It’s damn hard to call something complete. Idle Idol Head isn’t finished, but it’s time to pretend it is. I’ve just posted the game to Newgrounds.com. Yikes! I’ll likely be posting to a few more sites as well, but I wanted to try this out as a testing ground to better manage feedback. It will also make it easier for me to update in case there are any outlying bugs that need squishing. It’s not perfect. Nope. Not even close. But it represents a decent amount of knowledge gained, and I’m hoping that future projects will take a fraction of the time considering how much of the last year was spent toiling over every line of code that didn’t want to read my mind.
So, friends and perhaps a small number of strangers, try it out if you have a few moments to spare. If you have fewer than a few moments, just read the game’s description:
Moai is a deity down on his luck. For hundreds of years he’s been too short to ride roller coasters, reach cookie jars, and get chicks. It’s a problem that would have lasted hundreds more, if not for the local shaman, Rapa, who has promised to make Moai tall if he activates every idle idol head scattered across Easter Island. “Trust me,” says Rapa with a questionable grin.
Play Idle Idol Head
Hey this is the same resolution as an iPhone 5 wallpaper. DOPE!
A productive week of free-time well spent makes Michael a dull boy. Socially, at least. In terms of game progress, huzzah! I’ve pushed out three more levels with a jungle theme, which will conclude that section of the game. The more progress I make, the more I want to go back to my previous levels and bolster them with the new mechanics that I’ve added. Unfortunately, that require some fundamentally changes and I would probably be better off redoing them entirely. NOPE. Here’s a sample of the most recent entries:
Thinking about renaming this blog to, “Michael’s Misgivings.” I’ve finished work on the animated introduction that will play before my game starts, hold the sound, and I’m actually quite happy with it. It required a lot of time and attention (take away: animating’s a bitch) but the payoff was worth it. Once again, my uncertainty is stemming from my lack of experience in creating something for whatever computer tries to run it. I’m lucky enough to have spilled a pint or so of water on my last computer, thus forcing my hand to buy a new, fancy, powerful one, so the introduction runs fantastically on my battle station. Time will tell if that holds true for everyone.
Though it pales in comparison to something done by a professional hand, I think it’s a pretty solid first go at making something move. Feedback welcome! Just forgive the terrible video quality, I’m blaming that on the screencap software and YouTube.
p.s. Don’t ask me why YouTube is suggesting weed and minecraft videos. Don’t. Ask. Me.
…I’m back! After a good deal of afk distractions I’ve sat down, reinstalled Flash, and taken a long, hard look at what’s been done and what’s in store. The 4 month hiatus wasn’t a complete loss, as I was able to put some time into animating the introduction that will ultimately lead back to this blog and my Twitter account. It also gave me a chance to research how exactly I’m going to get this beast out there. Oh, and I took some time to plan the more cinematic elements of the game like the introductory cutscene. I’ve also concluded that this post is nothing more than a glorified status update, so with that… back to work.
Throughout the development process I’ve made an assumption that might come back to bite me in the ass. I thought that the majority of computers would be able to run my game smoothly. It’s a vector-based Flash game and visually quite simple, so you wouldn’t think it would eat that much processing power. At least I wouldn’t think it would eat that much processing power. That was, until I tried playing it on a friend’s old laptop pc. I was actually expecting the opposite. In my previous experience with Flash – making something as a simple as a slideshow – I found that the SWF files would generally run smoother on the pc equivalent of my Mac, so it was a bit shocking to see it running at a snail’s pace. Granted, the laptop’s owner admits that it’s a piece of shit, but that doesn’t do a lot to ease my concern. After digging deeper I found out what was causing the slow-down. When the character moves in the game, it actually doesn’t. Instead, the level moves around it, creating the illusion of the player’s movement. Since the levels can get quite large, Flash has to work hard to move the complicated objects around the screen. Alas, there’s nothing I can do at this point to change it without fundamentally changing the game or starting from scratch. I said I’d finish this thing and that’s what I’ll do. Those other computers just won’t be able to play it.
A Screenshot Saturday post on /r/gamedev convinced me that it was time to release a few screenshots from the first 1/3rd of my game. I’m nearing what I would consider my first milestone, and I’ll finally be able to move out of the caves and into the jungle – still not sure what that’s going to look like. It might be difficult to envision what the game would look like in action, so if all goes well I’ll create a short reel of gameplay in the caves. For now, here’s a taste of what it looks like so far.