Archive for month: January, 2015

Screenshot Saturday

31 Jan
January 31, 2015

My favourite victories are the skin-of-the-teeth victories. In this case, the AI was guaranteed to win next round, and I managed to score just enough OP to push me over the victory line.

Awww, yeah, my just rewards await!

Victory

#indiedev #screenshotsaturday #gamedev

Beta 1.1.1.0 Released!

28 Jan
January 28, 2015

Whew, it’s been more than a year since the last beta release. Crazy! Looking back, I should probably have called those releases Alpha rather than Beta, given that I went on to change much of the game after that round of feedback. I was a bit too confident that I had the design locked down, methinks.

Anyway, regardless, here we go! Beta 1.1.1.0. If you’re so inclined, give it a whirl!

Link

And please, I’d love to get your feedback! I’ve set up this here survey…

Survey Link

…and I’d also be happy to hear your general feedback, comments, whatever. Either by mail (admin at roguemoonstudios dot com) or on the forums.

I’d also greatly appreciate it if you could email me your save game (to the above email address). It now logs a bunch of metrics about your play experience that will help me in tweaking the game balance.

You can find your save file in (Install Directory)\System Crash_Data\Gameplay\Profiles\(Profile Name).prof

If you’re curious to see how you did, go ahead and open the file in any editor that reads XML and look for the “Metrics” section. And yes, if you edit that file you can hack your save game, give yourself infinite money or cards or something. 😉

One last note, I’ve left the tester campaign in the game along with the main story campaign (Neon Noir). If you’re interested in experiencing the full range of SC cards, try the Tester campaign. If you’re willing to help me balance test, I’d appreciate you loading up those showcase decks, which represent basic archetypes, and just having a go tackling the other archetype decks. I need data for multiple battles between decks of the same type, to build up enough statistics to be able to identify unbalanced cards/strategies. You can make your own custom decks and test them, too, but please name them something unique and identifiable from the showcase decks.

Thank you, and I hope you all enjoy it!

(A reminder, if you want to be automatically notified of new System Crash releases, you can sign up for the newsletter. I won’t spam you.)

Screenshot Saturday

24 Jan
January 24, 2015

My life right now revolves around testing and tweaking AI deck builds.

DeckEditing

Looking back on 2014.

20 Jan
January 20, 2015

I think you’re supposed to write these kinds of retrospective pieces at the end of the year they’re relevant to, at least by about New Years. Not halfway through January. But fuck your rules, man, I’m a free spirit.

Twenty fourteen. It sounds like some science fiction date. It almost is. To write about it in the past tense is somewhat surreal. And to think that it marks the third year of working on System Crash, even stranger. I quit my job and took the plunge into indie game development just yesterday, didn’t I?

No, no. that me was heavier in the wallet and lighter around the waist.

Making things is harder than dreaming about making things. An obvious truth, but that doesn’t mean you don’t learn it all over again when you actually get down to doing a thing. You learn it in the same way that Sisyphus learned that ruddy great boulders are heavy. A truth plucked from the realm of the abstract into painful, grinding reality. You learn it your bones, your sinews, down in your water. Shit be tough, yo.

And the worst part of it all is the gnawing uncertainty. Is this the right choice? Am I going in the right direction? Maybe I should have forked left instead of right. Is this finished, or does it need more time to bake? Others can light the way, those who’ve already made the trip, but you can never walk exactly the same path. At the end of the day, it’s really down to you and your gut. You just have to hope that your instincts are good.

Twenty fourteen. The days of future past. How I look back on two oh fourteen depends on my mood, really.

If I’m feeling tired and glum, 2014 feels like a bit of a failure. A difficult year of struggling to juggle a mentally-intensive day job and a mentally-intensive side project. Along with my personal relationships and physical health. A struggle that has turned into a gruelling slog. It’s a year where I repeatedly spent time and effort building UIs and game systems that I then chucked out. A year where I failed to really get my act together when it came to marketing System Crash effectively. Which creates the gnawing fear that I’m going to release SC to a resounding silence. Eek.

Of course, I have a tendency toward self-flagellation.

When I’m well rested and feeling positive, I see 2014 differently. I’m working for a great company that helped me get back on my feet, financially, one which encourages my game development efforts. And I have a wonderful girlfriend who is incredibly supportive of my dreams.

The decision to iterate and improve aspects of System Crash has resulted in a marked improvement to the game. The presentation of the story and world is far more engaging and interactive, and there’s a lot more content. I managed to write 21k words of story and dialogue in total, about the length of a short story. And my revitalized finances have allowed me to commission new, world-class background illustrations that flesh out some of the areas that I felt were lacking, bringing the world of System Crash to rich, vibrant life.

(Click for larger)

MapCompare

StoryCompare

The game is almost done. It’ll be out shortly, for real this time, and by this time next year, I’ll be writing about my progress on Game 2! And I’m bursting with ideas for what comes next! Really, I have a document full of ideas for new game projects.

I’m right on the verge of achieving something I’ve dreamed about my entire life, releasing my own commercial game, one completely of my own design! I’m proud of what I built, and excited for what comes next!

And sucking at marketing is something you can improve, it’s not like people not having heard of your game is a terminal condition. You can fix that. It’s something I can work on and improve at, over time. This first game is about learning, more than anything, and the areas where I make the biggest mistakes are the areas where I can learn the most.

Most importantly, I’ve learned how to wrestle with the doubt, anxiety and weariness that beset anyone doing anything creative. Resilience, the ability to persevere in the face of hardship and doubt, the thing that psychologists call ‘grit’, is one of the most important traits to develop. I’m building that endurance! Again, it comes back to doing, rather than thinking about doing.

2014. The third year of my adventure. What a year it was. I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings.

Happy 2015!

12 Jan
January 12, 2015

Well, I’m back from holiday now and ready to tackle the new year, creative tanks refueled and energy levels restored!

That was a long, difficult year (I’ll write more on that in an upcoming post, but suffice to say, I was fairly burned out by the end of it), so I chose to put aside any thoughts of “being productive” over the break and get some proper R&R in. Once social duties were discharged, I played 2 video games start to finish (and got halfway through Shadowrun:Dragonfall), read through some of my backlog of books and gorged myself on TV series. And spent my evenings drinking and gazing at the stars in the jacuzzi with my beautiful girlfriend.

I’m really glad I did. It’s going to be a big, challenging year for me, and it’s important that I take my own advice here and don’t push myself to the breaking point. 😉

Anyway, let’s start off the year right with something cool and System Crash-related. I finally finished the proper website, and it’s looking stunning, thanks to some great art from my artists.

Check it out!

And if you’re interested in the game, don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter! I won’t spam you, I promise. 😉