Dodgy: Zero

Posted in Development, Dodgy: Zero on June 7th, 2012 by Adam

Welcome back, infrequent update fans! I’ve got some news to share with you!

Today, LedgeWizard Games are proud to announce their latest creation. Dodgy: Zero.

Here’s the blurb:

 

Fly! Dodge! Sing! Compete with your friends! How far can you go?

In the wonderful land of Pixellia, strange things are happening. One of the inhabitants, the green pixel, Zero, is causing quite a stir.

For Zero is no ordinary pixel. Unlike the other pixels, he’s not content with just standing around quietly. Zero needs to move and Zero has to sing!

Guide him through an endless wave of opposing blocks who’s only purpose is to stand in his way and stop him from singing his song.

Compete with your friends on the leaderboards to see who can guide Zero to the furthest distance.

Will you be able to hear all of Zero’s song?

 

The idea behind the game was to create something with Zero actual graphics. Basically, everything is just the same single pixel drawn, stretched and recoloured all over the place to make up a game. The other ‘feature’ is that all of the sound effects are actually voiced by a real life, flesh and blood, human being. So the end result is you have a little green square who sings his way through the game, trying to get as far as he can before a block, that he fails to dodge, smacks him in the face.

It’s all fairly straight-forward and has been a good chance to test out a few ideas. We hope you’ll like it and hope to see you on the highscore boards soon!
Cheers,

Adam

Hashi Infinity

Posted in Development, Hashi Infinity on December 19th, 2011 by Adam

Contrary to what it may seem, I’ve been quite busy. In fact, I’ve made an entirely new game….

Some time ago, probably about a year and half or so, not too long after Towers was released on the 360. I had a tax rebate of about £500. So, I decided to treat myself to one of those shiny new iPads. I liked the iPad very much and after quite some time (probably about a year), decided to port Towers over it. Since the game was already designed and effectively already coded, I’d just have to tweak it a bit on the way over. So far, so good.

It wasn’t quite as easy as I’d hoped, mostly because I had to relearn bits and pieces and optimise certain code to improve performance. The interface needed tweaking due to a lack of an analog control and a different screen resolution. I got it all working but wasn’t entirely happy with it. It had lost something (mostly sound, which I hadn’t added yet).

At about this time, I received news of an iOS development group get together at Aberystwyth University (in Wales). So, a month or so later, I embarked on the 10 hour train trip (and that’s before delays) between Cornwall and Aber.

At iOSDevUK I met loads of awesome people, who generally either worked for a company who made apps, or who wanted to make apps (usually for themselves and not as part of a larger company). There seemed to be less people who were actually making apps under their own steam.

I guess part of the reason, is that a lack of guaranteed money basically places independent app development somewhere between an expensive hobby and an actual paid job, depending on what you achieve. Either way, I showed off the work I’d done on Towers (iPad edition) to a few people and it met with good feedback. So between random conversations and the lecture sessions, I came away with plenty of tips and tricks.

But, I also came away with a different plan. Way way back, when Towers came out on the 360, I made a few mistakes, which combined with some incredibly badly timed network outages, mean’t thinks didn’t go as well as they could’ve. So, this time around, I would release Towers as my second app, after learning the ropes with my first.

So I’d end up producing a much much smaller, quicker app, just to see how things would go. A quick puzzle based on the Japanese sudoku-like game, Hashi. Except, what started as a simple plan around a fairly straight forward puzzle game, suddenly grew into a HUGE list of ideas.

The starting prototype was also far too similar to at least a couple of existing apps. In it’s early state, I wasn’t bringing anything new to the table at all. So, I added bigger levels, a ‘world map’ (and from there level progression), shaped levels, timed targets…

…and eventually decided to draw a line. There was more than enough for an expansion/update. Things had already gotten far beyond where I’d originally planned (though I can’t say that it wasn’t fun pushig the boundaries a bit).

So, I finally ended up with an app that produced larger Hashi puzzles than I’d ever seen in variations that were at least new to me (and are hopefully new to most, if not all, people).

The toughest decision I had to make was around the price. This was tied back into my previous discussions around Towers. I actually quite like the ‘try before you buy’ model and it has served Towers quite well with between 40-60% of people buying the game after getting the demo in any given month since release. As a result of that (although it’s still something of an experiment for me), I’m putting Hashi Infinity out into the app store for free. It’s smaller levels are completely playable and can be regenerated to create brand new puzzles as many times as you’d like.

The price bar (which is the lowest price tier available) covers the larger levels and most of the content in the upcoming puzzle packs (which will also include fully playable freebies).

At the time of writing this, I’ve just been told that my app has passed review. So according to the dates I’ve set, it should be out tomorrow. I hope you like it!

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Where have you been?

