We’ve spent the last few months working on a sequel to Battle Group, aptly named Battle Group 2. The game is coming along well and the team is excited to be showing it off at GDC Play this year. Other than the incredible new visuals, deeper gameplay with satellite strikes and reworked rendering system we’ve decided to make the game Free to Play. This post is about the why, how and when of this decision.
I’ve been somewhat absent from game development and my blog over the past 18 months. I’ve had a sabbatical after the birth of my son and have spent time deciding on the direction I want my game development life to go. I feel refreshed and ready to start making bigger and deeper gaming experiences. I’ve begun working with a new game designer, Dylan, whom I met during my break. We collaborated on RGB together and have started something completely new. We’ve teamed up with a new artist, Jesse, to begin work on an ambitious new game. Below is my outline for where I plan to go in the coming 12 months as well as a retrospective on where things have gone since I started Bane Games three years ago.
Battle Group is out and selling well. Today I’m going to give a basic run down on want went right and wrong with the project. For those that don’t know, Battle Group was our (Bane Games) third game together and was released simultaneously on 4 platforms: iOS, Android, PC and Mac. Since it’s release we’ve been featured on the Mac App Store, won bunch of awards and received a number of “perfect” reviews. All sounds good right? Not everything went as smoothly as it could. We made some new mistakes and repeated (for the 3rd time) other mistakes which we’ll hopefully finally solve on our next project.
Brisbane has had a lot of success with indie games over the past few years. From Halfbricks’ Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride to Defiant Developments’ Ski Safari just a couple of weeks ago. Hoping to follow this success, Alex Norton has just started a Kickstarter campaign for his game, Malevolence. I decided to interview Alex to see how his project is a little different to the typical Indie game. Read More
I’ve been to countless video game graduate industry nights over the past five years. I started out scouting talent for the companies I was working for and now I’m always on the look out for talented developers to work with on indie games. The talent and games coming out of these graduates has steadily increased with every passing year. I’m constantly surprised by the quality of work of many of the teams given their limited experience. However, I keep seeing the same mistakes being made each year and thought it was time I shared some basic tips to reduce these recurring issues.
I’ve worked on three different game engines and all have had gameplay and engine intertwined throughout the source code. In Unity, all game objects inherit from MonoBehaviour giving them full access to the power of Unity (and forming a hard link between game and engine). Recently, I’ve moved away from this approach to a better “separation of concerns”. I completely separate out the gameplay making it engine agnostic. This has worked well and I plan to use this approach for most of the games I create in the future. Today I discuss this separation of gameplay and why I recommend others make the switch.
We’ve just wrapped up our first game that employs full Test Driven Development (TDD) practices. I’ll share my experiences, good and bad, now that we’re completely finished the first version of the project. I’ve spoken previously about Test Driven Game Development (TDGD) but a lot of that was theoretical so today I’d like to give some more concrete thoughts on how TDGD helped with the creation of Battle Group.
Over the past 12 months I’ve worked as the sole programmer on the three games we’ve made. I’ve just started up a new project with a fellow programmer and found that I’ve picked up some bad habits in those past 12 months. I’m continually trying to make myself a better game programmer and today I’m sharing my thoughts on this topic.
We’ve just released Battle Group on four platforms simultaneously. Porting is usually a lengthy process that I hate to do. I quit my job in the mainstream video game industry partly over being forced into porting one of our latest games. Thankfully this is not the case when porting with Unity as the time required is measured in days rather than weeks or months. Today I’ll share my experiences porting Battle Group with Unity.