Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Promotional Videos

Last week I had a couple friends come over for a longer testing session of the game and it now feels like the balancing is almost three fifths of the way there! I just have to balance the final two sectors (8 waves each) and their corresponding weapons so its feeling close now! I do have to admit that its hard to keep my motivation to keep going up so often and so long, have had to a couple days to myself to recuperate in line with my usual work, collapse, work routine.

However during this period of collapse I have managed to produce something I am very excited about, in fact six somethings. Below are six videos of my latest attempts at a promotional video for SDGT but I cannot decide which direction to choose for the backing track so please, suggestions and comments welcome!


Unfortunately I cannot embed videos from Vimeo, which is a shame, so sorry for all the links. I have included one from Youtube since I cannot upload more than 5 videos a week to Vimeo anyway.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012


So I was just reading this article about the twitter hash tag #1reasonwhy which was a topic spawned from the simple question "Why are there so few lady game creators?" and I felt the need to add my 2 cents but to get there I first need to go off in a little tangent so bear with me.

I don't know if this is just me but I have a strong feeling that this next bold statement will make most male developers nod their heads and probably offend most female ones but here it is, girls are attracted to dick heads. Granted I hope this is not the case for women, being only 23 I don't feel its my place to comment, but growing up as a guy its a sad truth. Being the sweet, dependably, smart or sensible guy gets you no where other than the friend zone and I think this is something that gamer, especially developer, guys can relate to most keenly. I think this stems from the very nature of being a developer where in order to endure the crazy hours and steep learning curves you have to be passionate about games which means you probably spent most of your teenage years playing games rather than speaking to girls. Granted this doesn't necessarily suggest developers are sweet growing up however I have noticed, and personally feel, most students who plan to attend university tend to be sensible enough to realise being 'a dick' is more hassle than its worth.

Now to help reinforce my next point and bring the conversation back to a more mature level I will propose an experiment, one most of you will not need to test yourselves since I have no doubt most will already know the outcome. Join any online game then instead of playing, just watch the chat channels and try to pick out the patterns of who is speaking. If the conversation is dead as soon as someone with a suggestively female username starts to speak the conversation immediately picks up. If it appears there are no girls online the conversation dies. My point, gamer guys crave female attention so much so they will forget about what they are doing, even playing games, to speak to a potential girl despite knowing nothing about who they are, what they look like or even where they live. Include actually hearing a female voice online and it goes even further. I know of a good few girls that love to play the latest Halo's or Call of Duty's but won't ever use a headset because they get spammed and even stalked all too often just from speaking.

My point from all of this is simple. Mention girls to gamers and heads will turn more than most other demographics and I don't think I am alone in noticing this. I am attempting to develop for the XBLIG marketplace where some of its most successful titles are things like 'Don't Die Dateless, Dummy!' 'Dont B Nervous Talking 2 Girls' and 'So Many Girls So Little Time'.

Unfortunately for most gamers, girls are usually a massive distraction and I think most employers know this all too well, although to be fair to both sides I also feel this is a reason less women even apply to games positions in the first place. I can't imagine being 'hit on' or flirted with every day being a positive experience when you are just trying to be taken seriously and do a good job, although granted there will be a few that will crave the extra attention but that is obviously an undesirable distraction in the workplace anyway.

As a final point I would like to show that although I strongly believe this to be true I also think it is a tragedy. I am attempting to start a company that currently consists of two male programmers, including myself, and a male artist yet I would love the next position to be filled be a female artist to add some diversity to our team and ideas.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

OK so its pretty obvious at this point that we didn't hit our massively ambitious deadline of finishing by the end of the week (11th) but in my defence I have been tied up since then still supporting a project that should have been finished months ago.

None the less I have had a few testers over to play the first boss sector and give us feedback, which so far has been really good although it has reinforced that we need to make things a bit more intuitive as not everything is instantly obvious to players. Once that is done I can get back to balancing the rest of the first half of the game and once its done I will be submitting it to peer review, which reminds me...

M$ (Microsoft) has really been driving me crazy this week and further fuelled my hatred for them (ironic since I have chosen to develop on Xbox). Turns out they don't care about the XBLIG sector at all and have thus removed any support which considering we pay $100 a year for membership is really not cool. Since I cannot login to the site with my main account(been like this for a year) I have to make a new account and pay the $100 again in order to submit the game, sure I could hopefully get a refund in the future but since the support team seem to have vanished in favour of W8 and WP7 but if people are struggling to get responses just to look into their account settings I can't even imagine the hassle I will go through to get a refund.

Forum posts if anyone is interested in the lack of support here

Friday, 9 November 2012

Over the past couple of days we have been working to promote our Facebook page and decided to promote it with an advert which made things pretty exciting. We got close to 30, 000 'reach' by the second day and over 40 new likes which was understandably exciting but we started to notice some patterns. Firstly the likes where coming in too consistently, every few minutes and then a break every half an hour or so, the likes where irrelevant of any specific counties we had targeted and worst of all it looks like the 'people' where either bots or are getting paid to like pages. These 'people' would have sometimes over six thousand likes and be consistently liking pages once every minute or so, clearly not enough time to actually read them, supported by the number of people viewing our individual posts which never improved for the new likes.

We have edited the advert to not care about people liking the page and just effect reach instead which has instantly stopped the flow of random people liking the page. Hopefully this means anyone new is genuinely interested in our content but this experience has left us very dis-heartened and ruined any chances of salvaging real marketing statistics from the ad.

