BlockForm: how to create a full game in 1 month?

David made this Post on 2015年05月30日, 9:00 JST | Category: Default
Our (way) bigger project is well on its way.
But I took a little break on that one and created something new: BlockForm!

Now what is it?
It's my challenge of creating a full game in only 1 month, all by myself.
Concept is simple, graphics are simple, music was made by someone else, but I promise you'll like it.
The idea is based on a game I once made in a classroom, but gave up because it was too hard to play.

OK, how does it look like?
I took a screenshot of a test level:


I hear you say now: "this shit sucks 'cause bad graphics".
The good news is: the graphics are supposed to be bad!
You can't make good graphics in a single month, can you?

But nonetheless, this screenshot is how the game looks like after 1 week.

So when will this game be released?
Believe it or not, but the answer is: NOT ANYTIME SOON.

Why?
Because we are awaiting Unity for New 3DS to become available.
Because the Unity for Wii U version used is a beta.
Because we will need to get age ratings for all regions.
Because the game must get passed Nintendo's checking.
Because I'm always broke.

But how does the game play?
AMAZING!
Jokes aside, it goes like this:
The player can only move and jump.
It's supposed to collect all coins to activate the gate, which will trigger the next level.

White blocks have no effect to the player.
Red blocks will make you run faster.
Green blocks make you run slower.
Cyan blocks will make you run faster and slip.
Purple blocks will hurt you.
And you can swim inside blue blocks.

Finally, the ghosts will follow you if you're getting too close and they will hurt you.

BlockForm will be available around the end of 2015 (I hope).

And yes, the game will have saves this time!


Process anno 2015

David made this Post on 2015年05月26日, 9:00 JST | Category: Default
I realised I didn't update this blog for a half year now.
Time for an update then.

General
In the last few months, I haven't been doing so much in general.
In the first 3 months of 2015 I've been working hard on our 3DS game, until I got stuck at the bottom screen.
No idea what I should do with it, in addition to the fact I can't make it properly work through C++.

I hired a composer from the UK, which recently finished creating the entire soundtrack for the game, which sounds awesome!
And I took an artist from the USA in our team, so I'm no longer alone!
But then it was April and I felt like I should give up.

I felt that using Nintendo's development software was too hard for me, but I neither wanted to throw away my long hours of work.
But at that moment, something happened I have never expected to happen: Unity 3D came to the New 3DS!
I've never been this happy before, because now I knew my 3DS game could finally be completed!

I will join in at the Unite 2015 as press (see "UltimatePisman") next month, hope they don't mind a journo using indie dev language.

Chimpuzzle Pro 2.0
Remember this update? I guess so.
Wondering why it's still not there? I can explain.

Later on you'll read about what I have been doing in the last 6 months, but in a nutshell: I've been amazingly busy.
I did almost finish its level editor, but then my Wii U devkit sort of broke, which made me lose motivation to continue on it.
Nonetheless I'm happier than ever to continue on it, but it's not my own game.
It's a student game and received lots of negative feedback.
So my apologies for the ones who hoped on this update.

Looking it from the bright side: writing this blog post made me want to work on it again.
The level editor is likely the hardest thing I have to do, but it's nearly finished.
That said, I should have no excuses to not work on it now.

3DS replaced by New 3DS
As you have read before, Unity 3D will soon arrive for New 3DS systems.
With this, my motivation to use Nintendo's proprietary software has stopped in favour of Unity 3D.
However, the Unity 3D engine will only work on New 3DS (and New 3DS XL or LL), meaning we will no longer deliver games on the old 3DS systems.
Nintendo's proprietary software got hacked any way, not to mention that New 3DS-only software are still not pirate-able.

We already had a game planned for the Nintendo 3DS right? We moved it to the New 3DS now.
And of course we will use some of the new features as well.
I already made the C-stick work in C++, which should work with the Circle Pad Pro too.
Amiibo support has been planned for this too, but we won't disclose how we will implement it yet.

Wii U is back
Ignoring the fact my Wii U devkit broke, I still changed my mind on the Wii U.
I no longer had a feeling I would ever make a Wii U game again, but now I wanted to make a little game for both systems.

This little game should come to the New 3DS and Wii U somewhere at the end of 2015 or start of 2016.
I would warn you in advance: if you love stories, graphics, orchestrated music, etc., this game will NOT be for you.
Instead, I'll leave assets as simplistic as possible for this game and concentrate purely on gameplay instead.
This game is meant to be made in only one month and only by me.
However, by the time Unity 3D for New 3DS will be accepted for game releases and by the time the game goes through all the necessary bureaucracy, the game will probably be released in December 2015 at its earliest possible date.
But let's take March 2016 to be sure.

Web
This was my main activity in the last 6 months: web development.
I have created a forum software (YaFS) and contributed to somebody else's blog software (YaBS) (which is now my ownership because she sold it to me).
I initially wanted to replace all current CWMSvN (N = any number) powered websites, but I figured CW-Games runs better on CWMSv5, as well as the other sites running a version of CWMS (like Antazorg, Mondzorg Oostburg, Agnes Zorg, etc.).