Posted in Development, Towers on March 14th, 2011 by Adam

Wow! I think that’s a new record for not updating this website.

First off, sorry for not replying to your emails and for not catching up with the latest comments! A combination of a ton of spam and an email breakdown led to me only catching up with some messages very recently. I’ve now cleared everything up, fixed everything in the background and everything is much better.

To save time, I’m going to be ambitious and cover virtually every comment and question I’ve been asked in this post.

Firstly, to those who gave towers a 5 star rating. You are truly awesome and I am incredibly grateful.

I’ve had a couple of comments about the credits. Thanks again. I always wondered if someone would ever read them all! My brother, John, put together a very quick song to shove in the background, which was way way way (way way) longer than I’d written credits for, so I extended them to fit.

I’m sorry to say that Towers 2 development has slowed down a lot recently due to my hectic workload and personal life. It’s still ticking along, but I’m not finding a lot of time to work on it. Also, I’ve spent a tiny bit too much time working on random bits and pieces that may or may not be pieced together into a completely different game. Sometimes, it’s nice to just try out ideas. But that’s for another article.

Most of the new towers work, infact it would be more accurate to say that they all just need balancing now and some graphical tidy up. I’ve got more than enough level designs and drawn most of them up in rough form. It’ll all need balancing and testing which is going to take a big chunk of time with so many towers to balance out (but luckily, I have many volunteers, ready to help). A lot of time was spent with the first game, trying to make sure that no particular tower seemed too incredible compared to the others in most situations (which I think we nearly got right, but we’ve already made some balance changes in the existing towers for the second game – by replacing certain towers with upgraded variants).

The other big change that I’ve been working on is the story elements. The current plan (because things tend to change) is to have a small story section between each level, where the various characters do their bit. Due to my ‘limited’ art style, this has gone a few different ways in attempting to get something that I’m happy with. At the moment, it’s looking like they’ll usually be 2 or more characters having a conversation, moving the plot along.

Speaking of characters, Elweiss is more of a background character in the second game and there’s a lot more from the different coloured wizards. No idea how the endings are going to work yet (after having 10, it almost seems cheap if I make less in the sequel).

Anyway, time permitting, hopefully there will be more news in the not too distant future.

The New XBox 360 Dashboard + A favour to ask!

Posted in Development, Towers on November 6th, 2010 by Adam

Sorry about the recent lack of information. Life has been hectic recently for me, so work on games has been a little more infrequent than I’d like.

The good news is that things are taking shape, with at least half of the new towers now in place. Plenty of game balancing is yet to come, but to give a few quick examples, the Fire, Ice, Quake, Seeker and Sonic-Link towers are now playable in the new levelset. Hopefully, I’ll have some rough screenshots to show soon, once I’ve got things a little less rough looking.

In other news, the new dashboard/interface has arrived on the 360. I’m not sure when, because I wasn’t paying attention, but according to the game development forums, the indie games are hidden away a little too well, so there’s been an initial drop in sales for many people, including some of the most popular games judging from the numbers that have been reported. On the bright side, they’re made it so that a larger number of games are now visible. The jury is currently out on whether this change is going to work out well for the service.

Towers itself is doing quite well in the strategy category (and has been for some time now), with a fairly strong rating and a not-too-bad number of downloads. It could obviously be doing a little bit better as, according to the stats that I can gather, we’re just a tiny way outside of the top rated list in a number of countries. So if you love Towers, feel free to show your appreciation with a nice shiny rating. If you don’t love Towers (ouch!) then feel free to rate up another game you quite like instead.

Incase you were wondering, that was the favour bit of the presentation. So you can stop worrying! I wasn’t going to ask if I could borrow your car, or if you could feed my fish for a few days or anything like that.

:)

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Towers passes 1000 sales. (+ New game info!)

Posted in Development, Towers on September 3rd, 2010 by Adam

I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has tried or bought Towers. Despite the fact that we’re quite well hidden amongst hundreds of other games, the conversion rate for Towers sales vs. trials has been really impressive.

In between checking on the sales figures, I’ve been working on a couple of other projects. One of which, I’m going to reveal now. Wait for it…..

::drumroll::

Yes, you’ve guessed it, we’re making a sequel! We’ve got more than 20 towers, all new levels, a bigger story and a fair bit more besides. We’re not sure if you can handle that much tower defence, but we’re willing to find out!

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Want to make a game for the XBox 360?

Posted in Development on August 10th, 2010 by Adam

That’s what I’m doing at the moment. More news to follow on that, very soon.

If you’re interested in making your own game, but don’t know where to start, I found some really useful information on XNA Development.

Although I’d had some development experience before, I was basically new to C#. The tutorial examples on this site are really quite straight-forward, but will get you started with the basics. Make a point to understand everything you’ve learned and you’ll soon find yourself producing a masterpiece.

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