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Adam C. Clifton
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 3:53 am    Post subject: Development Log - Invaders/SovietGamer.com Reply with quote

This year I've been slowly working towards making a "not shit" flash games site. Not that I think sites like newgrounds and whatnot are shit, but it's so hit or miss trying to get a good game on those sites. And really, a flash portal wants you going through that search so you see more ads...

Currently I have my launch game, "Great Justice Shot To Invaders From Mars" very far along in development and i'm working more in getting the site together now. You can play it form start to finish and all the art is as final as it's going to get.

You can play the game here: http://SovietGamer.com/Play.aspx?nGameId=0

With regards to the site itself, nothing really works on the visitors end. You can see i'm working towards an achievements system which will hopefully give games more staying power, as my crappy space invaders clone has taken over 3 months now so it looks like there will be some time between launches. Eventually the achievements will move moreso into the game itself, you can press shift when ingame to see the beginnings of that.

The current goal is to finish the back end code for joining users and unlocking stuff, then I can start annoying a web developer to do me up a pretty site.

That's all i can think to write right now, perhaps if anyone has any questions i cand givew some more focused info.
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Gil
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you need a game with a medium ammount of graphics, give me a message, I'd love to help out here or there if I can make the time.

Will you release some sort of SDK for friends to create games for the site?
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BadMrBox
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yay! Babe!
...what?
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xearthianx
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the SDK is called "Flash" ;)

The game starts out really slow. I was very annoyed until I realized I could buy upgrades. Still, it seems like the first few levels are just there to make you earn the cash necessary to start upgrading your ship to a reasonable baseline.
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innerlogic
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Adam- just wanted to say I played the whole way through and really enjoyed the game. The only upgrade I didn't manage to get by the end was the final speed boost- I think I spent too much on unnecessary shield repairs/upgrades early on, and it turns out those upper shield points are pretty expensive to lose. Nice feeling of progression throughout.

I did find it was pretty easy (at least through the first half or so) just to hang out at one side and blast up the edge of the phalanx without much chance of getting hit; rarely was I forced to dart through the hail of projectiles to get across to the other side. Maybe some more aggressive enemies that could detach (a la Galaga) and directly attack my position would help to dislodge players like me.

I'm interested to learn more about your plans for the portal site backend since that sounds like your real focus. Are you planning to run some custom servers for Flash clients to connect on a binary socket and transmit earned achievements, chat messages, etc? Or are you leaning more toward an HTTP style interface for client-server communications? I've been pretty impressed with the binary Socket additions in ActionScript 3, hence my question; it definitely seems more feasible to do real client-server work in Flash now that we're not just limited to XML over HTTP service calls. Have you given any thought to how the ad revenue share will work with developers?
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xearthianx
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, the way you describe it, it sounds like you expect to be the only contributor. It seems like a no-brainer to have other devs contribute games, but they'd need to make them for your site (or at least a custom version) to support your achievement infrastructure. If you keep that simple, it wont be much of a burden.
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Gil
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And that's why I asked for an SDK, silly earthian.... Way ahead of you ;)
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xearthianx
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just not sure "SDK" is really applicable for a flash game. But I'm not fancy big city lawyer...
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PoV
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neat. Game plays a lot like Titan Attacks. :)
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xearthianx
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xearthianx wrote:
I'm just not sure "SDK" is really applicable for a flash game. But I'm no fancy big city lawyer...

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mikedoty
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xearthianx wrote:
I'm just not sure "SDK" is really applicable for a flash game. But I'm not fancy big city lawyer...

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xearthianx
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I'm not sure how that happened. I was going to just delete it, but someone had to be a smartass and reply to it first. ;)

Back on topic, I'm not really sure how reuseable or distributed flash development is. I mean, could you build an SDK with a few action script files and maybe a few FLAs or something?
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Adam C. Clifton
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woah, i thought this board was dying or something...

RE: SDK
I have been developing a flash sdk in actionscript 3 that allows me to do things in the C++ allegro/sdl 'style' that i'm used to. It has code for loading and rendeirng textures and bitmap fonts and whatnot. You can see some of that in the simple blitting example i did in the other flash thread. Due to the programatic nature of this and my sheer lazyness i woudn't really be able to simply port an existing flash game, i think they would need to be developed with the sdk.

Saying that, I am interested in the future to get some external development happening, especially in bringing over some 'real' coders as it's a pretty simple step from C++ to AS3, as long as you aren't some kind of syntax nazi.

I'm not too sure how i would go about bringing new people in, but maybe a contractual programming or art job. There is a level of quality i do want to aim for and outsourcing may not bring people who feel as deeply about it as i do. Definately contractual art beacuse that's how I got the art for Invaders in the first place.

