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9th November, 2013
5th November, 2013
This month is all about NeonPlat Extreme, as I slowly bulk up a minimalistic game with tons of brand new features!
To celebrate, here's a lovely great big wallpaper!
Click for massively oversized version (3200x3200)
5th November, 2013
Welcome to Neovember, the month of NeonPlat, where I take the original NeonPlat Raw engine, and gradually upgrade it, adding new gameplay elements, features and modes.
By the end of Neovember, we'll have a lovely big Extreme version of NeonPlat, and we can all sit around and play it for days/weeks/months at a time!
In this first week, I've decided to tackle the task of bringing over the NeonPlat Adventures enemies, and popping them into the new gane.
So far I've managed the first 35 enemies, ranging from Bat to Elf, and everything inbetween..
To test them out, I've implemented a new "Wave" mode, which creates little waves of baddies, all spawned from the same place.
Can be tricky!
You can Play "NeonPlat Extreme - Test - Waves" here. It's currently HTML5/Browser, at the minute, I'm afraid. It's quicker this way!! The final release, at month's end, will group all the new stuff together, then see it properly released to all available targets.
New enemies, lots of!
New spawn method.
Resolution upped from 640x480 to 800x600. More screenspace, but might not scale down to small devices very well. I'll be doing extra tweaks, to account for that, along the way.
Glow method has been tweaked, so the graphics look a little crisper.
Not Yet Done
I haven't added "Hats" into the mix, yet. Not sure if I will. They make things even more chaotic!!
Multiplayer. I'm quite surprised how much Multiplayer stuff I'd bothered to implement, the first time around, given that I never actually used any of it. Not sure how I'm going to account for different controls, though. Hmmm...
"Progression" .. The enemy currently spawn completely randomly. In the future I'll given each enemy certain stats, so the game spawns easier enemy first, and gets progressively harder. For now, however, that's not happening... Chaos ensues!!
Menu.. The current old "just a button" menu is all you're getting, so far. I do need to figure out a nice new menu system, and I'm sure that alone will probably use up an entire smegging week! I really do hate doing menus!!
You can Play "NeonPlat Extreme - Test - Waves" here.
1st November, 2013
Right, time for a new plan.
The last plan fell apart, and I'm struggling to come up with new games that work with all the possible targets, nicely.
So, instead, I've opted to do something that I initially planned to do months and months ago.
When I created "NeonPlat Raw" back in June, I purposely gave it the name "Raw" so that a future (premium?) expansion could be called "Extreme!"
For Extreme, I'm thinking something along the lines of how NeonPlat 2 was a HUGE leap from NeonPlat 1. Different modes, multiplayer, that sort of thing.
Obviously, not all of that will work on all targets, Multiplayer on a Touchscreen device being one of them, and it's going to take me a little time to figure out exactly what things will work on what devices/targets.
So, I've opted to turn November into "Neovember".
Over the course of the month, I'll be releasing little test versions, each with their own little rulesets, but all running from the same engine. Then at the end of the month, I'll release a nice big full awesome edition of the game.
Or at least, that's the plan, anyway!
As with all my plans, it'll probably fall to pieces along the way.
Still, worth a try, eh!?
You can Download NeonPlat Raw here for Windows and Android. It's also HTML5 enabled so you can play it in your browser, and there's also a version of it available on OUYA, too! It's EVERYWHERE!!
Go grab it, give it a play, and if you've any suggestions for modes/otherwise, now's the time to let me know about them.
Happy Neovember, everyone!!
30th October, 2013
During most of October I've been building up a lovely little "Compendium".
The idea was to make a collection of 25 little games, and pop it up as a sort of Advent Calendar type thing, but without it being thematically Christmassy, so that you could happily enjoy it at any time of the year.
It's been about 2 or 3 weeks since I started the project.
I got a lovely menu system working, and managed to fit all the usual scoreboard/icon/etc elements in.
Then I started making games.
.. and that's when the plan started to fall apart.
Making little mini games isn't a hard task, especially when you're used to doing fast-paced development, but when you also have 3 DRASTICALLY different targets in mind, it all gets a little bit harder.
Each and every game has to allow for the following.
