Thursday, 20 October 2016

BattleStrats Vs Aksis - A Strategy Refined

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect
As per the BattleStrats mantra, we have been honing our Aksis Phase 2 strategy. Collectively we have now got a very firm grasp of the fight and we can knock the Normal mode fight in one go!

BattleStrats Aksis Phase 2 - Strategy Overview & Kill

The most important points to consider here are:
  • Jordy had NEVER even attempted this fight before
  • We made a handful of mistakes but still succeeded
  • Explaining the strategy and killing Aksis took us less than 20 minutes
Practice (or rather deliberate/perfect practice) has been the secret to our success. Let's look at how exactly we practiced...

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Aksis vs. BattleStrats - A Retrospective

BattleStrats has conquered Aksis. He tested the abilities of each of our players and the effectiveness of our team's communication. We passed this test but there is still much to learn. Our three main areas of focus are:
  1. What did we do well?
  2. Where did we stumble?
  3. How can we improve for the future?

The Plus Points
The biggest takeaway is that the clan is improving. We managed to kill Aksis on our first try with 5 players in the team had never killed Aksis before!
BattleStrats Aksis Kill - Black Spindle FTW! 

The main takeaways from that final successful run are:
  • We communicated empowerment really well
  • Everyone had the right gear/abilities to take down Captains
  • We had consistent slams on Aksis (which maybe a function of us not being tired)
  • Team DPS was solid enough for us to clutch us through missing a damage phase
  • People stayed alive

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Trimming Videos On YouTube

This is a really quick and simple method of cutting/cropping videos that you have uploaded to YouTube (from your PS4 or any source).

Trimming/Splitting Videos On YouTube - Uploaded From Your PS4  

I prefer editing videos this way rather than faffing around with other tools such as the SHAREfactory on PS4. By doing this directly you can always quickly share whole clips from your PS4 without getting completely dragged out of the game :)

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Pokemon Go APK Install Instructions

For all those that can't officially download and play Pokemon Go on their Android devices, here is a quick video tutorial on how to get it up and running.

Download & Setup Pokemon Go On Android  

I've been having a load of nostalgic fun with it and I was inspired to start recording videos for it. After some quick searching I managed to stumble upon this absolutely awesome screen capture application: Shou

The app is meant for live streaming as well but I find that it is a very easy to use to record your screen to your local SD card.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Flappy Whale v1.3.0 (Animated Whale)

It has taken us this long but our Flappy Whale is now actually flapping when you tap :D Play the game and check it out yourself by clicking on the show button below!

Flappy Whale! v1.3.0 - ewry games

We toyed between the idea of having the Whale constantly flapping or having it flap only when you tapped. In the end we liked having it flap whenever you tapped as it provided extra positive feedback to the player. Note the Whale will remain stationary as it plummets, reinforcing the need to tap/flap.

Animating the Whale and the glowing rocks has really given me a profound respect for the intricacies involved in animation. It's fun to see how a handful of static images can produce motion but incredibly painful to tweak all the timings to produce the perfect effect.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Flappy Whale v1.2.0 (Pulsating Rocks! - ewry games)

We have decided to pivot and changed the flying obstacles to floating rocks :D. Try to enjoy the gentle pulsating glow of the rocks without crashing right into them! Click the show button below to launch the game.

Flappy Whale! v1.2.0 - ewry games

We're starting to wrap up the game now and there are only a few more visual items we need to tweak. Depending on feedback I may ramp up the difficulty for the Killer mode as well :P

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Flappy Whale v1.1 - Animated Skyscrapers

We have just released a new alpha version which you can see a video of above. Alternatively give it a go and play it yourself here (!

Note that there are some visual artifacts and some bugs. Depending on how things go, we might start to port over to Unity very soon.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Flappy Whale v1.0.0 (ewry games)

 @RumziYousef and I are proud to present v1.0.0 of our very first game: Flappy Whale!

Flappy Whale! v1.0.0 - ewry games

Rumzi has been busy creating some awesome artwork to help put the finishing touches to our project. I've also added 3 difficulty modes to the game as well :D

  • Checkout the great new background and our floating skyscrapers.
  • Try out the Easy, Hard and Killer difficulty modes.
Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, 22 February 2016

Flappy Whale v0.3.0 (Graphics Update - ewry games)

We have finally started introducing proper graphics into the game :D You can know play as the "Sky Whale" and flap your way through the skies!

