Super Stems Post Mortem

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B4L4pozCYAAHAwj Super Stems, originally called Stems, started on a gamejam weekend, Ludum Dare 31. The theme was “Entire Game on One Screen”, which many people complained about, me included, since a lot of people were expecting the snowman theme to be chosen. Aside from that, once the theme was announced, I started to make Stems.

So what is Super Stems? Super Stems is a board domination strategy game. You have tiles and board slots. Each tile has three sides, a number attached, and adjacent sides on the board will battle. Upon battle, the higher number will win, and the losing tile will be captured. This is a simple concept that I stripped down from another game I’m planning, which has this basic gameplay with more gameplay mechanics, inventory and multiplayer in it. B4M3HkVCAAAjR2a But since I had only 48 hours to make it happen, I stripped it down to this. A few hours in, I had the tiles and placeholder models and ready to be used in Unity.

I don’t usually take much time in planning during gamejams, I usually go all in with a minimum planning and knowing what I must do and sort and solve problems as they arrive. But since Indies vs Pew Die Pie gamejam went really bad because from the lack of planning, this time around, I took some time to plan ahead and think of what I wanted to make.

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So with my plan written down and my idea right fixed in my head, I started developing the game until I had basic gameplay done. If you asked me by then, how much more time would I take me to finish a minimum viable product, I would’ve said a week, maybe less, but oh boy was I wrong. First things first, the gamejam atitude of coding this and that without taking much care, because time is of the essence, is bad. I don’t use magic numbers, nor hardcode anything. I usually take care in writing beautiful and maintainable code. So for that end, I was good. On the other hand, I manually placed the grid and linked neighbors, one by one. Since the original grid had only 9 pieces, it was fast and did the job. Finding after a few days that some of those links were broken/switched, was bad tho.. Mistake #1.

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But nonetheless, everything was in place, I had the grid, the basic Turn-by-Turn gameplay, basic animation, tile capturing, teams, score. I was just missing an opponent.. better yet.. an Intelligent Opponent. Making the Artificial Intelligence was hard. It was hard because of mistake n# 1, not having a generic grid, in which I could make the calculations required to make it easier for me. Having a properly made grid system, I could have made methods to make my life so much easier, but nooo.. I might have written the battle, capture, AI play code at least 5 times! And by this I mean, really starting from scratch. Taking pen and paper, putting it all in a new perspective. And every time I did it, something good came out of it. Every time it god better. Obviously by now, the 48h period had long gone. I was more like two weeks after the deadline, mainly because I was working on it part time, after work, 3 or 4 hours a day, and you can only do so much.

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But still after those AI changes, it wasn’t working properly yet. I wanted to make it smarter. After another brainstorming session with pen and paper, I finally tweaked the algorithm to make it the way I wanted to. You can now have decent battles with it. It will lose, but also win. So far, from online gameplay and local testing, my analytics say that the AI wins above 60% of the times, so I’m ok with that. During that time, while I was trying to get the AI right, I kept changing the UI, textures and models. The images speak for themselves.

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Right now the game is ready to be published. Its maybe not as polished as I would like it to be, but I have to release it, get feedback, and then I’ll see what I’ll do with it. I’m already thinking of other games I want to make. This is my second ‘board’ game. This one has a new gameplay type, which is good, since I always try to make new gameplay on each game. So I’ll be releasing the game in the upcoming weeks, hopefully this will get some players. At least more than my previous one.

Simple Achievement System in C#

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Achievements are becoming more and more usual in games. They provide the player a sense of accomplishment and progress by rewarding them with badges that proves their skill and experience. Some achievements are simple and other require a combination of particular actions to unlock. In this article I show you how to make a simple Achievement System using C# and will demonstrate it using Unity3D, but this should be easy enough for you to port it to whatever language you’re more familiar with for your games.

Continue reading

Measure Method Time Performance

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Quick snippet to let you check the time used by any method you have.

This will write to the console the time spent on the method.

Just remember to use System.Diagnostics.
More info on Stopwatch.

That’s it. Enjoy.

Cancel a Loop in a Task with CancellationTokens in C#

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This post explains the use of Cancellation Token in C# using Tasks, which are available since .Net Framework 4.

Say you’ve created a asynchronous Task. The method you’re running inside your task contains a loop ( infinite or not ), and you want to break out of it peacefully. You would need to create a CancellationTokenSource and pass a Cancellation Token to the Task so it can be accessed in the main loop. Continue reading

Memtiles Development Status

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We are on the final stretch!

The last art assets are being made. The 3D models are being updated and polished. The sound is being adjusted, and the game is being play tested on many different devices by many different people to make sure everything works fine when launching.

So right now is the most crucial part, the last tiny bits of detail that need to be polished. By the end of the week, the game will be in its final form, ready to launch. But first, I’m going to have to make some promotional stuff, like videos, image headers and icons, set up a website, and write a “press release” to send to blogs for possible reviews in order to advertise the game.

It’s been a long ride and hopefully all continues well as I have more games in mind to make 🙂

The game is going to be released for Android devices first, then maybe iOS and WP8, for both mobile phones and tablets. Maybe later on I’ll release a web build but for now, this is the plan.

Cheers 🙂

October Challenge.. Again!

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Last year I posted quite enthusiastly that I was going to participate in Ludum Dare’s october challenge, which is “Finish a game — Take it to market — Earn $1”.

Back when I posted that, I had just found was Unity3D was and was amazed of how quickly I could do game prototypes. As you may know, I’m developing Memtiles and although I would love to say that I’m really in this year, it might be complicated. Anyway, Ludum Dare’s October Challenge is up again, so go for it!

I’ve aimed the end of the month to release the game. If everything goes according to plan, I’m going to have all the artwork ready, music, and gameplay. Then I release it, and make a marketing plan to advertise it. So I might not be making my first $1 this month, but hey, at least I’ll be finishing my first game 🙂

PS: As soon as I have the final artwork, I’ll post some more screenshots. 🙂 I can already say that the games looks nothing like the Beta version. 🙂 Its much, much better 🙂

Memtiles is almost done

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After nearly a month after the beta release of Memtiles, I’m nearly in the end of development. I’ve basically being updating and creating new assets, textures, checking for sound effects, hiring for music composition and graphics. So it has been pretty busy. Mainly because I’m working part-time on this project, only when I come home from work, and on weekends.

Today I lost all connections to my assets, prefabs, textures, everything.. I don’t know what happened to Unity3D, but that sure as hell cost me 3 hours rebuilding all prefabs. I guess I should back my things before opening a new branch.. or check what to ignore on bitbucket.. Anyway, I have my prefabs back.

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So now I can actually focus on progressing in the development. I still have game art and sound/music coming up.

Hopefully I will still release this by mid/end october.

Memtiles for Android in Beta Phase

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So I’m making a casual memory game for mobile platforms. Its a simple educational puzzle, where you need to retrieve the tile pairs on the grid.

There is currently only one mode and one theme, but more will be added this month. There will be 3 more themes and a new game mode (maybe). There is also the educational part to do 🙂

You can play it online in your browser at MichaelAdaixo.com/MemtilesBeta and also download the latest apk version for Android, from 2.3.1 to 4.x.

Please report any bug you might find, as well as suggestions. 🙂

Thanks.