1. Phone in Portrait. : Requires game to play vertically. Requires Touch Control.
2. OUYA in Widescreen : Requires game to play horizontally. Requires DPad/Analogue & Button control.
3. Windows in Any Bloody Resolution : Requires games to be typically horizontally. Requires Keyboard and Mouse control, and should also have Gamepad Support.
Over the last 10 months, building up lots of games with Monkey, I've learned a lot of little tricks and methods to ensure these all fit together nicely. And, indeed, I can generally manage to get all of these little bits and pieces to work nicely together. My giant Framework takes care of most of the problems, leaving me to deal with just the actual gameplay to worry about.
But 25 of them!?
All at once!!?
Having plowed ahead with the plan for a good few weeks, it's finally time to take a look at what I've achieved, and.. Honestly.. It's not good.
5 little rubbish games that aren't really all that good at all.
Well, that's not entirely fair. Two of the games are good and fun, but they're both rehashes of things I've done previously, and in all honesty, are worse examples of both.
The fact that I can no longer be bothered to play any of the 5 games I've made, is a sign that they're pretty much just bad games.
So, I'm going to stop.
With just 4 weeks left, no real plan of what games would go in, and not much motivation to get it all done, I'm going to abandon the plan.
Sorry guys, there'll be no Xmas Calendar this year.
Next Week : AGameAWeek returns.. A month later than scheduled!
29th October, 2013
Yesterday saw the launch of BlastTrax on OUYA.
Since I've yet to figure out all that nasty Tax gubbins (I know, I know!!... eventually!!) I've not yet managed to add any IAP stuff to any of my games.
Since an OUYA game is freely available as a download, and then the .apk gets reproduced all over the entire internet via robot-spammy-feed sites, you either have to do 100% free, or buttloads of IAP stuff. There's no mid-point, no way to create a "Demo vs Full version", or anything else like that.
Since I haven't sorted my Taxes out, this means each and every OUYA game of mine is currently 100% free.
BlastTrax is testing the waters, as far as "Freeware-Console, Premium-Mobile" is concerned, since the version on OUYA isn't actually the entire game.
Those who got the recent Android/iOS update will be aware that there's now 2 new gameplay modes available.
BlastTrax on OUYA, meanwhile, strips it back to basics, and leaves only "Classic - Easy/Normal/Hard" available on the main menu.
Anyway, if it proves popular enough I'll probably ramp up the OUYA version a bit, but we'll have to wait and see how it does, first.
Currently, AGameAWeek on OUYA looks like this..
1. NeonPlat Raw
2. Hoppy Bobby
You can also check out the up-to-the-minute stats, at Ouyalytics, which shows how many likes, and how popular, each of the games are.
28th October, 2013
The internet is a place for trolls and complainers (like me!) who like to gripe at every opportunity.
For the most part, we tend to ignore these types, which generally means that comments sections have become largely ignored.
Here at AGameAWeek, the opposite has happened. There are apparently no trolls daring enough to even attempt to play my games! I seem to have scared most of them away.
As a result, there are no trollers or complainers here, and since those are the types that make up the 99% of the commenters, we generally end up with nothing at all.
Still, whinging about BlastTrax appears to have pulled a few commenters out of the woodworks, and in reply to yesterday's post, "M" has decided to voice his opinion on the game.
And it's a GOOD opinion, full of detail, and proper complaints about the game, instead of the usual "Oooh, pretty colours!" stuff!!
27th October, 2013
BlastTrax is currently (27th October 2013) free on the iOS AppStore
I really do find myself in a bit of a baffled state over this one.
As the AGameAWeek guy, I'm certainly used to shrugging off failed releases, and in many ways this one should be exactly the same.
This is simply one of many releases that I've made this year, and over the course of the year, pretty much all the games have had a day or two of interest, and then quickly vanished.
C3ntipong, SpikeDislike2, Hoppy Bobby, NeonPlat Raw, Blockman Gets Hungry, even Cardagain!
They've all spent a day or two gathering interest in the twittersphere, then swiftly disappearing back into the world of obscurity.
In reply to yesterday's post, Voxel suggests that it could simply be a case of publicity..
"Sad times. Did BlastTrax get onto any review sites? I know it???s obvious and cliche to say, but if nobody knows about the game, nobody will buy it."
