Monthly Archives: April 2015

Looks like overtime for Game 4

As you may well be aware if you have been reading any of these posts, I and doing the #1GAM (1 Game A Month) challenge.

April has been a crazy month and it looks like I will not be able to finish the game by the 30th (but it might be close). Thankfully this challenge has no rules, only guidelines. And one of those guidelines is that you can take your game a few days into the next month to finish it.

More Video

I recorded another session programming. This one is about 3 times as long as the first and involves a lot more long periods where I am stuck trying to figure out typos, things that I forgot about the language, and reading something off screen to figure out my next step.

The main purpose of these videos is to give myself something to form a baseline to do a series of tutorials.

Right now, I have found a few important things to consider when doing a video.

You need a plan

Seriously, plan out exactly how far you want to get with each recording and exactly what you are going to do.

You need to edit

These videos are currently unedited for 2 reasons. First, I don’t currently have any video editing software set up, and second, they are for me to learn from so I don’t want to cut anything out.

Really though, if you are going to create a video course of any kind, editing will be crucial to make the videos as clear as possible.


Or at least get a good mike. I was using the default mike on my laptop and the sound quality is not great (except for when I click with the trackpad which comes through way too loud).

Clear speech will allow your viewer to better understand what is going on.

Less Video

For now, these first 2 videos will be it for game 4 as recording significantly slows down my progress.

I will attempt to finish up game 4 within the first week of May and then attempt to do a better job recording game 5 and managing my time so that it does not run into June.

Here is video 2

Warning: this one is about 45 min and the audio is terrible. Also I spend a few minutes too many remembering that sometimes methods need return types.

You can find video 2 here.

Keep getting better at what you do.

Starting Game #4 (with Video)

This post is a little late but I have actually gotten started on April’s game (the 22nd is not too late).

This is somewhat of a late start and it is not that I did not have an idea, I have several. It is a combination of 2 back to back weekends of travel, and wisdom tooth surgery after the second trip.

I hope to get a playable game done by the 30th.

The Reveal

This month the game is an infinite runner style with a zip line theme. Cleverly titled “Infinite Zip”.

I am actually attempting to video document the creation of this game as self introspection has proven that it is not likely that I will go back and review games that I have already made.

The link will be posted and the video might even be embedded in this post after Youtube uploads it. (who knew a 16 minute video would be almost a Gig?)

After over 45 minutes of upload time it is still processing and it is time for me to go to bed. Got to get up early and write some perl for a living.

When the video is done processing you can find it here.

Doing it bad is better than not doing it …

This is going to be a terrible post. I am writing it quickly and keeping it short.

Why would you do that?

Because doing it poorly is better than not doing it at all. Especially when it comes to a habit that you are building and want to keep.

I am trying to build the habit of writing here once a week about things I am learning and my progress through this one game a month challenge. However, today I did not feel like writing.

I had long day traveling and have to get up early to get wisdom teeth removed but I happened to read something today that really stuck with me.

“Be very scared to fail to execute a habit, even once.”

Now this clashes slightly with something else I have learned recently about motivation but is good advice nonetheless.

So here I am at almost midnight, writing my Sunday blog post because it is a habit I want to keep.

Also, I am learning that some of our most valuable work is the work that our little brains like to try to keep us from doing with excuses. The trick is to do it anyway.

In fact, it is probably in your best interest to seek out the stuff that your brain is telling you to procrastinate on (for example my brain said to write this in the morning).

If you would like to read more about these ideas and where I am getting some of them from, check out Derek Siver’s reviews on Superhuman by Habit and The War of Art.

That’s all for now, may do post on Wednesday this week if I am recovering quickly enough and get game #4 started.

Keep getting better at what you do.

Evolve or Die — Game #3

Finished game #3, yeah!

There is something uniquely satisfying about finishing something that you started and putting it out for the world to access and use.

I had heaps of fun making this game and learned a ton.

Lessons from game #3

Sometimes you have to cut features

I have started following this process when designing my games but I always add some nice to have features to my design in the (at this point unlikely) event that I finish the game early and can add some pizaz.

A couple of guidelines that I put on myself for this 1 game a month challenge was to try to make each of the games touch friendly and have some multiplayer component.

So far so good for the touch friendly part, but for this game, the multiplayer had to be cut to meet the deadline.

It has probably been done before

To be honest, I wasted a couple days trying to figure the camera thing out by myself without looking up anything on the internet about how it had been done before.

This was a terrible idea.

Most features in games have been done multiple times before and there is a lot of good information about the patterns and pitfalls involved in them. Use these resources to save time and headaches.

You can cheat a little at art

Although I really like to sketch on paper, I haven’t really found a way to draw on a computer that I actually want to sit down and do.

This was one of my hangups for the last year or so with making games, and why I waited till the last day to make the login and instruction pages. Not to mention, I haven’t spent enough time with Monkey-X’s fonts and such and the default one for drawing text to the screen is not really pretty.

But I head faked myself into creating it in a way that I was more comfortable figuring out.

By day I am a web programmer. So I simply took the tools that I already know for making a screen look good (html, css) and applied them to this problem.

Using a screen shot from the game and a little css magic, I made a webpage that looked like a little home screen for the game (complete with start button) and then took a screen shot of it.

Then to make the button work, I drew a rectangle to the screen and over played it on the button to figure out the dimensions and set up a touch/click listening event for that area.

Voila, cheating at art!

To Sum up

  1. Get to the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) first, then add other features.
  2. When you are stuck, don’t bang your head against the wall. Get help.
  3. Use your existing skills to find away around tough or annoying parts of the process (or see if you can get someone else to do them)

Game #3 — Evolve or Die

Evolve or Die

( seems to be down right now, will update post with link to game as soon as possible)