Game Progress Update #20


Update #20

Hello World! Here it is, the twentieth Dev with Dave Game Progress Update!

In this update, I’ll be talking about some changes and additions I’ve made to the Flappy-vaders UI.

Pause Screen

The first addition I had to make for this was an actual pause button on the main game screen. Again, I was quite frustrated while drawing the assets for this by the tiny resolution I’ve selected to use for this project. However after 3 or 4 attempts I finally settled on the following design which matches the rest of the UI elements and doesn’t seem to large or out of place.

I had to tweak the position of the Score and Coins text a little so it would work.

I set the button and the coins text positions based on the right hand edge of the screen, so it’s more responsive. I tested this by running the game in a 4:3 aspect ratio. I also tweaked the position two buttons on the title screen as well because of this.

Once the pause button is pressed, it takes you to this, the Pause menu, where the player is presented with the options to resume the game, or to quit back to the main menu.

Again, all of the new buttons were handled by the existing UI system which I created in the early days of the project. Pausing the game was a simple case of directing the code to a new loop which simply contained the UpdateUI() function, The resume button returns the code to the game loop, and quit returns the player to the main menu.

My only concern about this is that when the player presses the pause button, the ship acts like the player has pressed the screen and begins to ascend slightly before the game stops, then continues ascending when the game resumes. I would prefer that pressing the pause button does not affect the player like this.

It’s been added to the Known bugs list on the Trello board.

About screen

I’ve also written the code to handle the about screen. I have a really great retro based idea for this UI page, but I want it to be a surprise so I’m not going to go into too much detail here.

That’s all for now

I’m afraid there won’t be an update next fortnight, instead you’ll have to wait until June the 11th for the next one. I’m going to have a well deserved break from the computer for a while and try and catch up on some of the important jobs around the house I’ve been neglecting. 🙂

Promoting your game with Twitter

Promoting your game using Twitter

Twitter is the next platform in this series on using organic growth to promote your game.

Twitter launched in 2006, It’s best described as a micro-blogging site and a social network. It’s well known for it’s 140 character limit on tweets, as Twitter posts are called.

Twitter has around 192 million daily users, of which roughly two thirds are men. Twitter also appeals more to the older user, with 63% of users being aged 35 to 65.

As with Facebook, Twitter does operate a paid for ads service, but I have never used it and won’t be covering it in a later blog, or this one either.

Strategy

I cannot stress how important it is to have a strategy with social media posting. You need to have clearly defined and measurable goals, as well as a plan as to get to achieve the results you want. Failure to do so will drastically reduce your chances of success.

I know I said all of this in the last post as well, but I think it is really important, and may very well write an entire blog post dedicated to the subject at a later date.

Twitter is quite fast paced compared to Facebook, your average tweet has a lifespan of about 20 minutes and the number of views drops off considerably after this point. Expect most of your interactions during this period.

Using one or two relevant hashtags on your tweets is another good way to draw attention to your posts and increase interactions. Using too many hashtags will have a negative effect on your post.

I’ve found that making short videos or gif’s of your game works quite well on Twitter. But this isn’t a hard and fast rule, always experiment with content types to find the one that works best.

Things to not do..

The only real thing not to do on twitter outside of the obvious things like not spamming posts and over-using hashtags is to not fall into the “GameDev” trap. Game developers, especially indie developers have a large presence on Twitter. There are lots of hashtags like #indiedev and #screenshotsaturday which draw large audiences. It’s probably an incredibly small chance that these are your target audience for your game so although it’s easy (and welcoming tbh) to get drawn in, any effort spent here would be better used elsewhere.

Outro

This post is slightly shorter than the last because I felt like I was just repeating myself in places, but if you hadn’t already, please read the previous post about Organic Facebook Growth as a lot of the information in that post can be applied to Twitter also.

I hope you enjoyed the post and now feel more knowledgeable about Twitter. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them on the Dev with Dave forum.

Game Progress Update #19


Update #19

Hello world! And welcome to the nineteenth Dev with Dave Game Progress Update!

This update is mostly about the Audio system, which I have added to significantly this last week or so, to allow it to better do what I need it to do for the game.

The Audio System

Originally, the audio system just allowed for the loading, and playing of sound files. Which is after all, it’s main job I guess? lol

However, I needed to be able to have more control over some of the sound effects. For example, the asteroid sound, because the speed of the game increases the time the asteroids appear on screen (and also play their sound effect for) decreases. In order to rectify this, the system needed to be able to specify a sprite ID which is associated to the sound effect being played, and then end the sound effect when the sprite moves off screen.

It can also specify a maximum duration for the sound effect to have as well, so instead of the sprite lasting as long as a certain sprite is on screen, you can set it to a timer instead.

The last thing which I’m quite proud about, is the way the system can fade out a sound effect rather than just cutting it short.

Best of all, all this is specified when the sound effect is played, and the rest is all handled automatically by the audio system 🙂

Other sound effects

I’ve also managed to add some other place holder sound effects into the game. These are perhaps not quite the exact sounds I’m after for the game, but they are fairly close.

Most of them have been chosen from various asset packs which I have laying around. Some have been edited in Audacity to bring them close to my vision of what they are supposed to sound like.

As with the graphics, I’m aiming for a retro old school kind of sound, but using subtle fades and layering to give a subtle feeling of depth which actual retro games don’t necessarily have.

That’s all folks

And that about wraps it up for this update.

The next update will probably be more sound effects, as well as maybe some more UI as I still need to get the pause menu designed and working, and a few others UI pages as well.

Anyway, I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with the next update. See you all then 🙂