GameDevDan vs Life – Devlog 04

Progress is trundling along on GDD vs Life. The game launcher itself is now virtually complete and most of the work I have left to do is outside the launcher. This is because the launcher reads in all the information it needs from text files and launches the EXEs of the other games from an accompanying “Games” folder. This means any patches for specific games can be dealt with separately so that updates don’t take a million years to upload / download.

Launching a game
Launching a game in GameDevDan vs Life

One of the last things I have to do in the launcher is update the credits, but I’ll be doing that as I go along. For the most part the games were created & developed entirely by myself, but some games use creative commons music or graphics, or were created in partnerships during jams and stuff, so there will be a comprehensive credits screen in the launcher itself to make sure people get the recognition they deserve:

Credits Screen

Finally on Friday we got the project set up on Steam Direct and uploaded a test build to make sure it all works fine – and it does (after a couple of hiccups). Hopefully once I’ve done some of the heavy lifting work on the older games in the pack we’ll be able to put up some kind of nifty “coming soon” store page and a teaser trailer, but I’ll focus on getting the actual work done first!

The game on Steam

See ya next time!

GameDevDan vs Life – Devlog 03

June has been a busy, busy time for me with a bit of electioneering, a holiday and lots of Chequered Ink stuff. As such I’ve had little time to work on GameDevDan vs Life but I’m getting back into it!

Below is my to-do list / spreadsheet which, as you can see, has a lot of red marks on it meaning I have lots to do. Yeah, don’t worry if you don’t understand it, I barely understand myself.

The key thing to note is that 5 of the games are complete or at least test-ready (so I’m still working on 45 of them and the launcher). The games which are ready are some of the newest, WillO: Revisited, Chickens and Moles (2013), Dewey Feed Grogg, Super Honeybees Cluster on Hornet and Wish That I Could Be Human.

I hope to get a few more test-ready within the next week, but for now you can keep up with my progress on Twitter!

GameDevDan vs Life – Devlog 02 (Preliminary Games List)

Yesterday I announced my brand new project and games compilation GameDevDan vs Life. The pack will feature 50 of my past games from my career in game development so far. As pointed out by high school friend and former “Wormintheworks” teammate Botothy, the screenshot I shared featured a game that won’t be in the pack (cos it’s his lol). In fact, the current version of the launcher reads from a list of games many of which I either don’t have access to anymore or published for other developers, so for clarity here is the actual list of games which I expect feature in the pack upon release:

  1. Antibody Blast
  2. Antibody Blast 2
  3. Antibody Blast 3
  4. Antibody Blast: Go
  5. Balloon Festival
  6. Ballooning Over The Ocean
  7. Brash Kangaroo: Portals*
  8. Chickens and Moles 2012
  9. Chickens and Moles 2013
  10. Concentrik
  11. Cosmos
  12. Cosmos Origins: Delegates In Peril
  13. Dan’s Narcissistic Adventure in Jam Land
  14. Dewey Feed Grogg
  15. Guitar Master
  16. Guitar Master II
  17. Guitar Master III
  18. Gyro Boss vs Life**
  19. HannaH
  20. Harrison Keats
  21. Hob’s Ash***
  22. I have never
  23. Jam Battle Shooting Gallery****
  24. Just Pop Bubbles
  25. Kitty Pounce
  26. Last One Standing: Paper Pumpkin Apocalypse
  27. Last One Standing: Tiny Panda Barrage
  28. Louise Payne: Criminal Damage
  29. Maggot In a Frying Pan*****
  30. Papantzin
  31. Pharmer Phil’s Phlock
  32. Potato Patch Propaganda
  33. Profanity Bot
  34. Radslaughter******
  35. Ring Of Fire
  36. Santa’s Christmas Defence
  37. Shuffled
  38. Store Room
  39. Sudz
  40. Super Honeybees Cluster on Hornet
  41. SuperBeanJump
  42. Thawed Out
  43. The Mystery Of Bockston House
  44. Tiny Pirate Captain
  45. WillO 2012
  46. WillO 2013
  47. Winmoo 2008
  48. Wish that I could be human
  49. Zhat
  50. Zhat: Reloaded

*Wasn’t called this originally, it’s a re-brand of a fan game.
**An exclusive version of Gyro Boss just for this pack.
***Seeking permission/deal from the story-writer, though the game itself was made by me.
****Originally “YoYo House Jam Battle Shooting Gallery”, to be changed for obvious reasons.
*****Seeking permission/deal from Dadiomouse, will re-brand if needed.
******Has already featured in NAL is Alive.

It’s gonna be a long old haul to get all of them working smoothly on new PCs but I’m looking forward to delivering the finished article! Follow me on Twitter for more updates.