RE: Socket Connections
I have been twiddling with socket connecitons for the obligatory MMO we all have to be making but for this site i'm going to stick with the HTTP style. As i have all the 'free' database access and communication code and session variables instead of some kind of workaround login from ingame.

RE: Game Itself
Quote:
Yay! Babe!
...what?
That was awesome, yes? I might have made the game a little too easey, but i paid 50 bucks for that screen, i want players to see it.

I tried to balance out the early stages to make the upgrades seem more awesome beacuse you need them, but it may be too slow and annoying for a first impression. That and the initial invaders are not as impressive as the latter ones.

Quote:
Neat. Game plays a lot like Titan Attacks. :)
What did that take, like 12 hours to be called on it? I always thought it was more like the little puppy invaders game that used to be on their site tho... Next up, Super Elvis!
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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm. The site looks alright, but already there is just as much space being taken up by ads as there is actual content. That annoys me. I think it needs some tweaking in the visual design before I can really approach it seriously -- but maybe that's just me.

Anyway, I realize that you're still doing work that prevents you from getting to the front end and making it user friendly and workable. Just putting it out there that I'm already put off by what I see when I visit, though.
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mikedoty
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW sovietgamer.com is an awesome URL
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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is, unless you're targeting an audience that isn't into... well... you know. :)
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Adam C. Clifton
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sonrisu wrote:
Hmm. The site looks alright, but already there is just as much space being taken up by ads as there is actual content. That annoys me. I think it needs some tweaking in the visual design before I can really approach it seriously -- but maybe that's just me.

Anyway, I realize that you're still doing work that prevents you from getting to the front end and making it user friendly and workable. Just putting it out there that I'm already put off by what I see when I visit, though.
It is google ads and not those hideous animated flash ones tho at least :P. Ya it needs some real site design there. If anybody here is intrested in some web design or knows someone be sure to hit me up. It's mainly making the pretties i'm interested in, i can handle all the HTML end.

Quote:
It is, unless you're targeting an audience that isn't into... well... you know. :)
I don't know what you're exactly hitting at. I hope the site does not bring up the whole soviet gulags and atrocity thing. Moreso the Bond villian, red alert "fun" theme.
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Bean
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, been wondering where you've been. Looks like you've been busy.
Very clean game. I was legitimately compelled to keep playing. Something about buying those upgrades (one more wave and I'll be able to buy x!)
I only stopped because I've gotta get my ass to work.

-Bean
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Gil
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adam, if you talk to me on MSN, I'll do your pretties ;)

simon.meskens {at} game-designer.org
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xearthianx
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bean wrote:
I was legitimately compelled to keep playing. Something about buying those upgrades (one more wave and I'll be able to buy x!)

Yeah, Geometry Wars Galaxy had the same thing going on. It worked well there, and it works well here. I just wish the action were a little faster at the beginning.
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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the strange thing with games like this. In Tetris it's perfectly fine, because you can force speed by dropping pieces instantly (or pushing them so they drop faster). Maybe what the game needs is a 2X speed button, where by pressing it the guys move faster or something.
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xearthianx
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, maybe. I think he's indicating that the slow speed is a deliberate design decision to increase the perceived value of speed increase upgrades. I'm ok with that myself, I just think it could use a little rebalancing.
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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Either that, or you can start at a faster level with a big point penalty.
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xearthianx
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, maybe you could start the game with a set amount of money and do one or two upgrades before the first level starts, kinda like customizing your character with stat points at the start of an RPG. It would have the triple benefit of reinforcing the player's sense of ownership of the ship right off the bat, allowing strategic customization for people who already know what they want, and cluing in new players (like myself when I first played) that yes, it's slow, but yes, you will get faster.
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Adam C. Clifton
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xearthianx wrote:
Oh, maybe you could start the game with a set amount of money and do one or two upgrades before the first level starts, kinda like customizing your character with stat points at the start of an RPG. It would have the triple benefit of reinforcing the player's sense of ownership of the ship right off the bat, allowing strategic customization for people who already know what they want, and cluing in new players (like myself when I first played) that yes, it's slow, but yes, you will get faster.
The problem with that is you are spending money on things and you don't know about their use when you play the game for the first time.

And i've updated the site now to have unlockable achievements so you cna check that out if you're bored.

I've also put out a request for quotes for a new site design and are for the ingame "comrade console." If you or somone you know would interested in the job plese check out this link: http://forums.indiegamer.com/showthread.php?t=13162
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