Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Blog #3

A new life is about to begin: mine.

So here's the thing: last blog entry I wrote, I was thinking of finding a new job in transcription but I believe I was just making light of it.

The face I must of made when I found a job doing just that the very next day, and even more so when I found out I got paid the following week from it. Yes! I found a new job in transcribing. It's not high paying right now but I love it better than my current job (which I quit got fired from). The site says I can make upwards of $700+ after 60 days of working so it's going to be a struggle for those 60 days, but thankfully I have some funding on my bank account to survive those two months. However, since this is an online job, I'm not sure if that is a guarantee. Regardless, a job is a job and I nailed one. So that means my position here in North Carolina is over. I am going to move out to Los Angeles next week.

Sorry about spilling that out. This isn't suppose to be a personal blog but I insist to mention my current position in life because it does affect Fractured Particles. So with that said, I must announce that I am putting aside Fractured Particles for now. With the current situation I have about moving out on my own in one of the biggest cities in the US (thus making it one of the most expensive), the project is being put aside.

However, that is only one reason.

Marketing a new IP is very difficult, especially when you're a nobody. I'm am very happy with everyone who has said so many nice things about the game, and am super grateful to those who have made videos about the game; you have my undying gratitude for sure. However, I feel that it may not be enough to get everyone's attention. Not to mention I am starving to do some programming again. Marketing is fine but I really just want to create games. If I had someone to help me spread the word about my game, I would for certain have them do it for me, but that luxury is something I don't have. So what can I do to continue programming while still getting the message across about the game? Make another game.

So Fractured Particles is going in hiatus for a few months but a new game is going to be created, so be sure to stick around for that.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Blog #2

The second blog my friends.

Every had one those days where life seems to be a burden on you? I kinda feel that way right now. I am very unsatisfied with my current job. No, it's not a bad job, it's actually quite a nice job I have: sorting out invoices. Well, that's my main job but I do other things like make phone calls and other clerical work.  I'm not happy with it at all so I have made a decision to quit and find another job, and this time find a job that I really love. I want some kind typing job and want to have my own hours. So what is the solution? Freelance typing. Yes, I'm going to aim to get by commissions. We'll see what happens.

But enough about my life, let's get back to Fractured Particles. Last week I talked about the starting of the project with the particle system, so I'll elaborate a bit on that, but I won't reveal all my secrets, especially after that little mishap where I accidentally uploaded a build of the demo with the test room! (don't bother looking for it; I quickly fix it) As I explained last week, the particle system went from 1200 pixels before slowdown to 2500, but here's the strange thing. If you exceed 2500, the game starts to slow down, but if you continue to grab pixels and exceed a number like 5000, the game returns to regular speed and it slows down once it reaches 9000. I don't know why it does that or if it still does it. This was quite a while ago while I was still experimenting with the particle effect so I don't know if it still applies.  Regardless, I capped it at 2500 because of two reasons:

  • Players are not going to put up with slow down, even for a little bit.
  • I don't think more pixels for the effect are necessary.
Though one upside to having more pixels available would be that I can use larger sprites, but that would just make battles way too long. But what about the bosses? They're larger than the enemies. I actually used a trick for that involving two sprites, but I won't get into that because that in itself is also complicated.

Now, how exactly does the particle system in the current game work? Here's the process I use to make it so that each pixel of an enemy is counted for:
  1. Whenever you get into a battle, the game analyzes every single pixel of the enemy, hence the loading screen before each battle, giving each and every single pixel stats.
  2. When you use a pixel eater on the enemy, there is a variable that is used to count every single pixel. Each pixel is assigned a number and when that variable reaches said number, it activates the pixel and gives it its coordinates.
  3. Once the pixel is activated, it follows instructions given to fly around the player, thus appearing to be separating from the sprite in real time.
In case you didn't know, this is a loading screen. Don't tell me you were actually interested in the enemy names!
Yes, I said 'appear' because it's actually an illusion. The sprite is still fully formed and the pixels that you grab from it are actually separate, as in the pixel you take from the enemy is just a copy with the same color data. When you take a pixel from the enemy, before the pixel flies off, it leaves behind a black dot, so in reality, the sprite is being covered by black dots while another pixel with the same color data is flying towards you, completing the illusion.

The explosion is the same except every single pixel of the sprite is activated at once.

Look at them pretty pixels.

There you have it! The secret behind the custom particle effect, in a very simple form at least. It's a bit more complicated when you get down to the core program, but that pretty much sums it up in simple terms.

But of course, it won't matter if people don't know about it, so once again, I'm aiming to spread the word out on this project. I'm planning on sending e-mails to various YouTubers in hopes of some of them playing my game and get exposure. I've had some playtesters upload the playtest version, even though it wasn't that good and needed improvements, and I am very thankful for that. I just wish the game didn't suck, lol. But this time, the game is looking better so it's time to get it out into the public. However the e-mails will have to wait. I'm going to do a bit of a soft launch by getting some players from a few ads. I'll be posting an ad on Reddit and on a service called Project Wonderful and see if I can get some players from there.

So that's it for my blog. What will I blog about next? I don't know but we'll see what happens.

Thanks for reading this blog. Please share the game with your friends through FaceBook and Twitter and I'll see you guys later.