GameDevDan vs Life – Devlog 01

Today on Twitter I announced a brand new project for Chequered Ink called GameDevDan vs Life. Prior to our business partnership over at CI, NAL and I had both released a whole bunch of fantastic games on our journey as budding young developers. At the end of last year NAL released a compilation of over 130 games on Steam called NAL is Alive. Now it’s my turn! 😛

Development has begun on my own game compilation, which will feature 50 games updated for new PCs. You can see an early screen shot of the launcher below:

The launch screen as of 09/06/2017

The launcher is already up and running and I’d love to throw out a version right now for you to play with, but first the actual content needs a little TLC. GameDevDan vs Life will feature all of my entries to the GameMaker Community Jam, as well as many of my commercial games released for mobile and desktop devices over the last ten years.

Where possible I hope to make each game compatible with gamepads and keyboards so that the flow from launcher to game is as smooth as possible. Some games, however, were built entirely for touch controls and will undoubtedly feel better with the mouse.

So there we have it – big news, I hope to bring you more of these devlogs as I progress through the project!

GE2017 First Reactions

GE2017Ok, so my first reaction was raucous laughter but that’s not actually helpful. I was honestly expecting to wake up to a Conservative landslide so you can forgive me for indulging in a good chuckle. Here’s a quick first assessment of the things we now know about this election:

  • Theresa May called this vanity election purely for her own selfish gains and has wasted our time and money and actually destabilised this country’s position in Brexit negotiations. Her own supporters should be fuming.
  • Never take the public for granted. The 20-point lead the Conservatives enjoyed in the polls has been squandered to a lead of just 2 points since the election was called. You cannot run a campaign based entirely on unfounded smears and expect the public to back you, we’re fed up with it.
  • This election was all about May vs. Corbyn and the minority parties (Greens & UKIP) have been crushed as a result. The Greens deserved to make gains, at least in Bristol West, where they threw the kitchen sink at it. But many green-leaning people (myself included) wanted to throw their weight behind Labour to stop a Tory landslide. We’ll survive, UKIP won’t.
  • The SNP were always going to get fewer seats than last time (56/59 is unsustainable) but they took a massive unexpected blow in this election losing 21 seats. However, 35 out of 59 is still a landslide by most standards and in many of the seats snatched by the Tories the combined left-wing vote would have defeated them. The Conservatives can absolutely not take Scotland for granted.
  • The polls have been all over the place in this election, but Survation called it with three separate polls predicting a ~1 point lead in the last week. Well done you guys. If we can ever trust polls again, the pollsters are going to have to start reading the mood of the nation properly instead of lumping people into lazy, ill-defined groups.
  • Labour absolutely must back proportional representation. They got 40% of the vote, and 40% of the seats, which is quite amazing for FPTP voting. However the Conservatives, have 48% of the seats on 42% of the vote. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but the likely outcome is now a CON-DUP coalition, which would have been numerically impossible if the seats were fairly distributed.

    At the time of writing the total seats are as follows:
    CON 315, LAB 261, SNP 35, LD 12, DUP 10, SF 7, PC 4, GRN 1

    when under Party-list PR or AMS the results could be:
    CON 276 (-39), LAB 261 (-), SNP 20 (-15), LD 47 (+35), DUP 6 (-4), SF 5 (-2), PC 3 (-1), GRN 10 (+9), UKIP 12 (+12), SDLP 2 (+2), UUP 2 (+2), OTH 6 (+6).

    It doesn’t take a maths whiz to figure out that under PR we’d be seeing either a minority-right wing or minority-left wing government with confidence and supply from the Liberal Democrats.

    To anyone who hates the idea of disorder that may sound like a nightmare, but it’s better for democracy if parties have to reach a compromise to push their agenda through parliament. One of the reasons we British are so fed up with politics is that we have yo-yo governments who lurch from left to right forcing a hardened agenda on a population that doesn’t fully support it.

  • Even with a possible right-wing, hard Brexit coalition of the Conservatives and the DUP, Theresa May is now extremely unlikely to be able to force through her most unpopular and damaging policies. Unless there is an election re-run, you can hopefully kiss goodbye to a free vote on the return of fox hunting, draconian internet regulation and repeal of our fundamental human rights.
  • In Kingswood, our hard work paid off a little but not enough (I was backing Labour rather than the Greens this time around). Sadly Mhairi Threlfall couldn’t take away Chris Skidmore’s seat, but we did boost Labour’s vote share and I’d like to think we helped the Labour surge at a national level.
  • Finally, I know Labour hasn’t exactly won this election, but it feels like a victory for the left after two years of non-stop smears from the press. Some of the coverage of Labour and Jeremy Corbyn has bordered on incitement to hatred and I take great pleasure in seeing the stranglehold of the tabloids slowly weakening. Also, huge belly-laughs to all those right-wing blowhards swaggering about saying “Labour and the left are finished forever”. Mate, we’ve only just started.

Full results / election coverage on the BBC.