Category: Sionco News

Learning from your failed games - Part 1: Start Small : Rugby League Pro Manager. My first attempt at a sports management game. It didn't get far due to my lack of programming knowledge. Created in Game Maker

Learning from your failed games – Part 1: Start Small

If you browse through my blog, I’ve started and not finished many games, this has been for a variety of reasons.  But, whereas I used to get very demotivated and leave game programming for a few months, now I see all of my games as part of the learning process, so I’ve decided to write a few blog articles about why the games failed and what I learnt.

In a series that I call ‘Learning from your failed games’, the first part is about one of the games that I really wanted to make, a rugby league management game, in the style of Football Manager or Championship Manager.  I actually restarted this project several times.

 

Start Small

in 2008, I tried to create a rugby league management game using Game Maker.  I was really enthusiastic about it, I started by creating a nice little menu system that I was proud of, and input a lot of player and team data as well as creating random stats for some of the Super League teams.  Then I came to the part of creating the match engine which would simulate a real life match.  I did a basic plan on paper, and although I did manage to get something working (as shown in the screenshot), turning that into reality was too much for my first big project.

After this project, my blog went through one of it’s silent periods of a few months as the game had destroyed any motivation I had.  When I did return to game development and created something small in 2012, it was a Hangman game for English learners for Android mobile phones, I managed to finish it in a week and felt greatly satisfied, this lead on to my most creative period.

 Learning from your failed games Rugby League Pro Manager. My first attempt at a sports management game. It didn't get far due to my lack of programming knowledge. Created in Game Maker
Rugby League Pro Manager. My first attempt at a sports management game. It didn’t get far due to my lack of programming knowledge. Created in Game Maker

I hope that this has proved interesting and part 2 of ‘Learning from your failed games’ should be ready soon!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssmail

Rugby League 2D Game Development Diary, Day 1.

My new project for 2015 is Rugby League

In my new project, I’m trying to create a fun rugby league game. My idea is for the game to have an arcade feel about it, rather than be a true simulation with player fatigue and so forth.  I’ve chosen to go down this route so I can have a realistic chance of finishing this project, as I’m just a one-man team.  Also, I want the game to be about fun, my biggest inspiration is from Sensible Soccer.  My goal is to create a game that’s as easy to learn and as fun to play as  Sensible Soccer.

Now, even though I’m a big fan of rugby league, but there will be some difficulties in turning the wonderful game into computer game form.  Such difficulties include the fact that the rules are quite complex and there are different stages of the game, as well as creating the AI and the difference between attacking and defending.

I hope that this game will be available for Windows, Linux and Android devices.

Rugby League 2D Game Development

Rugby League 2D Game Development Diary, Day 1 – Progress.

  • I’ve created a field. At this moment, everything is place-holder graphics
  • I’ve created two teams of 13, who line up in two lines on either side of the half-way line, I’ve decided to leave it this way for now and not bother with where each position should be on the field yet.
  • The player of one of the team kicks the ball towards the opposition to start the game.
  • Once the ball is in the air, the players move in the general direction of the ball, the players that are nearest to the ball go directly towards it.  I’ve included a height variable which gradually decreases, right now the balls direction is pretty random in terms of which part of the oppositions field it goes towards, but I will include variable power and height for the kickers.
  • The first player to reach the ball picks it up.
facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssmail

Rugby League game?

I’m just experimenting with the idea of creating a simplified 2D version of a rugby league game.

 

I’ve also been working on two other games using HaxeFlixel; a classic 2D 60’s F1 racing game called Grand Prix Hero and a 2D stealth game called Stealth Ghost.  Both were previously shelved as I decided that Monkey-X wasn’t the programming language that suited me and I switched to HaxeFlixel for my development, which is going well.

Here is a screenshot of the early progress of my rugby league game demo:

rugby league game

facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssmail

Learn to make games in Haxe with Haxe Tutorials

I continue to learn to make games in Haxe by triyng to make a few different game demos, but one thing that has been difficult, is the lack of tutorials for different types of games.  I’m using HaxeFlixel, which is a great framework designed to make game creation easier.

But I recently discovered a new active blog of Haxe tutorials which shows how to make games in Haxe step by step, it’s called haxecoder and has Haxe tutorials for different frameworks, such as HaxePunk, OpenFL (HaxePunk and HaxeFlixel run on top of OpenFL and they make things easier) and now my favourite HaxeFlixel.

So if you do want to learn to make games in Haxe, I suggest you take a look at haxecoder.   haxecoder.com logo

I continue to learn to make games in Haxe by triyng to make a few different game demos, but one thing that has been difficult, is the lack of tutorials for different types of games.  I’m using HaxeFlixel, which is a great framework designed to make game creation easier.

But I recently discovered a new active blog of Haxe tutorials which shows how to make games in Haxe step by step, it’s called haxecoder and has Haxe tutorials for different frameworks, such as HaxePunk, OpenFL (HaxePunk and HaxeFlixel run on top of OpenFL and they make things easier) and now my favourite HaxeFlixel.

The tutorials are perfect for beginners as they start from scratch and include how to install haxe and the relevent framework as well as daily step-by-step tutorials on how to make a game in each framework.

So if you do want to learn to make games in Haxe, I suggest you take a look at haxecoder.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssmail

HaxeFlixel Game Development

The start of an adventure in HaxeFlixel Game Development!

After a busy summer working, I’m back to programming,

However, I’ve changed my programming language after getting frustrated with Monkey X and also what looks like a bleak future for it.

I’ve always been fascinated by Haxe, as it feels like a really nice language to programme in, it’s open-source (so free) and is cross-compatible.

