Lair of the Evildoer in playtest

Quick update to say that Lair of the Evildoer is in playtest over at the AppHub. You need to be a premium member to view the thread or download the game.

I found the previous playtests (under the name “Project Splice”) to be very successful both in terms of feedback and motivation. I feel like I’m on the home stretch for the game now, so hopefully these “beta”-esque playtests will be equally useful.

No video this week, purely because they take a lot of time to produce and that time is currently going towards development. It’s been a while since my last video though, and thus there’s nothing really representative of the current state of the game that I can show anybody. I hope to change that next week with a trailer and an official announcement. Maybe.

Why aren’t you following me on Twitter? That hurts.

Here’s a screenshot for being so well-behaved:

Do Indies Crunch?

I happen to have a convenient two week block of spare time and a game that needs finishing. I plan on crunching.

But wait you say! Crunching is bad! Yes, I’ve heard that too – here’s a good article detailing why. I’ve also experienced the fun that crunching for a big publisher isn’t.  And yet, free of the shackles, I’ve got my Red Bull on my desk ready to go.

As an independent developer, you basically get to control your own destiny. You pick what game you make, the genre, the platform, the price point and even the release date. You don’t have a publisher breathing down your neck threatening to take away funding. On the other hand, you don’t have that funding to begin with. And you need to eat, so shipping isn’t really an optional part of the job. Crunching to get there is up to you.

My reason for crunching is obviously to accomplish more in a shorter period of time. But I also know that I can afford to take it relatively easy after this stretch. I figure that if I’m following agile methodology and sprinting all the time, shouldn’t I jog at some point? Maybe the interval training analogy is flimsier than I thought.

So indie developers, do you crunch? Why?

So, this #ims211 thing

It all started so innocently when Sean C. Duncan (@scd) tweeted:

Hey, if you work in games, can you tweet hi to my class (#ims211)? I wanna make a point about Twitter and the game dev world.”

Game developers around the world responded in droves. From indies to AAA, programmers to artists to musicians, the hashtag was flooded with tweets from around the world. It seems like every group has been represented, with incredible speed and friendliness. It’s become a gathering point for people in the industry in just over 24 hours.

  • Twitter is a good way to reach other developers? Check.
  • The game dev world is made up of more than just coders and artists? Check.
  • The game dev community is alive, vibrant, and, above all, friendly? Check.

Whatever @scd was hoping to prove, I think it’s safe to say the game dev world came through.

Point proven, where does #ims211 go from here? It’s taken on a life of its own now, with people using it as a way to connect to other developers, query a wide group of industry folk, recruit for jobs and more.

In the end, @scd sums it up best:

If #ims211 hasn’t proven that *all* game students need to get on Twitter, I really dunno what else will.”

Oh and since you’re here, why not follow me @benkane? </shameless plug>

Friday Update

It’s Friday! Update time!

After a brief vacation, work has resumed on the action RPG twin-stick shooter game known only as Project Splice. No alpha playtest or video this week because most of the work has been largely cosmetic. Animations, actual art, particles, oh my!

Cosmetic? That sounds like polishing!

Sort of. I’ve set a target roughly corresponding to one more month of development (give or take several months). The laundry list of remaining work is pretty daunting, but it does appear to be complete and thankfully finite. There will be more playtesting and more balance work in the near future.

Stay tuned next week* for the dramatic reveal of Project Splice’s final title!

I’ve heard that if you tell people to follow you on Twitter, they are more likely to do it. Follow me on Twitter @benkane!

To whet your appetite, here’s a picture of your nemesis:

Follow @benkane you fools!

* – give or take several months