Krashlander UI

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been working on the Krashlander UI.  My goal, as always, is to keep things simple.  I really liked the way the new Windows Phone 7 pivot control looked and felt, so I decided to use it as my primary UI.

Krashlander UI Demo

I’m very much down to brass-tacks on Krashlander.  The only outstanding items I have are:

  • Create the remaining 8 levels and tune them for performance and feel.
  • Add trial logic to entice players to purchase the game.
  • Create all the ancillary media for the marketplace and Windows Phone 7 menus.
  • Finish any other odds and ends that crop up while doing the 3 tasks above.

I won’t be able to tune the levels for feel until I get my hands on  another device.  Hopefully I can get hold of one prior to launch.  If somebody has one that they could part with for a week PLEASE let me know.

I’m really looking forward to getting Krashlander into some hands other than mine.  I think it’s a unique game and I’m anxious to find out what others think.

@jeffweber
www.farseergames.com

A Robot Loses His Head

I just posted a recent clip of actual gameplay from Krashlander.  Things are progressing well, I still have a bunch of levels to build and a UI to create (waiting for final build of WP7 controls), but all things considered, I’m happy with where things are.

Here is the video:
(Warning: If you are fond of robots I recommend you do not watch the end of this video.)

A Robot Loses His Head

 

To show how things have progressed, here is an old Krashlander video I made.

Very early Krashlander video

 

Jeff Weber
@jeffweber
jeffweber@live.com

Touching Krashlander

I’ve been spending every spare moment I have getting Krashlander ready for the Window Phone 7 launch.  I decided today to take a few minutes away from development and put together a short video.

The following video shows how the touch controls for Krashlander operate.  Essentially, moving your thumb over the touch surface on the right controls the posture of Krashlander on the left.  There is a bit of math involved to get this working smoothly, but I think it’s pretty intuitive after a few minutes playing with it.

The overlay icons on the right are just there to help guide the user as they learn the controls.  Once comfortable, they can be shut off making for a better view of the game screen.

Enough jabber, here’s the vid:

One last note.  I actually scaled up the size of Krashlander for the video.  In actual gameplay, he/she will be a bit smaller.

-Jeff Weber
@jeffweber

Look peeps, a krashlander level!

This is one of my first full size levels I put together for krashlander. This is what it looks like in Microsoft Blend, which I’m basically using as my level editor.

The green dot in the upper left is the starting point for krashlander (the main character of the game) and if you look close you can see the enemy robot on the other end.

The goal, at least as things stand now, is to destroy all robots!  Pretty simple, actually, if you can get to them. (evil smile…)

GameLevel30

A krashlander level as seen from the editor (Blend)

Hello Again, XNA, Long Time No Code!

After finishing Diver 2, I decided to step back and think about where I wanted to go next with my game development.  I still had a ton of ideas for what I thought would be interesting games, but at the time, from a platform standpoint, I was not sure which direction to go.

Originally, there were really only two options I was considering: Silverlight or Flash.

Silverlight:

I've already created 3 full games for Silverlight (Diver, Tire Storm, Diver 2), and various mini-games/demos (Water Demo, We Are Bugs, Keep Away).

I've  been a Microsoft developer professionally for about 10 years, so Silverlight, Visual Studio, and C# all just fit like a glove.  The development environment is a joy to work with.

The biggest downside of developing games with Silverlight is its current lack of any sort of game development ecosystem.  No major game portals support it (there are some up and comers however: www.mashooo.com, www.silverarcade.com), few forums exist for Silverlight game development, and only about 50% of the potential players have it already installed on their computer.  (This number is growing every day: www.riastats.com)

This all boils down to one very important thing. Right now, It's very difficult to monetize Silverlight games.  Counting all my games combined, I currently bring in about 20 to 50 dollars a month.  Pays for hosting, but not much else.

Flash:

I've had my eye on Flash ever since I started using Silverlight.  Flash is where I want Silverlight to be.  It has a massive game developer ecosystem.  All major online game portals: www.Kongregate.com, www.AddictingGames.com, www.ArmorGames.com, www.NewGrounds.com, etc.., specialize in Flash games. There are micro-payment systems that can be used to sell in-game goods,  there are API's for just about anything you want to do in a game (high scores, achievements, network play), advertising options are everywhere...  It's just busting with game development goodness.

It also has some very nice game engines that are very enticing.  One in particular, the Push Button Engine (PBE), with it's component based architecture intrigues me to no end. 

So, why not go with Flash?  Well, I actually did start down that road, but a couple things, very recently, drew me in a different direction... for now.

Enter XNA:

When I was just beginning to get more serious about game development the first version of XNA Game Studio was just coming out.

Needless to say, I jumped in with both feet.  With the promise of being able to eventually deploy games to the XBox 360 and the fact that I could use Visual Studio and C#, how could I pass it up?  At the time, I couldn’t and didn’t.

Shortly after developing and releasing the Farseer Physics Engine for XNA, Silverlight came out and Bill Reiss ported my physics engine over to it.  Long story short, Silverlight intrigued me enough to eventually pull my attention away from XNA. I eventually handed the Farseer Physics Engine development and community management off to Ian Qvist (genbox) who has been doing a stellar job with it ever since.

I kind of lost touch with XNA while working on my Silverlight games.  However, a few weeks ago I happened across a Gamer Bytes article discussing what some of the top XNA Indie games made in 2009.  Lets just say it piqued my interest.

Now I don’t have grand delusions of making it rich developing XBox 360 Indie games, but I have some good game ideas and I think the platform has great potential…. and did I mention I get to use Visual Studio and C#?

So I’ve officially decided to jump back into XNA and develop a game or two to see how thinks shake out.

I’ve already begun work on my first XBox 360 Indie title. I’m starting out simple in order to get a feel for the platform. and developing a fleshed out version of my We Are Bugs game, which was originally an entry for a Silverlight 10k coding contest.  I have some good ideas on how to expand the game.

After that, who  can say, but I’d love to try and bring something like Krashlander to the platform. Will need to prototype the controls though…

Well, this has been a monster post.  I’m looking forward to getting back into the XNA community.  Wish me luck!

-Jeff Weber

Diver 2 Status: Done… and... Done!

Diver 2 is now finished and live on the Farseer Games website.

Special thanks to all the beta testers.  You were all a great help and the game is better because of your feedback.

Here is a link to play the game:

http://www.farseergames.com/divergame2 

Here is the official video trailer:

 

Here are some screens:

GameLevel1 GameLevel2 GameLevel3 GameLevel4 GameLevel7

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what’s next for me?

I plan to spend most of this week getting the word out about Diver 2. (Marketing! yay! …sarcasm)

Once marketing is done I think I will take some time to experiment with the Push Button Engine.  I’d love to get some of my games running in Flash so they can reach more people.

I may also play around a bit with some ideas I have for possible future versions of Diver and/or Krashlander.

That’s it for now. 

Enjoy the game and spread the word!

-Jeff Weber