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Gameplay videos + Written Reviews = In The Know
Hey everyone! So after giving some thought on how I can provide value to you readers, I thought I’d talk about upcoming games and post their release dates. The first games I’ll be posting here interest me personally, but down the road I’ll shoot for a variety of topics. If any of these strike your fancy, scroll down the list for a brief description of the title and a video.
Upcoming Games you’re gonna want to check out:
Kingdom Come Deliverance: February 13th
Sea of Thieves: March 20th
A Way Out: March 23rd
Friday The 13th Killer Puzzle: April 13th
Kingdom Come Deliverance
In this open world first person RPG, you’ll be taking the role of Harry the blacksmith as he gets swept in a war against the tyrant King Sigmund for the fate of Bohemia. Tie in a story of revenge a missing half brother, and realistic combat to the medieval times and you have one heck of an adventure. Kingdom Come Deliverance releases on Feburary 13th, the same day as Dynasty Warriors 9 for the U.S.
Sea of Thieves
Have you ever wanted to form a pirate crew, raid the seven seas all the while plundering ships and creating your own adventure in an open world multiplayer setting? If so, then Sea of thieves is for you. The PC and XBox One game just finished its closed beta session and is scheduled to release on March 20th. There’s lots of gameplay footage of livestreamers and YouTubers raiding ships, sailing off the edge of the world, discovering booty, and getting into all kinds of swashbuckling mayhem. One thing I’m excited about with this game is the possibility of a kraken boss fight, which has been teased since E3 2015. Here’s a trailer below.
A Way Out
Inmates Leo and Vincent must work together to break out of prison and escape the authorities. A Way Out is what I think to be a unique take on co-op games since players can switch roles to progress through the game and they’re also dependent on each other. For example, player 1 who is Leo might have to bribe a guard while player 2, Vincent, watches what happens through a cut scene. The story of both players changes and occurs simultaneously and there is more than one way to progress through the story. While the game requires two people to play either online or locally, I think this kind of game will push some boundaries of game development. A Way Out is scheduled for release on March 23rd 2018.
Friday The 13th: Killer Puzzle
The creators of Slayaway Camp have brought to you another killer puzzle game. Instead of playing the role of Skullkid and a variety of other killers from horror movie franchises, you’ll be playing as Jason Voorhees across dozens of maps. Some of these maps are direct references to the films and others are new concepts that answer questions such as: “What would happen if Jason took over a prison?” “What would happen if Jason attacked a ski resort?” After playing Slayaway Camp and seeing some early gamelay footage, this looks much more polished than the first killer puzzle game. The game is scheduled for release on April 13th, 2018, and yes that is a Friday The 13th.
(Not posting videos since they contain spoilers on how to beat the puzzles)
Hope you all enjoyed the post. I’ll see you next time with more gaming news and updates.
Today marks the first official 2018 weekly update of madeyegames.com. Since I was applying for part time work I only had a limited time to make videos. They’re pretty short, but I hope you will enjoy them since we’re diving into two new games: Middle Earth Shadow of War and Human Fall Flat. If you haven’t watched them yet, I will provide links at the very end of this post.
Games I’m excited for:
Dynasty Warriors 9
If you’ve ever been a fan of the Romance of The Three Kingdoms novel and open world games, you should check this out. Koei has gone to great lengths by the looks of it to expand the world by making this open world instead of a linear single player game. The attack system will be overhauled and apparently players can craft powerful items through collecting gems, fishing, and other quests. I feel as though this game is slowly coming to light and will make a decent splash in the market upon its release. Check out the trailer below. Dynasty Warriors 9 releases February 8th.
I’ll be adding more to these weekly updates as I get a sense of what readers would like to see. I also have some changes coming to the website I will be discussing in a day or two. Thanks for reading and enjoy the videos below.
Achievement Unlocked: First Game Launched!
I’m pleased to announce that Horror Block Breaker has launched and is ready to play on madeyegames.com. If you like horror movies and want to play an indie game that has sprites based off of horror movie villains and weapons in the films, then this game is for you. Your job is to use your mouse to move the paddle and prevent the ball from falling off the screen while you destroy all the blocks. You have three lives per level with the exception of the final level. Do you have what it takes to survive Horror Block Breaker? Any feedback you can provide for me after you finish playing is greatly appreciated. I can apply your feedback and suggestions to the final edits of my game and the next game I’m already designing. That’s right folks. More games are coming.
