Welcome back to this weeks Dev Blog! This week I have been hard at work replacing the original character with the new Spine Character. I have to admit, it did take some time and tediousness to pull off, but I managed to successfully replace it. So, you're probably wondering why I decided to do this in the first place? Well, firstly, having a lot of sprite sheets doing their thing can really hinder the performance of a game, so instead, this spine character will only be using the one image which then picks which section of the image it will be using in which location and animate them accordingly. Not only does this help with performance, but it also makes it much easier to implement new character designs using the same skeleton, which is the perfect segue into the next thing I have been working on; Sporadicus!
Yes, I have been working on a new custom character to implement into the game, which players will be able to unlock with their new found currency. Sporadicus is a worthy spartan who has been tossed into the arena to do battle... well, to run from battle that is. Later next month I will be showcasing him inside the game running around and doing his thing, so I'm really looking forward to that! I've also been designing some more concept art for other types of characters with the help of the community! Really happy with how much input I have been receiving from the community about these custom character designs, so I'm hoping not to disappoint them... The community that is, not the characters.... I don't think the characters could be disappointed?.. Anyway, below you can see a short clip of each animation for Sporadicus. Enjoy!
...Here are some character concepts I had designed to implement into JSA. Let me know what you think, or if you have any suggestions, or things you would like to see, let me know!
And here are some of the ways in which I approach my character sheets...
Before the next Dev post, I'm hoping to have basically all of the starting characters implemented into the game, and have at least a few new backgrounds designed (I have some exciting mechanics lined up for these backgrounds as well, so stay tuned for that)!
Again, if you have any suggestions, or ideas you would like to see for the characters, please let me know either via comment section below, email, or even sign up to my Instagram, twitter, and/or Facebook! Or if you would just like to chat about game stuff, I'm happy to do that as well!
Until next time!
Thanks for reading.
Welcome to another week of Juicy Development. Throughout the last couple of weeks I've been hard at work refining and polishing up the Indomitable power-up and pick-up system. The pick-up is working quite well now, which i'm happy with, but the button itself still needs a little more refinement. The challenges I faced when designing the button was coming up with the placement of the 'quantity' icon (the little display telling the player how many of these items they have at any given time). Initially I came up with a few design ideas which I still felt were lacking in appeal, so I took it to social media and asked for some professional opinions. The feedback I received was amazing, and really helped to flesh out the design.
After delving into readability, contrast, and style with the community, I ended up with this final design which I'm pretty happy with.
It doesn't obstruct the button, nor does it take up too much real estate on the screen, it's fairly easy to read (the numbers wont be that close together), it supports colourblind players and the design of the tab works well with the values being displayed.
After refining the style of the button, I then needed to incorporate how the button functions. again, it wasn't too hard to do this. In fact, the hardest part of this was to make it 'feel' like a very powerful button (juiciness). I'm still playing around with the animations and effects, but I'm slowly getting there. Below is a snippet of what the button looks like in game and when you receive it from a bonus roll.
On the topic of bonus rolls, I've now incorporated a new bonus event mechanic which allows players the opportunity to spend their coins on bonus loot such as bonus coins, double coins next round, a chance to revive and a chance to receive an indomitable power-up. I'm hoping to include more of these mechanics further down the track, but at the moment, I feel there are a sufficient amount of rewards.
The next step after this is to swap out the current character actor with a 'Spine2D' system using a file called '.json'. Rather than a whole stack of sprite sheets, the .json file holds all the separate parts of the character in one image. It then plugs each part of the character together and animates them in a way which looks like a fully animated character. This will save SO much time and processing that creating new and innovating characters will be a breeze! It will take some time to overwrite the current character system, but I think, with a little elbow grease, I'll be able to get the job done! But for now that's basically it!
Until Next time!
Thanks for reading.
Hey everyone! So you're probably wondering why I've started back on the development Blog? Well, after I concluded my development series, I thought that there really wasn't much else I could show you until the release of the game. I had all of the character controls, pick-ups, and main mechanics working, all aesthetics had been added, and all initial features had been implemented. The only thing that I needed to add was music and sounds, and all I needed to refine was the traps themselves. Everything else had been completed... Or so I thought.
After countless hours of testing the game, playing it, getting others to play it and so on, I noticed something was missing. It wasn't as fun as I hoped it would be. It felt as if the simplicity of the game wasn't enough to warrant retention. Yes, there were medals and achievements to obtain while playing, but it didn't seem like that was enough. Also, it still felt the game was lacking "juiciness", hence why I'm putting the 'developer' hat back on.