I will continue working on YaBS and YaFS while waiting for a Unity release for New 3DS.
When that time comes, I'll surely concentrate more on game development.

Mobile
What I've also been doing is experimenting with Android.
I finally dove into the unknowns and it made me hooked to it.
So much, I figured it might be a good idea to make tiny games for Android, iOS and Windows Phone, in addition to the bigger games for Wii U and New 3DS.

Of course our phone games will be cheaper than our future console games, we still believe that content decides the price of the game.

UltimatePisman
And the last bit I will talk about is UltimatePisman.
I've been into games journalism since December 2010, all thanks to Nintendo Benelux.
When I became a game developer for Nintendo platforms, I decided to take distance from games journalism.
But I didn't realise I still enjoy making gameplay videos of 3DS games.
Besides that, I really missed my old privileges at Gamescom.
So I felt I would need to get back into this business.
Though I will not do it as big as I used to do.
So instead of providing as much PR news as possible in multiple languages, I have limited it to a video series called "eShop wednesday".
Read more about it here.

It may sound as much more work, but I can take it.
As long as I keep to my easy-going schedule, I'll be alright.

Q.E.D.


In our opinion: why should devs avoid Xbox One

David made this Post on 2014年12月08日, 9:00 JST | Category: Default
Before you say anything, we have nothing against the Xbox One (it's actually wonderful as a console).
While the Xbox One is more of a gamers' console, it's definitely no developers console.
In this blog post I'll explain why.

1. Microsoft needs to know EVERYTHING
At Nintendo we have the freedom to make whatever we want to make, but Microsoft still has a concept approval process.
Or rather, API approval process.
You must specify exactly what you want to use (online, Xbox LIVE, Kinect, etc.), for what and a little summary of the games' story.

And unless you're a big AAA developer or unless you have something realistic in mind, your concept will NOT be approved!
This seems like a small issue, until you consider...

2. No approval = no dev kit and no SDK
At Nintendo you can buy a dev kit + SDK immediately and keep it for as long as your company got approved.
At Microsoft you have to borrow a dev kit for a limited time and you can only get this + SDK if your concept got approved.
But even if it gets approved, you'll need to keep in mind that...

3. Dev kits always out of stock
This is the main problem:
No approval = no dev kit + no SDK, but also: approval + no dev kits in stock = no SDK.
So however you look at it, you simply won't be able to work on your game.
Don't stress on this too much, it's nothing compared to...

4. Weeks of response time
What I really hate is when I ask a question and get my answer a few days later.
However, it takes Microsoft WEEKS or even MONTHS to respond to your question, making Microsoft the slowest company ever.
I understand you're busy and you need to serve a lot of people, Nintendo is and has to too and they manage to come back to me within a 1 or 2 hours.
I've been registered with them since last spring (read: three forth of this year passed by) and STILL nothing I can work on.
Every time I get a (bi-)monthly newsletter, I go like "oh yeah, I'm a registered Xbox One developer".

Oh well, I don't care about Xbox One development since summer and I don't believe in it since the same summer.
So if you're really into console development, go for Nintendo instead, they've got everything organised in a zillion times better way.


Process made so far

David made this Post on 2014年11月24日, 9:00 JST | Category: Default
Long time not posted, so I decided to give a sign of life again.
In this blog post I'll explain you what we did in the last few months.

General
From this point I'll refer "us" to "me" and vice versa.
Why? Because I became a totally solo developer. No help from staff, no help from freelancers.
If you're a new indie developer, you will always lack both money and skills.
Nintendo has been a really awesome helper and they still are, but nobody else wants to help.
If you have no money, nobody is willing to work for you.
But on the bright side, it does motivate me to gain skills in everything.

Additionally, we have stopped making Wii U games, as we switched entirely to the 3DS.
The Chimpuzzle Pro update will be the last thing we will do on the Wii U (see below).

3DS development is hard, but rewarding.
Sometimes it was so hard, I was considering to return to Unity and Wii U.
But each time I did, I thought "no, I WILL come with a 3DS game".
Eventually I found out how similar all the coding is.
Now I only use Unity to create quick tests, before I implement them on the 3DS.
This is because Unity is just a matter of coding and pressing the "Play" button.
The 3DS at the other hand is fully programming, compiling, building, linking and testing.
It's really time consuming.
I sometimes even end up doing nothing for 10 minutes because of that.
Not because the game is super huge already, it's because of the read/write speed of my HDD.
So in 12 months 1 quick test could easily end up taking 30 minutes, excluding testing.

Chimpuzzle Pro 2.0
Time to announce Chimpuzzle Pro 2.0!
This is not a new game (which explains the lack of game page).
Instead, this will be a big update, provided for free to all Chimpuzzle Pro owners.
We will provide 25 levels more, a level editor, bug fixes and changes based on reviews.