How to access the game
Step 1. Click the ‘Games’ Menu Button at the top of the menu.
Step 2. Scroll down to where you’ll see a grey screen.
Step 3. Wait 10-30 seconds for the game to load.
Step 4. Have fun!
I made my first game!
I’m pleased to announce that I finished making my first game, Horror Block Breaker. The coding, level design, artwork and playtesting are finished. All that remains is securing permission to use certain soundtracks for the levels which is easy to implement. Now that the journey is nearly complete and I can almost share the project with my fellow subscribers, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect and talk about what I learned in the process.
If you haven’t guessed from my blog posts, I’ve always wanted to make games and eventually go pro. At the advice of game developers I look up to, I enrolled in a course on Udemy.com teaching how to design games in Unity using C#. (I know it sounds like a bad pun, but bear with me). After learning how to make an Arkanoid mini-game, I decided to take the next step and expand on what I learned. What I thought would take a week ended up taking several months since I had to learn different coding mechanisms and how to draw pixel art. I never had any professional training in art or coding so everything I wanted to implement I had to teach myself on the fly. After a long four months of trying to make a small game while writing an E-book, I finally finished the game.
Admittedly it’s not ground-breaking, but it’s a step in the right direction. While making this project I’ve learned a few things that I thought might be helpful to people wanting to make video games. As you read this keep in mind that I’ve never had professional training and my advanced degree was in Japanese literature and translation, so I’m the last person who should be making something, but I did it! And if I did it, that means anyone can do it.
10 Lessons I learned while making a game
1. You must make everything and take responsibility for implementing your ideas.
If you ever made a mod or a game using a map editor or world builder such as what you find in Age of Empires, or Warcraft 3, you were spoiled. The beauty of those level designers is that the images and sprites have mainly been provided for you so you can instantly start placing units on a map and feel as though you’ve accomplished something within minutes. When it comes to Unity, you have to make every aspect from button presses, user interface, background images, the level editor itself, sounds, special effects, music, and gravity. It takes a lot of work, but once you’ve accomplished building the editor inside Unity and getting your prefabs all taken care of with a sprite canvas, you’re ready to hit the road. By the end of it, you’ll get this immense feeling of accomplishment.
2. Making a game by yourself can be very time consuming if you don’t have a plan or lack certain skills.
How many levels are there? How many different objects will be added? Do those objects need a sprite or image attached to them? How long do you want the game to be? How will the player interact with objects? What is the build order and how the player will get from the start screen of your game to the credits? What kind of scripts will you need to make? Do those scripts need adjustments?
Asking these questions and getting organized with how many levels you want, what you want to exist and identifying the components you need to code can really help. When I was designing Horror Block Breaker, I made a checklist of assets (monster sprites for the balls and paddles, scripts, game objects, and music) I planned to incorporate in the game and designed them one at a time.
Overall everything turned out to work well until I needed to learn how to code a life system, a timer, and other assets to make my game different from what I learned in the Udemy course. Learning how to draw and makeup for my lack of skills also took time. You can bring outside help, but that will likely cost money. Since this was a fun project I wanted to make for my YouTube subscribers and myself, I decided to make everything except the music due to the theme of the game.
3. Make a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and share it with people to get some feedback.
While I only made a few videos on my project, getting feedback from my YouTube subscribers really helped since they were honest. They told me whether or not the game was original, if the art was good or bad, and what they wanted to see changed. In the beginning I had an idea for the game, but wasn’t sure what people thought about it, so I asked my audience on YouTube for their thoughts based on showing them a level. I received nothing but positive feedback and went from there. If you have any sort of online audience, definitely get their feedback.
4. When starting out, keep your game design projects small.
Start smaller….Smaller than you think. I mean like 1 or 2 levels small if you’re a beginner when it comes to coding and art. I’ll be honest when I say that although my game only takes about 30 minutes to complete, I bit off more than I could chew for my first attempt. In my goal of trying to make my game unique with different shaped paddles, blood effects, monster-themed sprite balls, a life system, and a timer, I was jumping all over the place in my Udemy course. I was learning, but it was aspects of game design that were meant for the very end of the course. When I did learn it, I felt lost, confused, and out of place. Learning from my mistake, I plan to my next game much smaller and will focus on executing certain game mechanics well.
