is going to be a fun game, and I'm going to look and have this guy published on BigFish as early as Feb 24th!

All and all I've realized that you just need to always have ideas on hand. If something is blocking your way and you just can't get around it, its ok, grab a new ride and go over it, you can always go back when the time comes.

Moral of the story: Use engines you are familar with, or get someone who does! =)

Head to the Pavement

Its one thing to say your going to start your own game company, it is a totally different world once you actually throw yourself in the ring.

There is a lot of Paperwork, and legal material to sort through before you can even get off the ground. I chose an LLC because I wanted to have the best protection I could get from the outset, and I'm really happy with my choice. But in retrospect I wish I had filed for my company in January 2009, so i wouldn't have had to fill outsome of my paperwork twice (beginning of the year is beginning of the year, even if you haven't been around that long).

The process is a very daunting one, with a lot of risk involved, but I live for that kind of a rush. When you are doing something you've always dreamed of, you are stressed out, but totally living in the moment even with that added pressure.

Now that I am waist deep in everything I can see that it was completely the right choice for me to strike out there and go indie. Its going to be a tough road, but I've set up a lot of protective barricades to ensure the best possible outcome. Soon the quest will begin, and It will be time for me to search for a publisher to make the next step in the journey through indie land.