Archive for the ‘Stuffing’ Category

Blogging for 5 years now… wuh, really!?

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

I wont pretend this blog features much quality content, but it seems I’ve been filling it with nonsense for 5 years now (started May 1st 2005). So wow!

Completely unrelated, yet an appropriate way to celebrate, I now have an image at the top of the site. Wow ‘eh? Now I am a whole 2 steps away from the default WordPress theme (the 1st step was widening the layout).

The past week I’ve been busy with a variety of things. Smiles for Palm Pre is available, and actually, I’ve already submitted and had an update approved. So that’s looking good.

My focus the last few days has been building and setting up my new desk. I’m not quite done setting things up, so I’ll hold off posting photos for now. My studio has/is acquiring a bunch of new furniture, so I’d like to get everything in and set-up before the tour. 🙂

This year is also my big switch from Paint Shop Pro (for both raster and vector art) to Adobe CS5 (Photoshop and Illustrator). CS5 Production Premium showed up earlier in the week, but I didn’t get a chance to sit down with it until yesterday. Alongside CS5 I picked up one of the 12″ Wacom Cintiq’s, since I imagine CS5 wont run well on my dated Tablet PC (Celeron). At GDC this year, I made a point of stopping by the Wacom booth to try out a Cintiq, to see if they had the same fuzzy-edge problem as my Tablet PC, which they do. Though after playing with the Cintiq for a couple days, the fuzzy-edges seem to distort less than the Tablet PC. Or it’s just ’cause it’s bigger, but either way, it’s a win.

Between all this fun, I’ve been finishing my (updated) Windows and Linux ports for AppUp. I meant to have it done last weekend, but oh well, I guess I’m running behind. I replaced SDL_mixer with irrKlang today. SDL_mixer has a bug with looping OGG files (after looping, sound distortions creep in to the stream), and like Phil, I need something that works now. The new irrKlang sound engine is working well as a drop in replacement on Windows, but I ran in to a slight problem on Linux, though I’m fairly sure it’s an easy fix. I get the impression irrKlang streams everything from disk, unless explicitly played from memory. Knowing my luck there’s a flag somewhere that says “Cache sound in RAM”, but either way, it’s no trouble to load a file then pass it in. I’m mentioning this since I was expecting a similar setup to SDL_mixer (and certain other sound libraries), where WAV’s are stored in RAM, and OGG’s stream from disk. Apparently not, heh. It’s arguably a better design, but unexpected.

Also this week, Smiles HD was featured by Apple. Here’s a pic.

You could say I’ve been looking forward to this for a year and a half now… because… well… I have been. ;). So hooray! Smiles has finally been featured!

It’s been dancing around the 70’s on the top 100 grossing games chart most of the week. And if it could stay that high, that would be a pretty comfortable place for me earnings wise. Alas, this status of mine will be coming to an end Monday night. Still, it’s a welcome nod from the big A.

Once the AppUp builds of Smiles go out, the plan is to either get back on the Mystery Platform port, or a demo/lite version of the game. I sent a pitch out last week that could introduce an immediate 3rd branch to this agenda, but we’ll see.

As things stand, I’m probably looking at 2-3 months more Smiles work. There’s still some minor ports I may do, and always the possibility of one last big “hoo-rah” port, but soon I’ll be able to focus the my time almost entirely on the new game. With Palm done, AppUp nearly finished, my whiteboard list is clearing fast.

July, I’m coming for you!

Smiles Drop New Years Sale, More

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Rather spontaneously, I decided to put Smiles Drop on sale for New Years.

So for a limited time (i.e. some time early Jan 2nd morning) you can grab Smiles Drop for the extremely reasonable price of $1.99 (save $1). That puts it in check, so you can buy Smiles Zen after that, and have paid the same price as buying full on Smiles. Well… you might save a penny buying separately, but still.

http://www.newyearappblowout.com

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Working on an update for Smiles too. Should include a battery save feature, that should improve battery life for a lower framerate. Fun fun.

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Smiles’ art was featured in a nonstandard place. In an article on game art.

http://www.gamedev.net/reference/art/features/CoderGameArt/

Awesome. 😀

The article is about how a programmer can cheat to make decent game art, though Smiles is referenced as a good example of shape.

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In other news… yeah… I guess the default theme has hung around for a while longer than expected. One of these days I’ll make something cool and slap it on the top… followed by fattening up the theme a bit.

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Recently I’ve been playing around with a new digital painting app, Paint Tool Sai. As a Paint Shop Pro user (hoping to find a replacement), I have to say the toolset is extremely familiar. It lacks font features so it’s no replacement for PSP, but the workflow is incredible. It’s possible I may stop using Sketchbook Pro and start using this in it’s stead.

Slight language barrier, but I think I love it.

saiinterface

I’ll have more to say about Paint Tool Sai as I put it in to production.

