Peer Review Gig for Packt Publishing

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A little while back I was quite honoured to be asked to perform the peer review on a book written by Gary Riches and published by Packt. The title of the book is “Ouya Unity Game Development” and it’s all about – you guessed it! – developing games for the Ouya console with Unity.

I didn’t think to post about it at the time, but it’s a decent book, and being asked to do the review is something that I’m pretty proud of, so I thought a belated post on the topic might be in order.

If you’re doing development for the Ouya and you need some pointers, go check it out!

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Coldfire Keep – On PS Vita?!

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I’ve been getting some thoughts lately about possibly releasing The Deep Paths on PS Vita, now that those crazy folk at Unity have gone and made it so easy.

As an experiment tonight I decided to do a quick build of Coldfire Keep. It was pretty exciting (in that nerdy kind of way), so I decided to make a video of it. Keep in mind this is without any sort of performance tuning, or any work on mapping the native Vita controls to the game.

Still, it’s kind of cool just to see it running with so little effort on my part.

Maybe I should think about an official Coldfire Keep release on Vita too…

All Existing Apps Retired

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I’ve made the decision this morning to retire all of my old apps and wipe that slate clean. All of them were in sore need of a major overhaul, but unfortunately I just don’t have the time to develop and/or support them these days with all of the game development tasks on my todo list.

The apps that are no longer for sale are: TraveLog, Sessions, Agendum, and littleBoxes.

For TraveLog in particular, it was pretty tough hitting that “Remove-From-Sale” button. I wrote TraveLog when the iPhone first launched in Australia (September 2009?) as a learning project for iOS/Xcode/Objective-C. It actually became quite popular on the store – especially in the early days, but its popularity has dwindled significantly over the years as there are simply far too many better choices on the App Store.

I’m hopeful that I’ll put out some new apps at some point in the future. I’m particularly interested in playing around with Swift when time permits… maybe something will come of that.

In the meantime, I’m leaving the product pages up for now as I don’t like the idea of completely erasing the apps from existence.

If you have any questions/comments, please get in touch with me.

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Scope (Negative) Creep

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I was commenting recently on Legend Of Grimrock 2 and basically saying that – in my opinion – it’s kind of a huge disappointment. My problem with that game, if I had to boil it down into one sentence, is that “They should have stuck to just making a great dungeon crawler”. I absolutely LOVED the first game – in fact, I played through it 3 times. The sequel? I’m about 4 hours in and really don’t see myself returning to it. It’s trying to be too many things and it just leaves me feeling kind of lost. I mean, come on – you can walk around under water!

Anyway, it occurred to me today that I’m basically going down exactly the same path (hmm) with The Deep Paths. I got it into my head that after Coldfire Keep, I needed to add all these features like outside areas, and a town, and massively varied environments to explore, and the bottom line is – I can’t really live up to that scope if I ever want to finish the game, and even if I do, I’m definitely going to half-ass it and the game is going to suck. Taking my own advice, what I really need to do is just try my best to make A Great Dungeon Crawler.

So that’s my new mission statement. Not saying that anything in particular is OUT or IN at this stage; only that I’m going to just focus on the key dungeon crawling experience and see where I end up.

Oh! Except for the Cleric class; that’s definitely OUT! You’re now either a Fighter, Rogue, or Mage. Deal with it! :)

Big Disclaimer: Even on their worst days, the Almost Human guys are 10x more talented than me. Don’t take my negative comments as me trying to convince anyone (least of all myself) that I’m doing better work than them.

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The Deep Paths – The Series

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I don’t think I’ve ever come straight out and said this, but I’ve been working for quite some time with the plan in my head that The Deep Paths will be a series of games, with at least a second and third installment roughly outlined at this stage. More observant folks may have even noticed some early screenshots of the main menu with the title “The Deep Paths: Reclamation”.

In a way, this is the reason it’s taken so long for me to present any further screenshots or gameplay videos. I’ve spent pretty much all of my time so far building tools that will help me build the games, rather than building an actual game. Kind of like an “editor”, but not something that will be going public. I’m trying to automate as much as possible, spending a little additional time now, to save a lot of time later.

Before I started to talk about this more though, I wanted to post this to make sure that people realise this isn’t an “episode” type of thing. I’m not planning on taking a single game and just breaking it into pieces. This will be 3 (or more) completely independent games, set in the same “universe”, and roughly following the same series of events through the eyes of independent groups of people, with some cross-over here and there throughout the stories.

My hope, upon completion and release of the first game, will be to release a new installment approx. every 6 months after that, so that people don’t have to wait too long before continuing on their journey in this world. 6 months might turn out to be ambitious, but at this stage I think it’s going to be achievable.

I’m very excited to see this first game slowly taking shape. Sometimes the mountain of work in front of me gets a little overwhelming, but reminding myself that the end result is hopefully going to be a kick-ass dungeon crawler for you guys to play, definitely keeps me going.

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