Pixel Shift Postmortem Part 2: Development Details

May 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Welcome back web stalkers.  As stated in last week’s riveting post, Pixel Shift took 2 months to go from initial concept to release on Windows Phone 7 and iOS.  Dive in for the sordid details… Read more…

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Pixel Shift Postmortem Part 1: Concept and Design

April 24, 2011 Leave a comment

As a down and out indie game developer, you have to work with limited resources.  Or no resources.  After screwing the pooch (or so they say) with Monstercraft, I felt like I needed to redeem myself and come up with a game that I could be proud-er of.

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Monstercraft Postmortem Part 4: iPad enhancement

November 30, 2010 Leave a comment

[iPad enhanced version (1.0.2) is now available here]

Monstercraft initially only supported the normal and Retina Display resolutions of the iPhone.  When played on the iPad, you can run the small 480×320 version or have it do an automatic 2x scale which makes things blurry and loses the nice sharp detail.

[iPad screenshot after the jump]

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Monstercraft Postmortem Part 3: Win32 and iOS

November 30, 2010 Leave a comment

The port to C++ for Win32 and then iOS took about 60 hours.  As with Zombie Outhouse, I used Instant C++ to port the C# to C++ which took about a minute.  The rest was all manual labor.  Monstercraft runs on the same bioroid enhanced version of the bork3d engine that was used for Zombie Outhouse so it uses a custom C++ XNA style layer to ease the process.

There were a few parts of the port which I felt took too long and need to be optimized for the future.

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Monstercraft Postmortem Part 2: XNA and WP7

November 30, 2010 Leave a comment

The game that eventually mutated into Monstercraft was first targeting Xbox360 when development started in 2008.  We’ll go into the nitty gritty in a future post, but for now we’ll focus on the final few months of development.  Sometime around spring/summer of 2010 after Windows Phone 7 was announced, I decided to switch the focus to touch based input with the plans of supporting WP7, iOS and possibly other touch devices.

I took what I learned from porting Zombie Outhouse between the various platforms and created a system that would automatically scale the game to the various resolutions.  Specifically, the supported resolutions were 480×320 for original iOS, 960×640 for iOS Retina Display devices (iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4G) and an in-between resolution of 720×480 for Windows Phone 7.  The WP7 resolution is perfectly in between the two iOS resolutions.

PLATFORM RESOLUTION SCALE
iPhone (original) 480×320 1
WinPhone7 720×480 1.5
iPhone 4 960×640 2

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Monstercraft Postmortem Part 1: Overview

November 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Monstercraft is an ultra-casual arcade strategy game available for Windows Phone 7 and iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad).  You craft monsters using a skill based slot machine mechanic.  You control when the reels stop and start so it’s not a game based on luck, although luck can sure help.

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Zombie Outhouse Development Part 7

November 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Zombie Outhouse Development Part 7: Back to the XNA Arrrr!

[Bonus points to whoever gets the title reference.  Okay, maybe not.]

Porting Zombie Outhouse to Windows Phone 7 was a fairly easy process since the game was developed using XNA and already running on the Xbox 360 & Zune HD.  But Windows Phone 7 is a new mobile platform with its own set of challenges.

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Zombie Outhouse Development Part 6

November 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Zombie Outhouse Development Part 6: To the iPad and beyond!

[Just like a zombie, this blog is back from the dead.  Apologies for the neglect.  I got derailed a few times but am back on track.  There will be a flurry of posts over the next few weeks to catch up on the backlog and then we’ll focus on an upcoming action rpg project.]

Soon after the iPad came out, I wanted to upgrade Zombie Outhouse to add native iPad support using the higher resolution art that was used in the Xbox 360 version.  But luckily [really?], I got sidetracked with the Cyborg Mice web comic.  A few months later, Apple announced the iPhone 4 with its high resolution Retina Display.  Believe it or not, this actually would make the porting job a much easier task.

unofficial Available On Xbox Live Indie Games badge

November 29, 2010 Leave a comment

After searching for the non-existent official XBLIG badge, I decided to create my own.  While Microsoft quickly released a set of badges for Windows Phone 7, there still isn’t an official one for XBLIG.  😦

So here is my attempt at one.  Feel free to use it on your website, etc.

Categories: General Tags: , ,

Balancing the next Cyborg Mice game

March 9, 2010 1 comment

The Power of Game Balancing by Automating Benchmarking: 12,100 for the price of 1

While we haven’t officially announced our next game, it has been in the prototyping phase for the past few years and has been constantly evolving, devolving and mutating into completely different beasts.  Here is a peek into the development process for our upcoming game.

Without giving away any details, we finally settled on a workable game mechanic and needed to test and balance the various powers in the game.  I added a CPU vs CPU mode (just like there is in Street Fighter 4) which ran real time and most matches lasted about 5 minutes.  This was great for one-offs but for it would take far too long to properly benchmark all the various powers against each other.

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