Sure its great we now have a more respectable number of likes for the page but our verdict. Avoid Facebook advertising at all costs.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Yesterday we had a productive day and managed to concept a complete rework of the weapons management screen which I have spent yesterday and today implementing. Not been easy but it should be done soon!

Just putting in some finishing touches and then I'll be able to go and play with our shiny new video capture card so we should Hopefully have some proper HD videos to show off soon.

Matt also managed to finish the concepts for the shield and carrier ships, just in time for us to decide to not include the carrier I might add. If you want to check them out they are on our facebook page:


Sunday, 4 November 2012

So this week I have braved 8 hours of weekend traffic (more like 8 hours of being stuck behind tractors and caravans) to visit Matt and Marina to dedicate a solid week to getting S.D.G.T in shape for a release. So stay tuned as we will no doubt have lots of news each day in the lead up to what will hopefully be our first release!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Well the contract is essentially 'finished' although I do still have to spend at least an hour a day answering questions and fixing issues. None the less I am back to developing SDGT at my usual crazy speed and routines, I have been up for 20 hours today, so far!

Unfortunately the last electricity effect I posted wouldn't scale down effectively to serve as an efficient effect so I have had to resort to my previous simpler one. So instead I have been focusing my energy into getting the boss mechanic foundations finished and since I haven't posted in a while here is a new video of the latest prototype for the Heavy Armoured boss.

Now I should probably get some sleep as later tonight Matt and I will be talking about the final boss mechanics that will no doubt result in a ton of work but should certainly be worth it for our initial Christmas release.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

So ten months ago I stumble across this awesome electricity effect and think, you know what, that would look Awesome as a shield effect. So I commented asking if there was going to be a tutorial and carried on surfing, expecting to get an email if anyone replied. So last week I found the video again and the author, instead of offering a tutuorial, gives me the entire source code :O

Can't describe how happy this made me, really restores your faith in humanity with these little gestures :)

Anyway here is a video of the original effect and once I get this contract out of the way and can get back to the game full time ill be working on getting this integrated with our mothership shields.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Got an email this morning saying we never got the spot at Eurogamer :( I don't mind it was a long shot anyway, our only video was something I threw together and has at least ten things in it I'm not happy about! I would much rather wait until everything is finished properly rather than be rushed to a deadline.

But with this I have to ask myself..am I ever going to finish this?? I'm already doing a double day (currently 10am till 3am straight) just to keep on top of this and my job but right now coding and balancing this monster is akin to beating a whale to death with a teaspoon. Anyway gotta stay positive so on the brighter side here is a link to the first draft of our boss scene, which I must say I'm really loving!

BTW I still don't have a commercial licence for the track but the standard licence should cover me for this blog :) For anyone interested the original song is here: Corrosion

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Well we just got an email saying the competition to get the spot at the Euro Gamer Indie Arcade is open and needless to say its brown trousers time!

Ive just taken some new screen grabs so Matt can update the temporary site for the game so if anyone wants a look its over here:


Friday, 3 August 2012

So i've been away from development for a while now. I've had to take on another project so my bank balance looks a little healthier (who am I kidding two days ago I had £3 to my name!) and since things have been a bit hectic in my personal life I took this as an opportunity to take break from the game. But at the prospect of a new computer which means I wont have to wait 2 minutes to deploy a build for Every code change, seriously thats what I have been working with until now, I am full of enthusiasm again :D

I just spent the past hour pacing my flat coming up with new ideas and then throwing them down in a email to Matt who will have the joy of deciphering my verbal diarrhoea tomorrow! The result is a new utilities system that gives players a consumable boost that I think will finally get rid of my niggle that the game is missing something.

I still need to finish the boss mechanics but this is getting a priority as if we do get a spot at the Euro Gamer exhibition it will be important throughout the game whereas I feel only the first two boss behaviours will be needed for a good demo.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

And whilst I am here the first draft of our game description:

Cohabitation has never been easy for the human race. There were always those single minded individuals where enough was never enough and the unobtainable had to be obtained, no matter the consequences. Thankfully after the chaotic collapse of the monetary system the human race finally learned to accept each other and its technology soared, taking them to the furthest corners of the galaxy. But not all races were so fortunate.

During only its first decade in space the humans soon discovered a race of aliens so chillingly single minded and hell bent on domination that war was inevitable. Or so we are told but what do you care? You are the humble owner of the new Galaxy Miner S and all you know is that the human race is back to its deceitful ways, alien ships are tough buggers, minerals are worth something and if an alien sees you mining them it’s going to shoot you. So shoot it back and move on quick before its buddies come back for revenge.

K2 Games proudly presents its debut title S.D.G.T that combines chaotically firing up to six weapons at once at anything that moves with a myriad of talent tree styled upgrade decisions. Learn to manage your power and prioritise your targets to ensure your ship stays in one piece and contracts are met on time so you can retire as a rich man.

So this was my second draft for S.D.G.T's promotional video, thought it would be easier to get an idea of the game from a video.  But as you can see the quality is terrible which was one of the reasons we delayed the competition until next year.
Well I suppose welcome to the development blog of S.D.G.T!

We are hopefully now about 3/4 of our way into development and I thought it was about time to setup a blog, though in hindsight we should probably have done this on day 1!

Today was supposed to be our celebration/relaxing day after submitting to the Dream Build Play competition but we decided the game just wasn't ready yet. It had been a few weeks since me and Matt had properly collaborated on the game and we hadn't properly talked about balancing yet so when we did we had some great ideas for boss and enemy mechanics. Turned out to be a double edged sword since we just didn't have time to get the mechanics into the game in time for the competition and I didn't want to ruin our only chance to submit. Plus the video turned out terribly which I Really wasn't happy about.