Flappy Whale! v0.3.0 - ewry games

Note that I've bumped the resolution and changed the aspect ratio to make the game better suited to modern displays :) The scrolling background is very simple but I was very pleased with how easy it was to put together. We are definitely going to start polishing everything a lot more, our current targets are:

  • Introduce new difficulty modes
  • Update the whale graphics
  • Add new fonts

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Flappy Cube v0.2.3 (Highscore - ewry games)

This small update to the game has cleaned up the HUD and introduced a Highscore!

Flappy Cube v0.2.3 - ewry games

I managed to uncover the "pipes don't spawn" bug in the Tutorial. This old bug was present in the spawning logic for the pipes. When I created Tutorial, I simply copy and pasted the code over. This bad practice came back to haunt me, code duplication is the devil! I've known killed the duplicated code and there is a single piece of spawning logic that is configurable now :)

There is a choice on spawning pipes/ships randomly or in a fixed position.

Sadly the Highscore doesn't persist if you refresh the game :( This will be something we look at once the game is more fully fledged!

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Flappy Cube v0.2.2 (Bug Fixes - ewry games)

Fixed an issue where the game wasn't restarting properly after colliding with a pipe.

Flappy Cube v0.2.2 - ewry games

It seems unpausing may not work properly if you attempt it just before switching scene. Another "gotcha" to add to the list for Stencyl :(

Flappy Cube v0.2.1 (ewry games)

We have a minor version bump for Flappy Cube! Now we open off with a start menu and I've introduced a basic tutorial :)

Flappy Cube v0.2.1 - ewry games

I found that there was shared logic between all these buttons to switch the scene and draw the button text in the right place. Behaviours in Stencyl seem to be the best way to go when trying to encapsulate/share logic.

Switching Scenes Behaviour

Behaviours can expose configurable attributes and they really help in reducing the amount of duplicated code. Sadly there doesn't appear to be an easy to compose behaviours though.

Flappy Cube v0.1.2 (Scoring Added - ewry games)

This patch update introduced scoring.

Flappy Cube v0.1.2 - ewry games

I implemented this by firing an event every time one of the pipes left the screen, as that coincided with the player jumping paste them successfully.  The out of the box "actor has left the scene" event in Stencyl didn't seem to want to play ball with me at all though. It seemed to fire really inconsistently and I can only assume I did something wrong with regards to the scene boundaries. In the end I went with writing a custom event that the pipe would fire once it detected it was out of bounds itself.

To improve on this design, I would instead look to make a specialised collision zone/region on the pipe where the gap is. This would detect when the player successfully goes through the gap and increments the score. Doing it this way would remove the dependency on fixing the player's lateral position on the screen. I'd assume there would be some performance overheads for that solution though.

Speaking of which, I'd really like to find out more about performance testing and unit testing games more. Stencyl seems to have very poor support in both areas but Haxe does have a unit testing library within it...

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Flappy Cube v0.1.1 (ewry games - Stencyl)

Very excited to have built this basic game completely from scratch!

Flappy Cube v0.1.1 - ewry games

This is a very raw version and the plan is:
  • Fix bug where "pipe" appears too off the ground.
  • Add Scoring
  • Introduce theme
  • Start the game on a separate menu screen
I'll go more into the implementation details and my experience with it all next time :)

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Stencyl Crash Course 2 - Space Invaders

Followed the 2nd Stencyl Crash Course and created a flash version of Space Invaders.

Note that you use Z to fire! The game lacks polish but it is functional. I haven't done any proper play testing or balancing, right now it feels a little too difficult. Here is a short video demonstrating the different ways to lose and win:

"Space Invaders" In Action

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Stencyl Crash Course

Spent a night messing around with Stencyl and managed to create a basic Flash game. Sadly all you can do right now is:
  • Run/jump around
  • Kill enemies Mario style. 
  • Die by touching an enemy.
  • Die from falling off.

(click to launch Flash game)

This was adapted from the 1st Crash Course on the Stencyl website. The tutorial is very interesting and it walks you through all the major components of the game engine in less than 30 minutes.

What is ace about Stencyl is that it has an incredibly low barrier to entry. I'd imagine it would be a great tool for teaching anyone about coding/games development as you can pick it up without any prior knowledge. This also makes it ideal for graphic designers to create games when previously they might not have had the programming skills to do so.

Stencyl Behaviour Editor (Coding without the code!)