Time of day with light shafts

Now the world has a proper time of day system. Enemies will react differently at during different hours.

Posted in Game Development

Shields pop and parry


A shield effect with parry animations and colour. It’s made with fresnel and depth to interact properly with 3d elements.

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Occluders be occluding? Not on my watch.


Occluders are now fading out properly when you walk in front of them.

Posted in Game Development

Why use real lights when you can fake it with vertex colours?

A vertex lighting system I’m working on for a performance sensitive mobile game.
It can bake any number of lights without a performance hit, and real time updating is very fast as long as the models are low poly.

vertex_lighting_01

Posted in Game Development

Rocky particles


The rocks chunk particles use the colour of the ground.

Posted in Game Development

Waterfall


Water shader now supports waterfalls, flowing rivers and rippling water.

Posted in Game Development

Water Shader


Testing a Water Shader with a procedural shoreline.

Posted in Game Development

It’s not finished even when it’s finished.

So in retrospect, even with the extra development time, Naughty Bricks shipped in a pretty rough state. It was missing some key features like Gamecenter integration, as well as a lot of general polish and juiciness. A few updates later and I’m pretty happy with the state of the game now, I’ve tweaked and polished and generally improved every aspect of the game. Here’s a before and after pic:

Naughty Bricks comparison

Coming from more of an art background, I really took the art for granted, making it as I went, and never took the time I needed to find a consistent and presentable style. It’s still a bit of a dog’s breakfast, but I think it holds together visually much more than it did at launch.

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Naughty Bricks is OUT!

Available on the App Store or the Google Play Store! HERE’S A PRESSKIT

Naughty Bricks are attacking our solar system! Who will defend the earth? Who will avenge the moon?

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Game is done! So why isn’t it out yet?

So Naughty Bricks has been finished for over three weeks now, submitted to the app store, approved, and all that remains is for me to click the button that will release the game. So why haven’t I done that yet? Marketing. Or rather, lack thereof.

NB_boards_01_small

Storyboards for the intro of the Naughty Bricks trailer

I’m holding back the release of the game until I can complete a trailer and get a website up with a presskit on it, based on advice I was given about the futility of releasing a game without any sort of press push. It is the most frustrating thing I have had to do, sitting on a game when I just want people to play it! But I also don’t want to have run this marathon, only to stumble and give up right before the finish line.

A part of me doesn’t really believe that a good trailer will have much effect on sales, because it’s such a basic IOS puzzle game and no amount of marketing can overcome the fact that it doesn’t have a unique selling point to grab peoples attention. This comes back to my initial intention of making a really simple game that I could actually finish, rather than trying to do something ambitious and giving up before it was done. Well, mission accomplished, I’ve finished my first game! Just completing it is an achievement I know, but it has burdened me with making it a harder sell to get people interested in trying it.

spaceman_build_01

An untextured render of the astronaut model for the trailer.

Another part of me thinks that it’s actually a good game, with interesting puzzles and an appealing presentation that has a chance of finding a niche, and I don’t want to let my lack of confidence get in the way of it building a market for itself. So I’m trying to do all the marketing now, at the worst possible time in a games development cycle (after it’s already finished!), because I have a hope that the game is actually good enough to be purchased. The other reason I’m going through all of this is for the learning experience, so that when I make my second game, the game that is unique and worth covering and will grab peoples attention, I’ll have the marketing knowledge required to make the most of it. Naughty Bricks was always about learning first, learning how to develop a game, how to finish it, and now how to market it.

More than three weeks ago I finished my game, and then I realised that I needed to top up my reserves so I could actually afford to make a trailer, so since then I’ve been working on contract work. I’ve made some really fun animations for different game trailers, which I’ll get around to linking soon, but now that I have a break, I’m going to put my animation skills towards a Naughty Bricks trailer. Come hell or high water, the game will be out in the next month with a proper trailer backing it up.

nbtrailer_rendertest_02

A Work in Progress render of shot 2 of the trailer.

 

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