For all that I’ve done over the years, I rarely get noticed. I’m ok with that, but other people see “Made LOADS of games, never got noticed” as some kind of terrible failure.
Instead, I see it as just a fun little hobby, and I continue to do what I do because I still get enjoyment from it, after all these many many (many!) years.
Recently, somebody stumbled onto my site. I’m not sure how, whether it be via my GameJolt archive, or something to do with SpikeDislike3, or whatever. The reason isn’t important.
What is important is that they posted a link to Reddit, asking people if they had any ideas why I was still squandering away in the depths of the unknown.
The Reddit thread led to many questions, a few answers, and an absolute boatload of page-views. Google Analytics is most definitely showing a Spike for today!
Yesterday, I managed to get three themes into the game. Three!! Well, technically one of those was that horrible nasty brightly coloured mess, but rejigged so it’s not as dazzling on the eyes!
The second was, of course, our old friend Basketball, which does it’s standard thumpy ball sound as it hops along the floor.
I’ve not yet added in the hoops, though. I should probably go do that…
The third theme is yet another “Green grass/blue skies” theme. There’s a fair number of those, now.. I really need to stop making lovely grassy themes!!
I have one more theme to add, to make it up to 20, and then work out what sort of special features the new themes have, and add some nice challenging challenges into the game.
As I continued, for a ludicrous amount of time, to fiddle with theme #16 yesterday, I found myself finally getting around to tackling a second new theme.
Over on the TouchArcade forum, Coolpepper43 suggested doing a Psychedelic theme, and so I attempted to do that.
To say that the theme ended up as a tragic mess of nastiness would be a bit of an understatement.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for themes that go ever so slightly off-the-wall, and the Lava and Snow themes are slightly evil on the eyes, but..
Geeze.. That is NOT pleasant to play!! Imagine that, but with all the colours swirling about, and a further rotating colourscheme on the underlaying-background..
Theme scrapped. I’ll try something a little less drastic, I think!
One of the new themes sees me playing a bit more with Monkey’s Skewing. The Transform and Matrix commands let you do some weird things with sprites. I never bothered to use them in the past because it’s generally hard to pull off a good effect with them, that doesn’t just look like you’re pissing about with fancy effects! But during SpikeDislike3 I decided to experiment with it a little.
You can see it used best in the Pseudo-3D theme. No 3D is used, and only simple skewing is involved. The graphics are skewed .. um.. downwards a bit.. and the “floor” is lowered so it’s in the center of the graphics instead of the top. In all honesty, that’s a REALLY simple effect, and I personally think it turned out really well, given how simplistic it all was.
The hardest part was drawing graphics that (mostly) manage to line up with the skewing effect. .. Those Boxed-Spikes took a good number of attempts to get right!.. ‘ish!
Yesterday, I headed back to my latest theme, and a whole lot of maths.
It seems obvious to me now, but I was having really weird issues with the theme looking completely different, in different resolutions.
Turns out, the skew is (obviously) at a different position, depending on how far across/down the screen the skew is happening.
You start the skew at 0,0 then by the time you hit 100,100 the co-ordinates will be offset by however big the skew is.
Took me AGES to wrap my head around it, (thankfully this is only in 2D, because 3D maths is even worse!!) but I “think” I’ve managed to get it all sorted.
The effect now, at least, looks good enough in multiple resolutions and ratios, and that’s a good thing.
.. I think!
Annoyingly, it’s such a stupid little effect, that all of that hard work will pretty much go unnoticed!
Afterwards, I chatted to Craig on Twitter, and was expecting his “visual” complaint to be the light-squinty nature of the Snow theme, and the dark-squinty nature of the Lava theme.
Instead, he actually mentioned Motion Sickness due to all the parallax.
I’ll be honest, I hadn’t given it much thought. As most of you know, I get a LOT of motion sickness myself, so I figured that “Just me” would be a nice enough selection of people to test that out.
Apparently not, though, as Craig suggests the amount of parallax scrolling going on was giving him issues.
As such, the next release will have a new option to disable the nasty evil parallax, and leave the game in a much less interesting way, so that … hopefully.. Craig can play SpikeDislike3 even more 😀
So, if that’s a high, where’s the low? There’s always a low…
Aaah, of course.. The wonderful world of Android.
The .apk is now being rampantly traded around the web. As I know fully well, Android people really don’t give a munky about bothering to pay for things. Take take take, gimme gimme gimme.
I knew this going in, but I had faith. I had faith in people to do the right thing.
I figured, if I get maybe 100 or so sales, then that’d be a good set of Android figures. I can live with Piracy, as long as folk are also willing to occasionally pay for things.
The actual ratio is shockingly worse.
I’ve sold 7 copies of SpikeDislike3 on Android, and from a slim picking of piracy sites, at least 300 people have downloaded it.