I agree wholeheartedly.
If the game doesn't get "spotted" by the reviewers, then it'll never get noticed by the players.
26th October, 2013
Over the course of the past 5 weeks, BlastTrax has sold 16 copies.
That's just bloody well shit...
I've made the game free for a couple of days. Grab it while you can, and don't expect any more damn updates.
Sod that shit!
Grab it Here
22nd October, 2013
Do you need maps for BlastTrax!?
Still, here they are!
BlastTrax : Maps
There's a map for each of the first 15 levels of each of the 9 gamemodes in the current (V1.1) edition of the game.
They're bloody useless, but there they are!
Enjoy looking at the squiggles!!
21st October, 2013
Since I just answered this on the Monkey Forums, and created a nice little image to illustrate it, I thought it might be useful to repost my description here.
Here's roughly how I achieved the Glow effect on NeonPlat.
First, draw your sprite in a RAW form, then make a copy, make it bolder, then blur it all up a bit.
Finally, load both the RAW and the BLUR into your game, draw the Raw first, then draw the blur over the top.
It really is a simple effect, and depending on how large your blur-sprites are, you can get a really decent amount of glow coming off your sprites.
Simple, but effective.
20th October, 2013
So, I finally got an OUYA, and managed to get my first game into the OUYA store after a bit of tweaking.
Time to update my Framework!
The DownloadJayenkai's Monkey Framework, as of 20th October 2013 | Blog Post
Older versionsJayenkai's Monkey Framework, as of 13th June 2013 | Blog Post
23rd March 2013 | Blog Post
25th February 2013 | Blog Post
28th January 2013 | Blog PostRead More
17th October, 2013
Late last night, NeonPlat Raw appeared on the OUYA Dashboard for the very first time.
This is kind of a big deal, in that it's the first time one of my games has officially been released on an actual physical home-console.
True, it's not a "PROPER" console, but .. Hey, it's a box with a controller that plugs into my telly.
And it's got my games on it!
So, Hell yeah, It's proper enough to me!!
If you have an OUYA, you can grab NeonPlat Raw for it.
It's the same version that's available for Windows, Android and HTML5, except now it has proper analogue controls bolted on, too. .. Not that it needs them, but it's nice to have them!.. I guess..
NeonPlat Raw can currently be found in the Sandbox area of your OUYA console. woot!
Spinal and CaffeineKid have also recently jumped on the OUYA bandwagon.
CaffeineKid's game "Jumping Jack" is a remake of an old ZX Spectrum classic, and is also currently in the Sandbox section of the OUYA frontend.
Spinal's game "Don't Flip Out" has been out for a bit longer, so has already made it out of the "sandbox" area into the main section, and has even been featured in one of the highlighted areas, which is lovely. o/yeayo/
14th October, 2013
I've built a nice editor, and have started making some levels, so it's time to figure out exactly how I'm going to layout the level structure, exactly how the scoring will be figured out, how level progression will be stored, and all sorts of other little complicated bits and pieces.
There's a lot of work to do.
In the meantime, I thought it might be nice for folk to have a little play of the game, as it currently stands, so I've built an early "First 10" level demo thing.
You can Play it in your browser, right here.
It's going to be a couple of weeks, or so, until the final edition appears.
Meanwhile, feel free to share any comments in the box below, by email (Jayenkai@Gmail.com), or via Twitter. (@Jayenkai)
13th October, 2013
I can't exactly say I've been enjoying the time off..
To be honest, 95% of September was spent working on the big BlastTrax update, and so far most of October has been similarly working on Sheep Goes Right.
It's actually a heck of a lot of stuff to cram into such a short amount of time, and it's been so much effort that I've been neglecting AGameAWeek.
But.. You know.. They're both nice big games, and they're both sort of worth the effort. Or at least, I think so, anyway!
Meanwhile I've gone and bought an OUYA, so I have to faff about figuring all of that stuff out, and fixing up old games so they fit better on the system, with Overscan and physical controls and other stuff.
At some point I'd also like to fit in some GTAV time, because according to the website I've only been playing for about 20 hours, total. I've also yet to even start up the GTAVOnline element.
Hmmm.. What can I say, I'm still no great player!
Anyhoo, lots to do, lots being done, and lots more to come.
