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Mar 31

Crafty creation

Hello my electronic chums! How goes your week? As promised here is my early blog as I will be away tomorrow. Please forgive me if this blog gets a little surreal, I am sitting in a room filled with spray paint fumes. It was too windy to spray paint outside today so as a last resort I had to spray in the office.

The week has been full of change. I started off lacking focus and drive but managed to bounce back splendidly by Wednesday. In fact despite the melancholy blues at the start of the week I have made some really good progress on my game (it will be named next week I promise). It has also been decided that at the end of next week I will move back to Nuneaton where my parents can put me up while I search for a job. Do not worry though, I have agreed to look for work only after I have finished my current game and not at all if the current game nets me 3k or more. It is a lofty goal I know but that is what I need to make this full time indie gig work. Despite the first month of keeping my head down and getting used to my new job (whatever it maybe) I am looking forward to working again.

As you will see from the pictures below the game is coming on nicely. It has a level start count down, a level end feedback thing, and the concept of death and failure added in, because reward is nothing without risk.

grub screenshot

grub screenshot

grub screenshot

grub screenshot

grub screenshot

Today I have been working on some gifts for various people. It has been hard going. It seems gluing all the pages of a book together takes time and planning. I am already on my second book after destroying the first! I also have gained a lot more admiration for those who create pop up books. It is so much harder than it seems. The office is now splattered with PVA glue, within minutes of breaking it out I had it all over me and on my laptop.

Best get back to it, this book isnít going to pop itself!

Much Love

-Jon

Mar 18

The Mucus Monsoon

*sniff* *sniff* ello eople *cough*! This week I got infected with a deadly cold virus. Now I do not want to get into this whole man cold nonsense. The fact is the constant need to turn away from the monitor to sneeze or plug a leaking nostril is derailing my train of thought. Today I had a minor bug to resolve on my new game (more about that later) it took me moments to realize the problem but hours to fix because my snot mired brain just would not provide me with the answers. So I will be taking the rest of the day off to drink green tea and whimper. I may also take a little time to feel sorry for myself :P

As you can imagine the recent events in Japan has made my current game Bigfoot VS Tokyo seem in bad taste. It is after all a game about destroying Tokyo. So after considering the alternatives, mainly moving the game to a different city I have decided to shelf the game for the time being.

So with even less money than before I once again start the process of creating a new game. Luckily I came up with a new idea pretty quickly and with the Bigfoot code base development is going very quickly. I am aiming to get it done by the end of next week so gonna have to burn the midnight oil over the coming week. Wish me luck!

Below are a couple of screenshots of the new currently unnamed game. Hope you like it :P

screenshot

Sniff

Going to keep it short as I promised myself that once I fixed the bug and blogged I could go back to bed. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Much Love

-Jon

Mar 10

The Liverpool Initiative

Sup world!

Blogging a little early this week as tomorrow I am away for a good friend's stag, a weekend of mayhem hosted by the good people of Liverpool. I have never been to Liverpool so I am looking forward to the adventure.

It has been a week since Love Hurts was released and so far it hasn't done too well. Unlike Run Away it has failed to make it onto the top downloaded. It has (if you can believe the Microsoft download history estimates) been downloaded 1623 times and bought a horrific 57 times. It has also gain two well balanced reviews, one by Kobun, and another by GameMarx. If you are reading guys, thank you very much. Both reviews made me so very happy, its great to know that people both appreciate and get what I am trying to achieve.

One thing that has become apparent from the reviews is that my fighting system did not win people over and in fact gameplay is the weakest part of Love Hurts. This is something that I will have to focus on in the future. Looking at the video of people playing Love Hurts on GameMarx it is clear that the player did not get how the game works correctly. I must have failed to communicate this, or I am missing some key feedback. I am determined to improve on gameplay with my future games. After all what is a game without gameplay?

Bigfoot Vs Tokyo is progressing nicely now that all the boring server side stuff is sorted. Below are a few wards of Tokyo that will fall victim to the rage of Bigfoot

Why is Bigfoot so angry you ask? Well I think finally I have that resolved :P

Time to watch Animal House and Hangover to get in the mood for the weekend!

Much Love

-Jon

Mar 05

The release jubilation

Hello all, first of all sorry this is a little late. I have had a lot on my plate of late. I was going to blog about my adventures while on holiday (which included making piece with a bull!) but I have breaking news!

Love Hurts is now available to purchase on Microsoft's fine and dandy Xbox Live Marketplace in the Indie section. This happened during the last few hours of Thursday and led to an impromptu visit to Leamington Spa's local discotheque which is crudely called Smack! Since its release I have been e-mailing various news sites to try and get the word out. I even tried to get the honorable Stephen Fry to retweet the news for me. Sadly he was either too busy to do so or other people have attempted such a cunning ruse before and it has lost its charm.

It is still too early to tell how well it has been received, but even if it is considered the worse game ever, I will not mind too much as I am happy with what I have achieved with the project.

To those of you who have noticed the Run Away competition advertised in the Love Hurts menu screen, I am very sorry for the delay. You can find the competition Here. Best of luck to you!

On Monday I will go back to working on Big Foot VS Tokyo, which is progressing a little too slowly but it is looking good. Below is an early screenshot of the level selection screen

Big Foot VS Tokyo

Well sorry to be brief but I need to pack ready to go to my parents for the weekend and I fear I am very late!

Much Love

-Jon

Feb 11

The Inspiration Imperative

Hello interested readers of JonCorp. Firstly allow me to apologies about the lack of blog last Friday. Things had conspired to confound me and I did not want to rage blog.

So last week I made the final changes to Love Hurts and lovingly applied spit and polish to the places that needed it. I also submitted it for review and watched as it failed on pretty much the same day it was added. Shockingly it crashes when you rip out the memory card out while it is using it. But sadly a crash is a crash regardless of how pedantic it is. As the deadline for games made in XNA 3.1 was last Monday and I took Love Hurts out of review on Sunday I had to spend the first part of this week converting it to 4.0. A task made worse by the ineffective 3.1 to 4.0 converter which seems to fail to convert any of the resources leading to "X resource compiled with incorrect version of XNA" errors. Eventually I discovered that I had to recreate the entire project and import all the resources again. I feel things would have gone smoother if they did not bother with a "converter" at all.

The rest of the week I spent implementing the A* algorithm for a future game I plan to do. Here is a screen shot of an earlier implementation. The path maker appears drunk because of its fear of moving in a straight line :P

Drunken A*

As I am awfully poor and constantly getting poorer I need to get something out there and some money in quickly. To that end I have came up with a new idea which I should be able to create in two weeks (I made a bet on it). I am slightly miffed that I only came up with this idea after spending 2 days working on something else, but the idea is great enough to surpass any feelings of miffed-ness. Behold some early concept work of my great new idea!

ProjectBFVT

I have a busy weekend ahead of me. Tomorrow will be spent testing Love Hurts and watching movies with some mates. Sunday includes a visit from the parents, Love Hurts submission, and possible enforced DIY :S

Have a fun weekend

Much Love Gov

-Jon

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