Archives by Month - September 2012

OddBall Screenshot Saturday #19

11:54 AM September 29, 2012
Check out Screenshot Saturday number nineteen for the OddBall game! This week I've been working on new level textures, tweaking background world textures, and adding particle systems to the game.

Today's image shows level 41 which is part of "Area 3: The Packaging Plant". In this section the player learns that crates can actually be useful rather than just a blocking obstacle (crates can depress buttons and keep doors open). Normally you can use the Anvil Powerup to transform an OddBall and depress buttons. The buttons trigger moving platforms/doors that will remain open only while their button is depressed.

The trick with these puzzles is that you need to score all 3 of the OddBalls to pass a level and the final scoring target might be blocked by a door. You could use an anvil to open this door for the first 2 OddBalls, but removing that OddBall from the button to score it would close the door. This is where crates come in handy because they can remain on a button to keep a doorway open. So this section of the game, "The Packaging Plant", involves a lot of crates that need to be moved to crucial buttons.

I've also added some particle systems to the game for extra polish. Scoring an OddBall will now trigger an electrical particle system on the scoring target, and likewise triggering an OddBall Powerup will display a quick electrical charge around the ball. I've also added a smoke "poof" particle system to the cannon when firing an OddBall, as well as a few other small particle systems to various actions throughout the game. The result is a game that is very much starting to look "finished". I'm still aiming to wrap up all features for OddBall by the end of the year, with the intention of releasing the game on the AppStore in early 2013 :)

OddBall #screenshotsaturday #19

OddBall Screenshot Saturday #18

12:01 PM September 22, 2012
Here is Screenshot Saturday number eighteen for OddBall! I've been working on adding more background textures (each of the 4 "worlds" has its own set of background textures). They all reside in the same warehouse facility so they all have a dirty, rusty and old brick look to them. However, it's still nice to have a slightly different surrounding and colour scheme for each set of levels.

I've also made numerous small graphical tweaks this week, none of which are very substantial on their own but as a whole they make the game look more complete. I've updated my list of remaining tasks and I figure there are about 14 weeks of work left. That's 14 part-time weeks as this is all done in my spare time. That means I hope to have the game complete and ready to send off to Apple certification sometime in January as long as nothing horrible happens before then.

This week I am working on some new foreground textures, continuing to make the remaining levels, and starting to plan the sound effects system. I've also pre-ordered an iPhone 5 so I can test it on the new aspect ratio and make sure it's all super HD and lovely :)

OddBall #screenshotsaturday #18

OddBall Screenshot Saturday #17

10:26 AM September 15, 2012
Here is Screenshot Saturday number seventeen for the OddBall game! This week I've been working on completing more levels. I have just over 80 puzzles sketched out in my notebook, and I'm working on creating number 39 in the game right now. There are a few other new things in this screenshot as well.

For starters, I think this is the first image I've shown a level that uses one of the other background settings. The game has 4 distinct worlds or areas within the OddBall facility. These range from a warehouse setting to a lab setup. I've been experimenting with a few different background looks for the new areas and the one shown in this screenshot is currently a work in progress. This will probably become the look for the packaging area of the facility.

Another thing you might notice in this image is the slight glow that the OddBalls now have. I wanted to make them standout even more and add a bit more "sparkle" to the look of the game. I think this does both, and they look even better when moving too :)

OddBall #screenshotsaturday #17

OddBall Screenshot Saturday #16

9:43 AM September 9, 2012
Here is Screenshot Saturday number sixteen! I've missed the last couple weeks of screenshots because I've been so busy. Two weeks ago was OrcaJam, the yearly Victoria 48 hour game jam. I spent that weekend working on OddBall amongst 80 other indie game developers all working on personal projects. It was an amazing experience meeting so many other indie devs, and it was also very inspiring seeing what they were working on and jamming beside them.

Then last week was PAX down in Seattle. I helped out by volunteering at my friend Andy Moore's booth and got a free exhibitor pass (thanks again Andy). This was my first PAX and it was also an amazing experience. Over 70,000 people were at this expo with 3 buildings and over 6 floors of exhibits from AAA video game studios, indie studios, board game companies, card game companies and more. My favourite part was working in the IndieMegaBooth and meeting all the other indie developers. Booths are expensive at PAX, especially for an indie crew, so over 30 indie studios banded together to purchase a large area and split it into smaller booths. Talking with all the indie devs and experiencing the conference as a whole was great. Having beers and getting to know more indies each evening was even better.

So, I've been busy these last few weeks which is why I haven't been updating the blog with more screenshots. However, I've still been working on OddBall almost every day, including over 30 hours during OrcaJam! I've been polishing a lot of the graphics, adding more visual flair after experiencing the shiny indie games from PAX, implementing the 3 star rating system to provide players with feedback for how well they completed each level, and more. Today's screenshot show's the new doors that will close in between each world or area change within the game. Currently each level flows quickly into the next, but the levels are grouped into areas with a total of 5 areas encompassing the 80+ levels. I wanted to include more of a visual break at the end of each area to introduce the next one. So I now have 2 large wooden doors that will close when an area is changing, and the next area's title will appear with text.

OddBall #screenshotsaturday #16