Tuesday, March 31, 2009

ManaGen postmortem

ManaGen has been a success!

It currently has 113 downloads on download.com, 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 http://www.algittstudios.com/algittstudios/games.htm .

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)