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Also writing. Yes, writing. Just not writing blog stuff it seems.

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I’ll leave you with a teaser… since I want to try out the upload feature.

clawwalls_look

Not a project per se, but proof that I’m exploring ideas. Well, more than anything, proof that I’m playing with Blender again. Figuring out how you’d make 3D tiles… for backgrounds of course. I still have to do 2D characters. That’s just the way I am. 🙂

Finally, a weekend

Friday, November 21st, 2008

I just finished up the other half of the game split a couple hours ago, “Smiles Drop”. It needs some testing first, but it should be off to Apple early/mid next week.

So here we are. Just over 3 weeks after finishing Smiles. Finished a video, finished a web site, finished a press release, finished contacting the websites, and now finished my releases for the next couple weeks.

Wow… I think I can finally take a weekend off now.

I’m going to be pretty busy up until the end of the year, but it’s good busy. I suppose I’ll have some time to finally start diving in to some of the crazy stuff I did during the development of Smiles. I’ve got a handful of work in progress videos, and a few interesting bug videos. Or I could crack open Disgaea 3 and start playing finally.

Oh where to start? ;)

Smiles Website Update

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

One thing lead to another, and I updated the Smiles website. It now has a fancy header, and a bit of a hint at what I’ll be up to in the coming weeks.

http://www.smiles-game.com

It also seems my press release/pack was picked up by 1up.

http://www.1up.com/do/gameOverview?cId=3169760

And that’s it for now.

Smiles Marketing Week

Friday, November 14th, 2008

And that about wraps up marketing week.

After finishing and finally getting the video uploaded Sunday night, Monday began my marketing blitz.

The day started well, with the almighty Tim taking the first initiative and sharing the video.

http://www.indiegames.com/blog/…

The rest of the Think Services network picked up on the FingerGaming review as part of the usual syndication.

Game Set Watch | GamaSutra

And continuing with Think Services, I entered the game in the IGF Mobile.

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Phil Hassey did me a huge favor promoting me to his mailing list and the Galcon community.

http://www.galcon.com/other/smiles/

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The rest was all up to me.

I contacted pretty much every iPhone gaming site, and a few non gaming ones. Several sites seemed to ignore me, but I was pleased to get some positive feedback right in the e-mails. It does look like you wont be seeing me show anywhere up until next week though.

As a result of the direct contact, I also got to do an interview. The questions were a set of stock questions, but still. Out of all my years working on games, it was actually my first time being interviewed. So I think it’s cool. :D

I’ll link the interview once it goes live.

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I also sent out a press release.

Press Release!

MCV | Develop | GamesIndustry.biz

You can read it’s contents in my previous post. But as I learned in my comments, it seems I should have hit up the #ludumdare crew for some feedback first. ;)

Furthermore, I tried to notify the mainstream gaming press/blogs. I don’t think I got much traction though, but I did my video on GameTrailers.

http://www.gametrailers.com/player/42626.html

Haha, it’s been so long. I miss the vicious criticism of the mainstream gaming public. ;)

Remember, I’m the guy that used to work on girl games. :D

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I finally updated the Sykhronics website. Not in any significant fashion, but it now suggests my industry cred and has a real e-mail link.

http://www.sykhronics.com

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Unfortunately, that’s all I have to show at this point.

I’d like to sales have been good, but as I’ve been discovering it’s incredibly difficult to be seen outside (and in) the App Store. I certainly have no shortage of plans to continue the promotion, but if you’re going to make a decent income with a somewhat casual game, you really need Apple’s support.

I’m going to try and pull together a post like this each week, detailing what went in to the development of Smiles. I’ll be busy with Smiles related things for the rest of the year, so this should give me a nice break. Once Smiles is out of the system, we’ll get back to your regularly scheduled game and physicsy game crayzness. There’s some weird physics stuff in Smiles too, but that’s a post in and of itself.

Now I’m off to order some computer parts, so I can fix a dying workstation and server.

Release Candidate 1

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

It’s late, now 5 AM Saturday morning. Release Candidate 1 is just a few hours away. Some achievement tweaks, and minor bugs and we’re good.

Should go out to Apple on Monday afternoon. Then probably a week and it’ll be live in the App Store.

I’d have taken a photo, but I’m currently cameraless.

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The dummy website for the game:

http://www.smiles-game.com

Some time after it goes out, I’ll make a proper site.

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A couple weeks back I also updated the PuffBOMB website:

http://www.puffbomb.com
(there are secrets in his eyes!)

Nothing new per se, but a teaser image from the console remake that… well… I’ll now be porting to the iPhone. ;)

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EDIT: Finished RC1 around 8:00 PM today (Saturday). As mentioned, I’m going to take the rest of the weekend to run through the game a few more times, and if everything checks out, send it off Monday Afternoon.