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matt0

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Trailer for our new game Trail.

...

We'll be releasing it for free, probably next week.

As a browser game? It's a really beautiful, interesting idea.

You may have noticed the video says Trail - A Bit By Bit Games Short, the reason for this is we're trying to embrace the Pixar shorts methodology for games. This allows us to experiment with new tech or crazy ideas or ideas that wouldn't work when forceably extended to create a longer game. Trail is the first such game we have done.

That's also a really interesting, brilliant idea. Will you be keeping them all together somewhere? Are you distributing them in any way?

As for other works, I'm just waiting on approval from my tutor and I'll be starting my first game project ^_^

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I hear that! In all the years I was a professional developer I did next to bugger all coding outside of work.

I'd say it's true for most of us. I burn out really quickly when I try it. Even worse when the work I do at home is the work I wish I was always doing, because then it starts detracting from other things I enjoy and making me miserable that I never get anywhere. :)

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As a browser game? It's a really beautiful, interesting idea.

It's an XNA game so Windows PC, we released it last night (currently in the process of emailing a bunch of websites about it): http://bitbybitgames.co.uk/trail.php

Or if you want to ignore our site, here's a direct download link: http://ge.tt/8ZYpIR9/v/0

And here's me talking rubbish to DIY Gamer about it: http://www.diygamer.com/2011/11/trail-mechanics-philosophy-life-death-platformer-interview

Total dev time for this is just over four weeks, it would have been three but then we added a few more levels and in a nod to it actually being a game it saves your 'score' for your best run through a level.

EDIT: GE.TT seems not to work for some, additional download links here: http://bitbybitgames.co.uk/trail.php#download_links

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I hear that! In all the years I was a professional developer I did next to bugger all coding outside of work.

I'm the opposite, I haven't done so much coding at home since I started coding for work :)

It can get easy to burn out though, I try to limit it to weekends and holidays unless I'm feeling really productive.

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MFrqK.png

Just throwing a few bullets around. Still not convinced by my collision detection algorithms, there are still redundant checks being made, but the framerate holds up so far in most circumstances on my dev laptop and I'm pretty sure at the minute that a lot of XNA SpriteBatch() calls in the particle system are a bottleneck. Ideally there should only be two there, currently there's one for every single emitter.

Oh, the joys of optimisation.

My levels are still arse though. :P

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So I've been working on my game for about a week now and I haven't even got close to starting on content/gameplay yet. It's not due to lack of time coding, it's been pretty much all I've been doing outside of work, however I just seem incapable of working on interesting things when there are boring but necessary things like menus, configuration, loading and saving to be working on. It's the same with almost all projects I work on, I get completely bogged down writing a framework and never get to the point of building anything with it. It's not like I even re-use any of the frameworks the next time a coding urge comes on either.

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tbh I get the most basic stuff in I need to get a game running, then start building the game part then the more 'boring' parts get added on later. Using stuff from this thread as an example, I got the board, controls and universal game rules working first then added game modes and menus. With Trail I wrote a basic engine and in-game editor (best decision I ever made, want to tweak something hit enter) and got stuff up and drawing. The I added a player and did the basic movement and collision code, at the same time my flatmate wrote the menus and game flow (front-end, game, pause menu, etc). These things are generally in big enough blocks that adding menus & things afterwards isn't a big deal.

In Andy Schatz's GDC talk (http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1014577/How-to-Win-the-IGF) he mentions making the game better each day, obviously there comes a point where tasks take longer and that's not possible but early on that's a good goal.

I've seen too many people over the years getting caught up writing all the stuff they think they need to have (they do need it but not at the start) and coding the greatest engine ever with all these kick ass features and never get to coding the game. Write the minimum amount of stuff you need to get started writing the game mechanics, the other stuff can weight - it doesn't matter how good your deferred renderer is if I can't play your game.

(I'm very much a gameplay coder if you couldn't guess :))

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Really must go back to finishing one of my games off. I worked on three this year and havent finished any of them! Well the first was 95% done but it's nothing amazingly special. The second turned out to be far too ambitious, but most of the graphics and engine could be made into a simpler game. The third was more manageable game to work on, most of the engine was done but by the time i got to the graphics i didn't have the time (and a bit of lack of interest) to continue.

I just get a bit annoyed with myself for spending a lot of time on these projects and end up not finishing them.

Maybe by the end of the year i'd have something to show.

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Everything is on hold at the moment while I do my dissertation, but as it's about the development of a game metrics system for analysing playability I should have some useful stuff out of it at the end- including (hopefully!) the publishing of my game Aida which I'm using as the test subject for my metrics system.

If automated player data collection gives any of you a mad semi I'll post up some stuff in 2012 for you to gander at. I'm hoping it'll actually be, y'know, useful for seeing how people are actually playing your game.

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Yeah, it's pretty interesting. There's a lot of moaning going on about using metrics to suck the fun out of stuff but the feedback you can get is astounding. Then there's the whole area of using it to model player behaviour to predict what they'll do next.

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Been coding a game in Unity in my sparetime. Going for a 3D Dwarf Fortress clone (I know it'll never get to anything even approaching that depth). Anyway, it's been proper good fun. Usually my projects all get bogged down in the early stages as I continuously try and write a framework that I'm happy with so Unity has let me do the juicy stuff far faster! It's still early days yet, mostly spent the time perfecting the rendering of the terrain so it doesn't hit the framerate too hard but now I'm starting to put more stuff in like wildlife and I've got the dwarfspeople following a simple 'dig' order. Anyway, screenshot:

cowsandpeopleandtreesohmy.jpg

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Oof.

It's come to my attention in the last few weeks that the .NET Compact Framework on the Xbox won't bother optimising floating point maths. It hits my game pretty hard at the minute - when it gets projectile heavy, it'll run about half the speed as it does on my laptop. When it's not particularly busy the performance outstrips that of the computer so it's all about the collision code and the fact that there's a hell of a lot of floating point maths going on there, even after I've culled.

On the minor plus side, I haven't yet threaded that. I'm fairly certain that shoudn't be too much of a problem and should hopefully boost the speed, on both platforms, although on the PC it's simply not an issue. Failing that, well, I'll just have to tone down the number of bullets flying around. I'm probably not even going to use this many during regular gameplay, but it's nice to have the option. :)

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Yeah, that's one of the options I've been considering, although I've had other issues to deal with in the interim anyhow so aside from tidying up the collision code, I haven't really done any tweaks in the last couple of weeks. I'm getting 45 fps on a busy scene on the 360 at the minute, which is a test level mainly for checking out this performance and isn't really replicated in any of the actual levels, so it's less of an issue than it could be.

Cheers for the wiki link though, I had just mulled over the idea without yet checking for any articles.

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Not got anything physical to show but during abit of downtime after my crazy christmas gaming period I'm gunna make a few Trials HD and Super Meat Boy levels.

Also, I'm about to start designing an intrinsic card game with a few chaps at work after hammering Magic The Gathering the last few months.

If there are any aspiring designers out there; its the cheapest and quickest way to make a physyical and tactile game. No worry's about art, code or sound either :)

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Slightly related to Smithstocks comments about making tactile games, I've been checking out https://www.thegamecrafter.com/ - you can make board games or card games and sell them online for a profit with a 70/30 iTunes model. Worth looking into as you online produce what you need.

I think there's room for someone to make the next Settlers of Catan or something like that. Then, make a digital version.

Got a couple of projects still on the go. My drinking game (which is nearly done). I'm redoing the Inebriation board game I made a few years back to be simpler and more fun.

The other is my cricket game (seen back on this thread). Once I move back to Australia, I'll finish it. Just have the testing and menu/start screens to do. And some tutorials, I suppose. But the game graphics and animations are good to go.

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