Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Lucidity Log 13: Giving Props to Leadership

Compared to the utter disaster of FireHelm last semester, the strong and motivating leadership of Raid Plus this semester was truly relieving. Firehelm had had so much trouble with leaders that most people cannot remember who was a leader and who was not. I remember myself being leader most of the time and then finally giving up my position willfully because of my failure to motivate any of my fellow FireHelm Members. Other old team members of mine distinctly remember Alex being the leader of FireHelm and the old members of Raid Plus claim that Kevin was the leader. The fact that nobody remembers that we all had a part in the leadership truly shows how dysfunctional FireHelm was. Raid Plus has shown me the qualities of a good leader. If I were to lead another team again I think I would do far better than last semester. I would keep track of my team members attendance and deadlines. I would apply things that I learned about Scrum and Sprint planning. I would try my hardest to get rid of people who don't deserve to be with us.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Why Pinkie Pie is the Best Pony.

Pinkie Pie is the Best pony because she is the only pony in Equestria that is completly Bat Shit Crazy!

Lucidity Log 12: Part Two, The Bitchening

Another thing I have to complain about is the scope of Lucidity. Most of my team members do recognize that our Scope became incredibly inflated near the beginning of the school semester. When the scope for Lucidity first started to get out of control I thought that we could handle it. Considering that I had just been absorbed into raid plus, I thought that the raid plussers knew what they were doing and actually had the skill and experience to pull off a project this huge. Guess not though.

Lucidity Log 11: Let the Bitching Commence

Ive run out of subjects worth talking about on my blog so I am going to list off a number of things that annoyed me this semester in an attempt to remember somthing more important.
One of my fellow team members really annoyed me this semester. Izzy as we call him, is a 2d artist. He would come into class, often late, work on mediocre textures for an hour then watch game grumps for the other three hours. When Firehelm was initially absorbed into raid plus the leads made it very clear that this kind of behavior would not be tolerated and I was very disappointed that that promise was not upheld here. Ive heard around that the reason that Izzy was not given the boot was because they believed that he may be autistic. Im not against handicapped people in the work place but he was never reprimanded in any way for his poor performance and he never winded up making any quality content.

Lucidity Log 10: Eek a Bug!

Found a bug in the upper clocktower area. Had no idea what was going on at first. I thought that the bottom of the player hit box was colliding with the whitebox and that was allowing Hugo to Jump. After a few minutes I realized that the collider for the bridge was still there and that the player was just jumping normally.

Lucidity Log 9: Throw All the Potions!

Made a script used for throwing potions. Very simple, very simple, very easy, but it fit into what my team members asked. The trajectory of the potion doesnt change at all during run time but can be adjusted in the Inpector.

Lucidity Log 8: Simple Cinematics

I made a very simple cinematic camera script. Unfortunately it wont make it into the build because Matticus winded up taking the task. The way the script works is that on scene start the parent camera object moves in one direction while the child camera stays focused on one object that can be assigned in the inspector.

Lucidity Log 7:Making a Rat a Constable

For the outside area I was approached to program the AI for the constable. After the design of the constable AI was explained to me, I realized that the constable would function very similiarly to the rat AI. With that as a starting point I implemented a node system into the code of the rat AI and Voila, Constable.

Lucidiy Log 6: Crate Dropping Extravaganza

For the outside area, one feature that was needed was an object that was blocking the entrance to a different area. Sammy(Designer) told me that this object was a crate suspended by a rope or chain and then when activated by a lever the crate was to go up and then fall. The crate breaks and the player can proceed.
The challenge with this was getting the rope to disappear one segment at a time so that there was not rope sticking out of the top of the winch that the crate was connected to. I winded up making the rope a number of different objects that self destroy when the collide with an unkown object.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Micro Dude Log: After Math

Well the time has come to reflect on how well Micro Dude was received. What I did right, what I did wrong and all that Jazz. The first thing that I would like to address is that after the first week of poor sales I decided to make Micro Dude free for download. I decided to do this because, Intial Sales had been so low.  It was highly unlikely that Micro Dude would make the minimum amount necessary for Desura to send me any of money. Realizing that I would never see a cent of the measly sum Micro Dude had garnered during the first couple weeks, I made Micro Dude free so at least I could tell people that it had had a few hundred(537 currently) installs. I also want to point out that I considered making Micro Dude free from very early in development.I didn't because I wanted to see how the whole process of submitting your game and marketing and things like that worked. If I had made Micro Dude free from the beginning I wouldn't have gotten the experience of trying to sell a product. I do regret a little that I didn't get to see how much money Micro Dude would have made if It had remained at the price it was, But I know It wouldn't have been anything spectacular. I also realize that I could have Marketed it more after it had come out but I still don't think it would have made a difference.

Now onto reasons that Micro Dude failed:
1. Poor Marketing.
I had pages for the standard social networking cites(FaceBook,Twitter), a youtube trailer, and a Steam Greenlight page. These were my only avenues of marketing besides being featured on Desura and they were obviously was not enough. I should have strove to increase my facebook and twitter audience as well as had a host of different videos of MicroDude. I should have been a more active member of the online indie community and posted more articles on public forums. I should have just overall talked more about my game and been more enthusiastic about my game.

2. Desura Isnt Popular.
This one surprised me for some reason even though it shouldn't have. Desura just isnt as popular as Steam and why I thought it would still make decent sales simply for being on Desura I have no idea. I submitted Micro Dude to Desura simply because it was my only option. In the future I will make certain to have a better plan than to just rely on the quality of the game to sell copies.

3.Over Saturation.
Micro Dude was just a drop in a sea of classic 8bit style indie platform games. Indie platformers are truly in no short supply. Platformers are an easy genre to make so naturally many Indie Developers are going to make them. Also, so many developers now use a simple 8bit style for their games that many players have become tired of the aesthetic. I know I have. Having a retro style doesn't set you a part any more, it has the opposite effect.

Regardless of how poorly MicroDude sold I still dont regret making it. It taught me quite a few valuable lessons that will come in handy during the rest of my career as a game Developer. Also I still think that Micro Dude is a fun little game that will look good in my portfolio. Currently Micro Dude has an average Desura Rating of 9, with 8 ratings in total. I am very glad that people enjoyed Micro Dude enough that they felt they should leave a high rating.