I learn't quite a bit after releasing my first game. Firstly, don't rush game development. Secondly, don't roll out fundamental game play AFTER the game has been released. With this in mind, I decided to postpone the release until the game is at a point where it feels "fun". Now you're probably thinking that the GDD should have accommodated for these changes, and designs. Well it did to a certain point. It wasn't until the game was at it's initial end when I noticed it was still lacking something. So with that I decided to do some further research.
Initially, the game was designed to be simple and only have a few mechanics (similar to the popular game 'Flappy Bird'). The problem; simplicity wasn't enough. So rather than using 'Flappy Bird' as my main point of reference, I went on exploring more design ideas. Researching games such as fruit Ninja, Jet-Pack Joyride, Subway Surfer, and others. These games gave me some idea on what else I could do in order to make the game feel more "full".
Since reviewing these games, I noticed a common ground with them; collectibles. Collectibles are an amazing way to keep player retention, and to help player development and progression. So I decided to incorporate the same idea. These pick-ups will allow the player to purchase new character skins, arenas, and even take a chance at obtaining even more powerful items such as double coins next run, power ups, and more!
With Power-ups in mind, I have added a new one; Indomitable. This power-up is unlike the rest. This one allows the player to become not only invincible, but be able to destroy any obstacle in their way. This power-up is also available after the game ends through using collectibles.
I plan to incorporate a few more elements within the game before release, but since starting back at work, I'm afraid I won't have as much time to work on the game as I would like. But I will try to keep you all updated as often as I can!
Until next time,
Thanks for reading.
Hey everyone, and welcome back to final instalment of the Juicy Development Blog! This is sadly the last week of these blog posts, since... well, I've basically finished development (besides the audio and some minor tweaks). Yes, yes, I know, it's a sad day indeed... But, don't fret! The closed beta is approaching quickly! If you are interested in joining a number of cool beta tester, and interested in trying out the game early, then hit me up! I'm happy to bring more testers on board for this. I'm hopefully looking at around mid January to start the pre-launch for the game, so keep an eye out for more details!
In case you are wondering what I had done this week, then wonder no further! I FINALLY cleaned up the medal animations and positions as I promised. I had also started implementing sound effects to the game (still got a bit to go). I've still yet to implement the social media buttons, and I'm thinking of adding a "share now" button during the game over page... last minute? yes... bad idea? probably.... still going to do it? yes. Unfortunately, I've still yet to tweak the game-play a little bit more. This, I think, will take a while to flesh out, even during beta.
Besides, that though, nothing much has changed. Again, if you do have some suggestions, definitely let me know, either send through a message below, message me on twitter, or Instagram, or even email me at JuicyBeetleGames@gmail.com.
Now, you probably thought I didn't have a video this week right?.. Well, I do! Below is the finale video of Just Survive: Arena. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I have!
Thank you to everyone who has been following me through this amazing journey! I hope for future game devs, you will be here as well!
Until next we speak!
Thank for reading!
Hey everyone, and welcome to another exciting week of Juicy Development! It's been yet another full on week of engagement for not just the game, but for everything else that's been going on around me. I've picked up a bit more contract work over the Christmas break, so development has been a little slower than normal. But, nevertheless, I've still managed to work on a bit during the downtime.
So the main focus this week was to refine the game play. Previously it seemed to exponentially get harder and harder, which didn't really give each mechanic enough time to impact the player (it felt like it went from 0 to extreme too soon). So, most of my time went into refining, and testing... And testing some more... And refining some more... Having some food of course, and then finally some more testing. The current build seems to be in a better place, but there is still a bit more refinement needed, so hopefully this next week I will be focusing purely on that.
The 'pause' actions and menus are working correctly, which I'm happy about. I've also added my 'Juicy Beetle Games' pre-loader to the initial launch of the game, so I can also scratch that off my list of things to do. And I've also added a little 'hand' icon to help new players understand how to start playing the game.
I've still yet to implement the social buttons to the main menu, as well as the controls for sound and music. And I still haven't tweaked the medal transitions which I said I would have done this week, so naughty me! But these implementations wont take too long to do though, so there's no problem there. I've still yet to find and implement music and sound effects, so I will probably start looking for a sound designers within the next few weeks to get that ball rolling as well.
Overall, there's really not much left to do for the game. Mainly polish, sound and music, and a few tweaks here and there, and then we're good to go!
Next week will probably be my last week of Juicy Dev since there really isn't much else to show. I will probably have some final game play before Beta Testing, but that's about it. If you are interested in Beta Testing, then throw a message below!
Until next week,
Thanks for reading!
Lindsay is a solo game developer, designing and creating games that he hopes all will enjoy.