 

Haxe, is not a language specifically designed for game development, so I’ve decided to use HaxeFlixel, which is a 2D game framework built on top of OpenFL (which is a library for Haxe)

haxeflixel game development sionco

To learn Haxe and HaxeFlixel, I’ve decided to restart my unfinished UFO game from the beginning!ufo game - a game made of paper in haxeflixel game development

My current feelings for using HaxeFlixel are really promising, because it just makes everything seem so easy to programme and put everything together, such as graphics, sounds and input.

One area that I really like is the multiplatform cross-compatibility of OpenFl, which as well as supporting the following plaftorms, such as Android, Linux, Windows, Mac, they are in the process of porting it to video game consoles, such as the Wii U!

 

haxeflixel game development multiplatform

I’ll keep you updated with my HaxeFlixel game development progress and how my first game using the framework and the Haxe language works out.

Follow me hereFacebook, Twitter, or on Google+

facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssmail

Important lessons for an indie game developer.

This was going to be a typical post by me, apologising for the lack of updates and announcing the death of yet another game, but I’ve decided to be positive and turn it into an article of important lessons for an indie game developer.

I’ve got a bit demotivated during making the UFO abduction game, I guess that it’s a problem because it was only meant to be a small game, but realising the things that I’d have to put in it to make it fun for people to play and worth downloading, grew and grew.  I think that I will plug away at it, not as a main project, but now and then, and eventually it will be finished.

I think that’s the problem of making small games that you wouldn’t play yourself,  I think I’ve learnt from this experience and I give you

Important lessons for an indie game developer

 

1. Make something that you would play, as trying to finish a project that’s not fun for you will probably mean that the last few days needed to finish the game will turn into months, and months into never..

2. Don’t aim to big.  I’ve previously tried to make 3D games or big sports management games, and they both continue to be in an unfinished state, as seen in the ‘basement‘ section of this website.  This is especially important if like me, you have a real job and only have limited time to programme.

3. Open your development environment or IDE, because, sometimes that’s all it takes.

4. If your not feeling motivated, try to do a small task in the game, such as the title screen, adjust the integer for the players jump height.  Sometimes, when I’ve done this, it has lead on to doing bigger tasks in the game.

5. Any more? I’d be happy to hear them.

 

Updates

Anyway, I did manage to make a few updates to my UFO game:

Now, each level starts of automatically, in that what objects appear is always the same, but after that I’ve decided to make it random, so you might finish off fighting off soldiers or tanks, each time will be different.

I’ve also added a percentage system to the game, so you can see what percentage of the animals you have abducted, I’m thinking that to get a gold star or ‘A’ rating on each level, you have to abduct 90% of any animals that appear..

I also tried the game in black and white and my phone, but, I think that I definitely prefer the colour version:

Important lessons for an indie game developer

 

Another Game

I’m also playing around with the idea of a top-down tiled game.  But, it’s early days.  However, this is a game that I’d like to play, and hopefully it won’t be to big of a project to take on, with the limited programming time that I have.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssmail

Development Blog RSS

I’ve added an RSS button to the side bar, so that people can follow my blog, and keep updated on the progress.

It’s the big orange button to the right in the Social links area where you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus also.

I’m still working on my Grand Prix Hero game.  I’m working on the menus, such as adding a post race results screen, a championship mode points table and a screen for the end of the season.  I’ll post some more updates soon..

facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssmail
2013 Indie Games Review

2013 Indie Games Review

This is my annual December post.

Yes! It’s my 2013 indie games review!!!

2013 will be remembered for being full of promise and hope and experimentation, despite not living up to my expectations in regards to finishing games.

While I did manage to finish two games (Rocket Croc and Zombie Rush) I don’t consider them to be masterpieces, but learning experiences, there were a lot of things wrong with Rocket Croc and Zombie Rush, but they did help me learn about game design more, during programming, as well as help me learn the great Monkey programming language, which has been a pleasure to programme in.  They did prove to me quite successful, Zombie Rush was downloaded more than 22,000 times and  Rocket Croc was downloaded more than 4,000 times.

But after the release of these two games, my output slowed and I didn’t manage to finish any games, despite starting a few such as a 3D Starfox on-rails shooter, a 3D touring car game and even a Sheep game, which have all been added to the Basement section of the website, which shows a gallery of my unfinished projects.  However, I am proud of some of the progress that I made, such as my first real exploration of 3D coding.

I’ve also tried out other technologies such as Unity3D and a quick (yet frustrating) return to Gamemaker, but at the end of the day, I found them to fiddly for my needs and always came back to using Monkey.

Also, more importantly, I did manage to get this website up and running, and have learnt to use wordpress and a little on SEO.

What about income?

We’ll even though Rocket Croc or Zombie Rush didn’t bring in the success or financial rewards of lesser (and slightly embarrassing) efforts such as el Penalti de Ramos (The Penalty of Ramos).  However, the ads from all my games, do bring still bring me a little money each month from Ads, enough for two weeks shopping, which is great, even though I haven’t updated or done anything for 10 months.

So, what next?

Well, I’m used to starting games that are probably too big for me at this moment, or losing interest, so I want to try and make a habit of releasing games.  This is why, despite my previous post about restarting my F1 game Grand Prix Hero, I will probably start small again and slowly build-up. My idea is to try and create and finish a small 2D Christmas game before Christmas (although it might be too late).

And then maybe take on something like Grand Prix Hero

So, that’s my Sionco 2013 Indie Games Review, and I’m ready to get the train back on the track for 2014!

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssmail