God it’s May already! And Beekeeper is still not finished. Brett is still implementing a new type of defence unit we came up with last week. We now have bees that flap their wings and blow enemy units back. He’s pretty much got that done and it’s looking really good.
I’m trying to do some really basic music, but it is hard to decide what is OK and what is just utter shite. I’m using Garage Band on my iPad and while it is incredible for what it is, it’s still pretty rinky dink and crashes a lot.
But so many games have very basic music. We are never going to have something really good without paying someone to spend ages on it. Hopefully the player will just turn it off and listen to their own music. We have quite a lot of in game sounds anyway. I think music should be a low priority. Even though I’m aware that it is an important element of creating an addictive experience.
If you are working for someone else on a project that seems doomed you will at least give it your all because someone is paying you to do it. But it’s hard to keep up the enthusiasm on a self funded project when you have no idea if it will pay anything at all. You can tell yourself over and over again that it is all a learning experience, but when it comes to throwing yourself upon a small part of the project a little voice in your head says, ‘don’t waste too much time on it as this whole thing may well sink like a stone’.
But with graphics you can always spend a bit more time. There is always more you can do, things you can tweak or redesign. Likewise with programming. You can always spend another week making the interface better. You can always spend more time on a cut scene.
We are not just learning to make games we are learning to project manage ourselves and our resources.
Our aim this week was to really hit Beekeeper hard. And we did. Helen made win animations, new sounds, new upgrade animation, music for when the queen dies and new panels for the seasons. And some other stuff.
She also made talking bee sounds by humming through a comb. They sound pretty funny.
Brett has got the menu all hooked up, the waves of enemies, the seasons, the sounds, and the defenders working properly.
Our aim was to get it to a stage that if a gun was held to our heads we could release something. It’s no where near ready. It all takes a lot longer than one would think. It’s so important not to get bogged down with the details, but to keep focusing on the game.
But it is looking pretty fun and sexy. We are quite excited.
We are getting super serious now. We have both stopped working for other people and are throwing ourselves full tilt into a proper game.
It’s going to be called Beekeeper. A tower defence game where you have to protect the queen by placing bees in a honeycomb landscape and enemies will attack from the left.
You will use pollen like gold in other resource management games.
Brett will do all the coding and Helen will do all the art direction and graphics.
Fun fun fun.
Well it took a lot longer than I anticipated, but I finally uploaded Sea Squirt to the App store yesterday.
In my defence I took some time out to earn some money doing some animation for a film. And instead of a simple little game I made 5 different levels with menus and high score stars and loads of complicated stuff for a noob coder like me. Brett (guru) only gave me a mere smear of help. I learned so much and I’m so proud and excited that my first game is a reality.
Making the sound FX was fun. I got a straw and a glass of water and blew bubbles to make the sound of the enemy being hit and dissolving. I think it sounds great. Bbblooop!
You can buy SeaSquirt if you like! Oh go on…
I reckon you could teach your self brain surgery via YouTube, it is such an amazing resource.
But pending that I’ve been through a bunch of ios programming tuts on YouTube and I’m amping to make my first iPhone game.
It will be super simple. I’ve always wanted to make a game that is essentially a little sea squirt squirting its enemies.
We have just completed Charles Gamble’s 3 day ios development boot camp.
Boot camp was not an exaggeration. It was full on. We didn’t even stop for tea breaks!
On the second day we took a thermos of tea so we wouldn’t die.
We learned a hell of a lot and are now all pumped up with Apple flavoured adrenalin. Raaaa!!