Getting Lost In My July One Game Amazing Mazes

Amazing Maze

So I got a headstart on my July One Game and boy did it make a difference. The past few months have pushed me to the last week of the month to even be able to start, but this month, I was able to start in the second week and I finished with plenty of time to spare.

So let me introduce you to my latest One Game, Amazing Mazes. Sorry for the bad pun, but I just couldn’t figure out a clever name. Amazing Mazes is simple. There are four mazes and you must navigate them. Find the flag at the end and win. Beat your best time. All that kind of stuff.

Amazing Mazes GameplayAmazing Mazes is designed to be a Gameboy style game. It only has 4 colors and fits a 160x144px screen. Those screenshots are full size. There are a couple of sounds, but not too many.

I decided to go with a Gameboy style this month because I want to participate in the Gameboy Game Jam first thing in August. So I needed to prep myself for that frame of mind.

I also had fun designing the mazes. I vaguely remember drawing mazes as a kid and I never really had fun solving them either. However, actually sitting down and making the mazes was a lot of fun. I only made four, but I could easily spend a few days making many more, but I have other work to do.

When I made the mazes, I would place the start and finish of the maze, then draw the “correct” path between them. Then I would put in all the deadends and false paths. As I made them, I think I got better because the last two I made I really got lost. My first test runs took me nearly 5 minutes to get through maze 4 compared to the 2 minutes to complete maze 1.

Black and White Gameboy Style LogoOne thing that I am very proud of is that Amazing Maze is my second game that feels like a complete game. There is nothing about this game that I think could be done better or anything that is really missing. I think of the things that are missing they are relatively minor and easy to add in. These would be more mazes, included music, and maybe a few different characters. Like I said nothing major.

I still need to get on the ball and work on an online score keeping tool. I would love to see how quickly people are solving these mazes, but I still have not gotten around to doing that.

So that is it for this month. I really look forward to my August game as I will be knocking it out in the first week. This will give me plenty of time to work on other projects like my Kickstarter game and my September game.

Token Advancement Through Story Mode

Throughout the course of the story mode, players will earn experience that can be used to increase the strength of their default set of tokens through advancement. Think of it as a promotion for your token’s class.

There are two types of token classes that will be available at the beginning of the game, Squire and Acolyte. These two classes will determine what path that token will be on to advancement and better tokens. There are a total of 16 classes in each class structure.

The Squires

The first class, Squire, is a physical class. These are your warriors and fighters. They advance in various forms of fighting and weaponry. For example, here is a branch showing the Squire advancing through to Paladin and dabbling as a Knight.

As you follow the arrows from one class to the next, that token will increase in attack, defense, as well as directional attacks.

The Acolytes

Moving on to the Acolytes, they are masters of the metaphysical. They tap into the spiritual energies of their surroundings to defeat their foes and support their fellow warriors.

As Acolytes advance through the ranks, their path is set based on how they apply their magic. If they wish to use that magic for fighting or support, they will grow in knowledge and wisdom.

This example shows an acolyte advancing to Sorcerer while dabbling a little as a Priest.

How Advancement Works

The way this works, is that as you fight story battles with a token of a certain class, let’s say Squire for this explanation, That token will gain experience in that class. Once it reaches a certain level, that experience can be cashed in to advance to the next class. In cases where a class branches off to two or more classes, you would have to play as the base class multiple times to unlock all classes that branch off.

To gain experience, you simply need to use the token in battle. The more the token interacts on the board, the more experience it gains. For example, you gain some experience by simply placing a token on the board. The token gains more experience if that token captures another token on the board. You also gain experience when the token successfully blocks a capture.

Special classes

Not seen in these two paths are special classes that open up as you master certain branches. These classes only show as you experiment with each class and their branches.

Other Notes

The game will be structured in such a way that each of your default tokens will be able to advance through all the classes, if you wish. So you will not be lost if you decide you would rather become a priest and beyond rather than a wizard.

While the story mode limits you to only the starting 6 tokens and what ever class they are at for the story battles, every time you unlock a class, you gain one unique token of that class that is added to your collection that can be used in coliseum and multiplayer matches. So you have an opportunity to gain up to six copies of every token in these class trees for casual play. Story mode is the only way to earn these particular tokens.

Backer Reward Updates And Booster Pack Add-On

Cross Posted From Kickstarter.

