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Saturday, 18 May 2019

8-Bit Bots #4

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In this weeks 8-Bit Bots, Zog and Zorch enjoy some TV but I don't think Hi-Brow approves.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Alien search and rescue!

Just a small update for UFO this week. Previously I'd added the ability to lift up tanks with your tractor beam and collect them to replenish your bombs. While I liked this idea, it did make the game a bit too easy because you didn't need to use the bombs to destroy the tanks anymore. So I came up with the idea of adding little aliens to the game that you can rescue to give you 10 extra bombs in return. However, now that the bombs are finite there is a chance that you'll run out and be unable to complete the level, so I've added a checker to the game that keeps track of how many bombs you have. If this tracker reaches zero your UFO will retreat and you'll lose a life. At the moment it's a bit severe, but I'm going to add a timer to it that will warn the player first and then give you a certain amount of time to pick up a new alien refugee to replenish your bombs before the UFO retreats.

The next thing to do is add in new enemies for the player to fight against. I've now colour coded the enemies to indicate their difficulty, with blue being easy, yellow being medium and red being hard. I'm still working out how to implement where and how the different enemies will enter the game, so that the game get progressively harder as you play, but I've got plenty of time to mess about with things and experiment with different spawn rates and behaviours. Since this is a Defender-like game, I've borrowed a couple of enemy ideas from the original game but put my own twist on them, and they'll be appearing on later levels.

So, that's it for this week. Thanks for reading.

My aim is to make video games and, as much as possible, let people download them for free. I do, however, still need to eat and pay bills, so if you'd like to support me you can do so by buying me a coffee at this will enable me to continue doing what I do and your support is really appreciated!

Saturday, 11 May 2019

8-Bit Bots #3

In this weeks 8-Bit Bots, Hi-Brow has a new toy to play with but I don't think Zorch fully understands what it is (to be honest I'm not sure I do either).

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Alien invasions and keeping games development fun!

Since Saturdays have been take over by 8-Bit Bots for the moment, I've decided to move the game development update posts to Wednesday.

The game is progressing quite nicely at the moment. It's still a long way from finished, and I've got the rest of the year to get it done (I'm looking at a December release), but I'm currently enjoying the process and my approach to working on it. 

Initially my approach to returning to games development was to treat it like business hours. I'd wake up early, go out to get some shopping for the day, help mum with her care needs, then from 10am until 6pm I'd be doing games development and only taking breaks to do carer stuff like giving mum her tablets, cooking meals, cleaning, and other household chores. This hasn't really been working for me, so I've decided to go back to a more laid back approach similar to the way I used to make games in the past, and that's to only work on the games when I feel like it.

Optimus Prime created in 3DSMax a long time ago.
Back when I was younger I enjoyed the process of making games more because I'd only do it when I wanted to do it, and would split my time up quite naturally between playing games, making games, visiting friends, watching movies, spending time with family, and other fun activities. Some days I wouldn't work on a game at all, other days I could spend a few hours working on a game quite happily. It's very similar to the way I used to work on my 3D models and animations when I used to mess around with software like 3DSMax. I'd start a new model and would spend an hour or two working on it, then go off and do something else, then maybe not work on the model again for a day or two. It's not the most efficient way to get things done, but it's a more natural way for me to work and it stops me from putting unnecessary pressure on myself. It also keeps games development fun, which is the most important thing for me.

So, I've been working on UFO a couple of hours a day in the afternoons and it's been an enjoyable process so far. I'm splitting the development time between UFO and working on the 8-Bit Bots comic and animations, and things are coming together quite nicely. The game now has a few new additions, like difficulty that increases each level, the start of an end-level screen, a front end and a game over event. I've also made the bombs finite, with the player starting off with 10, and you have to pick up little aliens from the ground to replenish them. If you don't keep your bombs topped up, your UFO will retreat, because it's no longer able to destroy the tanks and clear the level, and you'll lose a life. It's a bit sneaky, I know, but it stops the players from using their infinite bombs to kill all tanks and sheep, rather than saving the sheep as you're supposed to do, to complete the level.

The next part of the process for UFO is to complete the end level screen and then start working on some new enemy types, including a homing missile and jet fighter, and work on level progression.

One final thing. I do intend to get back to live streaming the games development, but I'm not sure when this is going to be.

Thanks for reading!

My aim is to make video games and, as much as possible, let people download them for free. I do, however, still need to eat and pay bills, so if you'd like to support me you can do so by buying me a coffee at this will enable me to continue doing what I do and your support is really appreciated!

Saturday, 4 May 2019

8-Bit Bots #2

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8-Bit Bots has been given a bit of a makeover for it's 2nd episode. The basic idea behind the changes was to make the strip look a bit more finished, so I've added new backgrounds, a new logo and a title to each new strip.

The backgrounds are done in MagicaVoxel, which is a nice little piece of software for creating voxel art, I create them as 3d voxel images and render them out as 2d to create the backgrounds. The final change was to make the speech text bigger and add a black shadow around the edges to make it stand out from the background a bit better.

I have ideas for some new characters that I'll be adding to the strip over the coming weeks, and the strip length will change a little as some stories will require a bit more space to tell, so the standard length will remain at three panels, but some strips will be four, five or even six panels on occasion.

Finally, I'm still working on UFO, so I'm hoping to have some news of that soon.

Anyway, that's it for this week. I hope you enjoy 8-Bit Bots #2 "Intelligent Life".