But in reality, I had nearly no time to work on it.
I did start working on the level editor and it already works nice.
The problem is, I'm as well fully concentrating on Nintendo 3DS game development (see below).
This causes me to forget about Chimpuzzle Pro.
I didn't drop it entirely, I'm just super busy nowadays.

Nintendo 3DS game
Although I still can't disclose much details, I can already mention that it:
- Is a game for Nintendo 3DS.
- Will make use of New 3DS improvements.
- Is a 3D platformer, meant to replace Flavoured Cats.
- Will be entirely made by myself (with a very few exceptions).

The game is still in early development stages and it takes my entire attention.
I will probably not even announce it until at least late 2015.
I don't want to fuck it up this time.

CWMSv5
CWMSv5 didn't make any progress at all in the last few months.
It has the same reason as Chimpuzzle Pro 2.0.
The site is no priority any more.
An upcoming company (Yamisoft) already used some components from CWMSv5.
Based on these components, they have created their own blog software (and soon more apps).
I already had a quick demo of it and this soon unmotivated me in building CWMSv5.
As I saw, it works much better than CWMSv5 already and it's much more professionally coded.
I might replace CWMSv5 by that blog software once it comes out though.

Q.E.D.


Chimpuzzle Pro's release date is now 100% the 18th!

David made this Post on 2014年09月04日, 9:00 JST | Category: Default
Today we had muffins at the office, because Nintendo has fully approved Chimpuzzle Pro for
Europe.
That said, the release date of the 18th of September 2014 has now become 100% sure!

This means that you'll see it appear at the eShop, on Miiverse, on Nintendo of Europe's websites
and eventually on Nintendo of Europe's Facebook/Twitter account on or before the release date.
We will supply optional review codes to all our people on the press list either tomorrow or next
week, as we still don't have any at hand at the moment.

Additionally, we can re-confirm that we will not claim nor copyright strike any Chimpuzzle Pro
videos anybody publishes, as long as they are not available on our UltimatePisman YouTube channel
(or in other words, as long as you created your videos).
Any form of opinion is welcome to us.

That's all.


It's the final de-lay (not countdown)

David made this Post on 2014年07月31日, 9:00 JST | Category: Default
18 september is the final date, due to the check and registration time.
We're very sorry about that, we had to because Nintendo wouldn't be ready otherwise.
Looking it from the bright side: we know it for the next game releases.
Just don't plan any release dates before lot check, or you need to piss off your customers.



Time matters: Chimpuzzle Pro

David made this Post on 2014年07月15日, 9:00 JST | Category: Default
Al right folks.
Chimpuzzle Pro is almost here.
However, USK is still rating the game at this moment and it takes some time to pass Nintendo's
checks and other shizzle too.
For this reason we have to move the European release date 3 weeks ahead: 21 August 2014.
I hope this will be the very, very last delay now.
Please be reminded that we don't do this for our pleasure.
It's our first console game after all.

And lesson learned: do NOT reveal release dates unless everything is 100% sure.
Australian release will follow after the ACB classification and we are still looking for
publishing partners for American and Japanese releases.

And for the press: review codes will be available after Nintendo's lot check is complete.
By default we will distribute the codes to the people on our press list first.
Our press list is very small right now, so make sure you contact us before it's too big for all of you to receive one.


How to play Chimpuzzle Pro? We explain

David made this Post on 2014年07月10日, 9:00 JST | Category: Default
So Rhiannon explains how to play Chimpuzzle Pro and she as well explains some confusing aspects
we noticed with many people at the Casual Connect Europe event in Amsterdam back in February.



New job listings available

David made this Post on 2014年05月27日, 9:00 JST | Category: Default
And note the "new" part.
Because we have literally added a new job: publisher!

In addition, we have made our criteria's more harsh this time around.
This is to prevent yet another failed announcement or suddenly dying people.

We are looking for:
- Publisher: Japan
- Publisher: Americas
- Publisher: Australia/Oceania

- Programmer: Engine/middleware
- Programmer: Optimisation

- Visual Artist: Characters
- Visual Artist: Properties
- Visual Artist: GUI

- Composer: Background Music
- Composer: Sound Effects

Just contact us to apply.
Click here to view all job listings.

QA, PR and design jobs will appear at a later point (when needed).


Hobbyists: have a quality game? Release it on Wii U!

David made this Post on 2014年05月19日, 9:00 JST | Category: Default
Hello everyone!

Are you a Nintendo fan? And are you a free-time Unity game developer too?
Let's help each other!
We introduce you Wii R 4 U!
With this brand new service, we will take your completed hobby project and put it on the Wii U!

Your game must be awesome however.
In return you will be paid too!
With this we will help Nintendo save their console, help you earn money and help ourselves earn money!
Look, everyone happy!
Make sure you check out this page first!

That's all.


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