5. 1 hour of gameplay = about 100 hours’ worth of work.
I’ve heard this expression from developers many times. After struggling to make a basic arkanoid clone with unique aspects, I can say with confidence they were right. I worked on my game for about two hours per day sometimes more, and although my game is about 30 minutes in length, it took around 200 hours+ of work. This was because I had to design sprites, teach myself how to draw pixel art, research coding and make guesses outside of my course work. It also didn’t help that Unity’s game development documents weren’t complete, causing me to search in the depths of the internet for an answer regarding two lines of code.
6. No matter how good your code may seem, sometimes it just won’t work.
Originally, I had this idea of adding a game timer that would make a player score based on how quickly players would beat a level or die in the game. To accompany this, I also wanted to make a life system where players would gain a life after beating each level. After scouring the internet for documents and video tutorials, everything seemed to be going okay, but for some reason the clock would jump ahead between 20 – 45 seconds when you beat a level and your life counter would multiply by two! After a week of fiddling around not knowing or understanding what I was learning, and not progressing at all towards a finished product, I disposed of the timer and score system. I think that eventually I’ll get good enough to make those kinds of changes, but for now I’m pleased with where the game is at.
7. You have to be willing to let go.
Remember that time when you were working on something and you never felt satisfied with it? Maybe it was a term paper, a project, a piece of art, or a fun hobby where you’ll always find something you wish you could add to make your project better. But at some point you just have to let go. Had I kept my game smaller in scope by reducing the levels in half and not adding any form of a life system, the game would’ve been finished in two months instead of four.
8. Finding a social balance when you make games is important.
Making a game requires you sitting in front of a computer screen for hours on end and it can be lonely. It’s really helpful to have a social outlet, particularly an active one to get you recharged and to just escape from your dorm room, apartment, or house. Thankfully I had my frisbee group, board game group, and friends I could spend time with. Make sure you are getting exercise and social interaction.
9. There is no sole method to solve a problem or implement an idea in your game.
When I was trying to get my ball to position on the paddle when the player lost a life, I found what was close to 10 different ways of accomplishing the same thing. In this sense, coding can be compared to a spoken language where there are multiple ways to communicate a particular point across. In the end it is just a matter of preference. Some ways are easier and others are more difficult.
10. Remember to have fun!
At the end of the day, no matter how frustrated you become or how long it takes to implement something, you need to have fun making your game. When I got stuck working on a gravity glitch, I started fiddling around with different paddle shapes and 2D colliders. That fun little distraction gave me the idea of making unique paddles in each level. You never know when a spur of the moment experiment could lead to a new game mechanic.
I hope this article brought some insight for people wanting to make their first game whether its as a hobby or perhaps a professional app that makes money.
It has been awhile since I last updated the blog, but I’ve been keeping my head down and working away. The hard work paid off and I can finally say I finished my E-book! It’ll be out this January on Amazon. I also earned the Content Creator of The Week award on f13game.com. Hooray for victories! Now that I’ve got more free time, I’m pleased to share some updates to the blog and what I call Mad-Eye Games 2.0. Time for a relaunch!
What has been changed:
- Changed the about me section to reflect the current status in my entrepreneurial journey.
- Cleaned up the video section so it contains all of my recently made videos.
- NEW Services Page: I’m excited to announce that I’m taking the business to the next level and offering video editing services. In the Services tab on the website you’ll find a portfolio of my videos that showcase different editing skills. If you or anyone you know needs video editing done in Adobe Premiere, I’m happy to do it. For business inquiries you can reach me at my email firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve finally figured out how to separate all of the content between game development, my YouTube channel and the website and am excited to show you what I’ve got to offer in the coming weeks. Horror Block Breaker is coming along well and I’ll be posting the final video once it is finished and then moving on to make a new game.
The new updates for Friday The 13th: The Game have caused a dramatic shift in how the game is played. Rest assured, I will updating all of the strategy guides.
With so many great games coming out now, I plan to make a lot of different videos and review these games. Stay tuned!
Made my first game and launched it on the blog
Learn Advanced Editing Techniques