It has been five days since we launched this campaign and we are really impressed with those who have supported us so far. You guys are awesome.

However, we did realize that our rewards weren’t explained at all really. We can’t believe that we let that slip our minds the way we did. So we have come to tell you what those special rewards are.

The Booster Packs

The booster packs will be pulled from the over 100 tokens we have planned for launch plus the many many more we will add as the game grows. Each token will be assigned a rarity value, common, uncommon, rare and legendary. This value will be based on the token strength relative to the rest. Each pack will contain 6 tokens, 1 rare or legendary, 2 uncommon, 3 common.

The booster packs you get can be redeemed at any time after the game launches. We will not force you to redeem them at the beginning. So if you want to save your packs until we have more tokens in the game, you will have that ability.

Additionally, if you would like to add booster packs to your pledge, you can do so quite easily. For every $1 you pledge above your reward tier, you will be eligible to get 1 extra booster. So if you pick the $5 reward tier and pay $8, you get the 2 boosters that come with the tier plus 3 extras for a total of 5 booster packs.

When we send out the surveys, you can let us know how many you want.

The Badges

We have 5 embroidered patches that backers can get. These will be based on the corresponding tokens in the game. They won’t be exactly the same, as we have color limits, but they will be as close as we can make them. So here are all the badges we have coming to you.

The T-shirt

We also have a t-shirt that you can earn through backing us at $75 or more. This shirt will be a royal blue with our game’s logo across the chest. Here is a mock up of what that shirt will look like.

There you have it. We have a lot more news and updates coming your way as this Kickstarter rolls on. So stay tuned.

First Day Down And An Update About Single Player Mode

Cross Posted From Kickstarter.

We wanted to send a thank you to everyone who has backed Demon’s Hex so far. We really appreciate your support. We are working hard to make this a successful campaign and a successful game.

And to show you more about the direction we are planning on taking Demon’s Hex, we wanted to explore more about the single player RPG mode.

This is where much of a player’s time will be spent. It is in this mode that the players will advance in the story, level up their tokens and earn new tokens for play in the multiplayer portion of the game.

But right now, the story mode contained in the prototype is not much more than a map. So I wanted to provide you an idea of the direction that we will be going with it.

We have been taking part in a one game a month challenge this year. One reason is to better familiarize ourselves with the HaxeFlixel engine but also to expand on ideas we have for features in Demon’s Hex. In June, we explored two features, Tiled Map Editor support and the single player RPG mode. The resulting game is Alex’s Meadow RPG.

Sample of Demon's Hex's Single Player modeWe hope this game gives you an idea of how we want to approach the single player interactions in Demon’s Hex. Each point on the map will feature either a story node or a battle node. In the story nodes, you will have your conversations with NPCs and open up new areas to explore. In the battle nodes, you will fight the evil that has cursed the land.

We really like the idea of allowing the player to walk around the map, but we understand that will not work well with touch screen devices. To that end, we are going to be adding in path finding AI into the game so that the player characters walk to where ever the player touches on the screen.

The portrait window will also see an update. We are going to be changing out that rectangle with a hexagon to be consistent with the game theme. We think that would be a nice touch.

So try out Alex’s Meadow RPG and let us know what you think. Also, please continue to share our Kickstarter campaign with everyone you know.

Announcing: Demon’s Hex Kickstarter

As of today, we have launched our campaign to fund Demon’s Hex. All the details are available at our Kickstarter Campaign Page. So check it out.

From this time forward, we will be posting regular updates over on the Kickstarter page and cross posting them here. We also have a handy widget over in the sidebar to allow you to quickly find the campaign and track it.

Please share our campaign and help fund Demon’s Hex.

June’s One Game Was A Lotta Fun And A Whole Lotta Pain

Alex's Meadow RPGI am really surprised that I completed this one. It was looking like I would be stuck on a couple of really annoying bugs for a time there. But I managed to pull through though.

Alex’s Meadow RPG was a blast to make. This is my first ever RPG. While it is not an RPG proper, there are no leveling, stats or anything like that, it does have that RPG feel to it. There is a lot that would have to be added for this to resemble a real RPG.

But enough about that, let’s talk the game as it is. As you may know from earlier blog posts, this game was based off a level that my son designed. It was really fun watching how excited he was to create the level and then to actually see it turn into a game. Read more

I have made my First HaxeFlixel Contribution

Recently, I have been working on my June One Game. I decided to take the level that my son built and turn it into a quick game. So I did what I thought was all that was needed and pulled it into a HaxeFlixel project. And it borked. This is what I got.