I'm now considering how feasible it could be to do an Advent Calendar.
I'm trying to figure out a nice way to allow a daily unlock function, but I'm not sure Monkey could handle that, so..
Not sure, really.
Perhaps I could just (just?!) do a nice big minigame collection, and hope that people play one-a-day on their own.
.. They probably won't!
Anyway, that's what's currently running through my head, and if I attempted it at all, it would take up most of the next couple of months to get it all done in time for December 1st.
I'm not 100% sure if I can achieve all of that, in time, but..
Hey, that's half the fun, right!!?
Wish me luck, and if you've got an OUYA, expect some nice rebuilds over the next few weeks, or so, as I fix up some old favourites and relaunch them on the device.
12th October, 2013
Want a nice free game to play on your tiny OUYA console?!
How about NeonPlat Raw?!
Since I'm still learning the OUYA ropes, and still trying to figure everything out, I've not yet got my whole OUYA-Dev-Account stuff fully sorted. (erk, Tax forms!!?)
So, in the meantime, we'll have to resort to throwing random crap online for free!
If you don't have an OUYA, the game's available here for Windows or other Android devices.
11th October, 2013
So, as I test out the many OUYA bits and pieces, I'm stumbling upon the many do's and don't's.
Apparently, one of the don't's is "Don't attempt to read data from images".
Karl's OUYA Test shows exactly why we shouldn't do that.
This test is as broken as it is on some other Android devices.
If you've an OUYA, you can give this game a whirl.
It's tricky, and somewhat impossible on most of the levels, due to the complex/brokenness of the levels being stored as images. Which is a shame, really, 'cos it's a nice little game otherwise.
I might fix this up, and release it properly.
.. or I might just move on, and ignore it.
You can Download Karl's OUYA Test here.
The standard Android/Windows/HTML5 version is available in the Archive.
11th October, 2013
Do you have an OUYA?
Would you like to see my Monkey Framework running on your telly!?!
It's nothing amazing, and is entirely developer-test-functionality-stuff as opposed to being something that you can actually play with, but if you'd like to give it a whirl, you can download the .apk file right here.
10th October, 2013
Testing time, again.
Today, I purchased 2 very different, yet entirely similar devices.
First, a wire. Very cheap!
It allows me to plug an X360 controller into my Nexus7 device, and use it as an ingame controller, but only on games which support it.
Second, an OUYA. Nicely cheap!
It allows me to plop Android games on it, and assuming they're developed nicely, also lets folk play my games with a controller..
I'm not currently in a "Play with the OUYA"-able position, and am leaving that until the morning, but for now I've been badgering away with my controller code, to get it working on the Nexus with the 360 controller.
So far, seems ok.
I'm not sure exactly where it stopped working, but the DPad of the X360 pad no longer seems to work. hmmm..
Other than that, though, all the buttons seem to be working just fine.
If you'd like to help me test various things, you can grab either/both of the following.
1. Windows EXE (3.5Mb)
2. Android APK (surprisingly, also 3.5Mb!!)
Give them a whirl, and try them out with whatever controllers you have handy.
I'd especially love to get some feedback from anyone that has an Android device with physical buttons, like DPad and stuff.. My Nexus7 doesn't have anything other than volume control and an off switch. .. I didn't think that bit through, when making my "Test Device" purchase!!
Anyway, whatever you've got, try it, and report back any oddities/successes/failures you happen to hit along the way.
Thanks to any/all help.
8th October, 2013
Sorry folks, I appear to have gotten bogged down with Sheep Goes Right.
Although I figured it'd be a nice simple little project that I could work on "behind the scenes", it's once again proved that I never can plan ahead!!
Sheep Goes Right has now become a much bigger project, and as I'm currently working on a way to make level building easier, I'm having to deal with all the testing that goes with it.
I'd forgotten how much time proper level building actually takes up!!
Anyway, between this, and playing lots of GTAV and Transport Tycoon on iOS, as well as creating music for AL, and fixing up little minor unnoticable things on Socoder, I've not really had much time to get back into the AGameAWeek swing of things..
But I'm leaving that "Back in October" sign up at the top, in the hope that I'll manage to get back to things by the end of the month.
See you all soon!