My only consolation is that those sites are rife with viruses and other evil malware things, and quite frankly you’ve only got yourself to blame, if you end up with yet another virus running rampage on your computer.
I have no sympathy for you.
Meanwhile, because GooglePlay are complete arseholes, the cost of all this piracy is the fact that my home address is being splashed directly on the GooglePlay site.. So, yeay for me. I make about £2.50 from sales, and I get my privacy invaded in the most remarkably stupidly moronic way. The wonderful world of Android..
From here on in, the iOS version will be the most well-kept edition. It already has the online GameCenter scoreboards, and achievements, and in the future will be getting the “better” updates!
If you’re a SpikeDislike/AGameAWeek fan, but don’t have an iOS device, grab yourself a cheap’ish iPod Touch. They’re currently about £160’ish on Amazon, are wonderfully well made, and will bring the world of iOS Gaming to your fingertips (/thumbtips!?)
And whilst you’re at it, see if you can pick up an OUYA, too.
By now I should be mostly done with Boxsplosions, but unfortunately, and yet again, I’ve found myself wasting the day away doing not much more than SpikeDislike3 things!
.. and a lot of that has been playing!
Alarmingly, Rychan has been reaching amazing heights on the GameCenter scoreboards, easily slaughtering most of my best scores. Of course, I’m all too aware that people are much better at SpikeDislike than I am, but to see such HUGE scores shows just how compelling the game can be, once you find yourself hooked in!
Meanwhile, I’ve spent some time working on this..
Portrait Mode is missing from the current version of the game. If I’m honest, I’m not entirely sure the iPhings can keep up with that much stuff!
SpikeDislike might not be much of a looker, but trying to get an infinitely scrolling parallaxed background onscreen, isn’t exactly easy to do, especially when you then have to scale it to minuscule proportions, thus greatly increasing the number of sprites that have to be onscreen at a time!
I’ve got the code in place, and will be throwing it onto my iPod Touch (5th Gen, with iPhone5’s sized display) for testing, because that’s the device that will likely struggle the most. A whole lot of vertical space, and hardly any horizontal. It’s NOT a good screen resolution for a game that plays horizontally.. eeek!
It might not be “AGameAWeek” but getting 3 games onto iOS in a month is still a pretty decent achievement, especially when they’re all nice and big.
As you might know, my old MacMini (from 2010) was starting to rot away due to lack of use.
This month, knowing that SpikeDislike3 was due to arrive, I attempted a quick test compile, and.. well.. it didn’t go very well.
So, out with the old, and in with a brand new MacMini.
I honestly never considered the time it takes to restart a level in SpikeDislike3 to be all that much. If nothing else, it gives you a second to stop, breath, and prepare for the next attempt.
But bloody hell, the number of people asking for a “Quick Restart”, is MENTAL!!!
Yesterday I spent a good number of hours rejigging the way the saves work, and a lot of other things necessary for the new “Quick Restart” to work properly. (Previously the saves only saved when the menu reloaded, but if the menu never reloaded, the game would never save!!)
It’s been a shocking amount of work, but I’ve now got a new quick-menu in place.
It’ll default to being switched on.
You can switch it off in the Options menu.
It currently only appears if you fail a level, although I might tweak that, I’ll have to keep playing with it, and decide on what’s best.
Expect this new QuickRestart menu to appear in the next release, which should be some time next month. …I prefer to add awesome new themes, rather than rubbishy boring menu-based features!!!
After a good 28’ish hours, the game appears to be picking up pace. Hopefully the pace will stay up for some time, and not peter out in the way that most of my games tend to do!
First day’s sales (keep in mind that Day One was only about 4 hours) was 9 whole sales.. oooh!
Day two’s not shown up in my stats, yet, as it’s too early in the day for that sort of thing. Apple’s timezones and schedules are all over the frickin’ place!! One day starts at one point, and ends at a completely different one.
Meanwhile, I was coaxed online to “hack” my way into getting PromoCodes. My issue was that the link wasn’t showing up, at which point someone on Twitter said “Why don’t you just go directly to the URL?”
.. I had in fact already considered this, but over the past few weeks I’ve been chatting with the Apple Tech guys, and they were bemused as to why the link wasn’t showing up.
I figured it probably wasn’t the best time to be poking and prodding around with things like that, so I left well alone.
Yeah, I’ve kinda “hackied” my way into getting those promo codes. Apologies to Apple, but .. seriously, you guys. Come on!!
I’ve got one small batch of both SpikeDislike3 and ChuckABall codes, but am mostly using them for “Strict” Promo usage only. I might grab some more later, for spammyness, but don’t hold me to that. I’d rather not make URL-Hacking into a regular event!!