Several Layers Failed To Show.

Compare that to the level my son created.

Alex's Full Blown Tiled Map

I hope you can see the problem. So I turned to the HaxeFlixel forums to figure out what went wrong. Read more

Revisting Let’s Play Videos

cropped-dkgaming_title_long.pngIn the early part of last year, we wrote an article about our thoughts on Let’s Play videos and fair use. This was written in response to Nintendo’s choice to use YouTube’s Content ID system to claim ad revenue on user created videos of their games.

In that we wrote that fair use trumps any claim we may have on video’s depicting our games.

But for us, we don’t think that creating a video of you playing our game is anything but fair use. How can it not be? You are not creating direct copies of our games. So you are not infringing our right to be the sole distributor of our game. The videos are clearly transformative. Meaning, it is not a substitute for people buying our game as watching a video is a vastly different experience than actually playing it. Additionally, the majority of let’s play videos include content, such as commentary, that is not created by us. That is the copyright of the person creating the video. We provided a canvas, they made the painting. That is how we see it.

Because of these thoughts, we chose not to give explicit permission to create let’s play videos of our games because we have no to right to do so.

But now another issue has come up, one that was at issue back then, but didn’t make the headlines as it is now. This issue is whether game developers have any right to claim money made by let’s players. Why is this an issue now? Two reasons.

One is the news that PewDiePie made roughly $4million on let’s play videos last year alone. That is seriously a lot of money. I would love to do something that brought in that kind of cash.

The second reason is Fez creator Phil Fish’s response to that news. On Twitter, he wrote that Let’s Play video creators owe game developers a large portion of any money they make from those videos. This did not go well among a lot of people.

So we gave our general thoughts on this matter last year, but wanted to respond further. So we wanted to answer a few questions about our thoughts on this money issue. Questions are thanks to Oklahoma Game Developers (which I write for and own) Read more

Tiled Map Editor Is Making A Big Difference

Tiled Map EditorSo I have been working with the Tiled Map Editor and I am super excited about using this cool new tool. I already mentioned it when I wrote about my May One Game Project. But I wanted to share some of the cool things I have found when messing around with this tool.

First off, I cannot emphasize more just how darn cool this map editor is. This thing is super easy to use and super fast. I can churn out basic levels in no time. The sample map I am going to show you in this article was tossed together in about 5 minutes. I didn’t have to really work at this at all.

In comparison, my prior efforts to create hand coded levels were a bit convoluted in retrospect. That one took me over an hour to put together.

So let’s explore a sample level I created. This one is inspired by the level I created in my other attempt that I linked above. It isn’t quite the same, though. Read more

A One Game A Month Failure In May

Unfinished Bomberman Clone For May One GAMThis month I set out to create a Bomberman style game. I got the idea from two sources. One was a demo for grid based movement on the HaxeFlixel website. From that demo, I learned of a powerful map editing tool called Tiled Map Editor. Using these, I began work on something that I just was not able to complete.

I feel like I am a broken record on this, but I ran into a wall of time. May was the last month for my wife and I to move everything out of a failed business venture we had. So we were spending every night and weekend I had cleaning and moving things out. As such, I had extremely limited time to work on this game.

However, even though I did not complete my May One Game, I still learned a lot from this one.

May One GAM GameplayThe major thing I learned was about the Tiled Map Editor. Everything in this game, aside from the starting point of the player, was put into this game using the Map Editor. I could have even included the player position in this, but i chose not to as I was building the game.

This Map Editor is extremely powerful and has been added to my permanent set of tools I use for creating games. Every 2D game I make from now on will use this tool for its level creation capabilities. Check it out for yourself to see what I am talking about.

The second thing I learned was how to properly implement grid movement for a player character. Looking at the demo code for the feature it was pretty easy for me to parse out what I needed to do to get it working. This is another feature that will be included in future games and could actually be used to expand my March game Board Game Quest.

This is definitely a game idea I want to complete in the future. I think once fleshed out it could make a great multiplayer game. THe original Bomberman still remains one of the most fun games I have ever played.

So if I find myself able to revisit it, you will not be disappointed. But for now, I have other plns for the month of June.