fredag 17 november 2017

Danger Close! release on Steam *finally* imminent!

Ok, first off, I know I posted about the Steam release one year ago so I am aware that it has taken a much longer time than I first anticipated and for that I am truly sorry. The Greenlight OK came at the most inopportune time possible, one week before I started my 2-year Java education. That has kept me busy enough so I haven't had the time required to dedicate to this project. But after being on an internship for a couple of months this fall, I'm now back in school and I felt that things had slowed down to the point where I had enough time to finally get this done and over with.

Besides a few hickups, the Steam integration was not half as hairy as I thought it would be. It's not just the work that kept me from doing this right away, but I've also been worried about the response to the game. I know for a fact that with the times we live in today, people will be triggered and offended by this game in one way or the other.

There probably still are things in the game that I should tone down even more, even though I've already toned down many potentially offensive things. But I figure that once I start doing that, I will find more and more graphics that need to be changed or toned down, to the point where the sprites in the game will just end up being black squares. And that really defeats the purpose of the game.

To me Danger Close! is a celebration of retro games even though Metal Slug 3 which is the major inspiration isn't that old, the pixel graphics and the arcade style of it is something of the past. And going with that I feel that the not-so-politically correct (I hate using this word, but I can't think of a better one) inclusion of evil dicators, insurgents and what have you, is perfectly in line with that. There used to be a time when doing this was ok, and I feel that it kind of goes with the theme of the game.

I've made a few allusions to other games and movies in the past, but one really nice example that I had forgotten about was the intro scene of The Naked Gun, where Frank Drebin single-handedly takes out all the 80's evil dictators. This game is that scene, but for the 00's and stretched out to a run-n'-gun arcade game :)

The current planned release date for the game on Steam is:

1st of December 2017

I've stopped reading comments so trying to contact me there about bugs and the like won't do much good. Instead e-mail me or comment the Steam announcements, or write about it in a review. And if you do the latter, please write constructive criticism. Any inkling of bashing and I will not continue reading the review.

As I've written before it will be a huge weight off my shoulders to finally get DC released on Steam, and it will give me closure so I can go on with my life, and still feel that I kept my promise to the people who upvoted the game on Greenlight.


söndag 30 oktober 2016

Danger Close! has been greenlit

"If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can ever imagine."

Well, as it turns out, Danger Close! was finally greenlit in late August. I wasn't sure it was going to happen but I remained hopeful. The timing was a bit off though, since I started school in early September. So I simply haven't had the time to program the Steam functionality into it yet. I want it to be done right and not just throw it up there, which means I need to dedicate enough time for the project. Which is a problem right now since school takes up most of my time. In a few weeks I think things will look up on that front though, so I probably will start working on getting DC on Steam then with all the features I have intended on including (achievements, leaderboards and possibly data synchronization as well as the Big picture).

Anyway, it feels great that DC was accepted on Greenlight despite everything. It really feels like a big middle finger to the gang of trolls who scurry about on Greenlight, flaming every game they can for sport. They really failed, and that has given me hope for humanity again.

In other news, Humble Bundle have reached out to me telling me that the build of Prometheus outside of Steam is not working properly. As I said my schedule is packed right now, but I promise that I will look into this and fix it as soon as possible.

måndag 16 maj 2016

The future ahead

I've made the decision to not develop any more games under the Magical Hackers flag. If Danger Close gets greenlit I will go through with the release on Steam. But that will be it. At this point I feel that making another game for the hell of it will merely mean a lot of time and energy wasted, just to check another idea I've had in my head for so long, off the list. Maybe in the future I will go back and develop a game, and release it publicly or not, at some point. That game will most likely be Boom which I've written about in previous updates, since it will explore some ideas I haven't worked with before (3D FPS gameplay). But it will be a long while before that happens I think, if it does at all.

In the last couple of months my motivation for game development has been dwindling up to a point where it's nearly nonexistent. My passion is for video games and especially retro video games, being creative and coding and making graphics. But since the sales of my games have not been good enough that's a huge dent in my motivation. Prometheus is my first commercial game so realistically it getting greenlit and selling at all is a huge success, but for me continuing to do this is too much of a gamble I feel. If I kept going eventually maybe I'd "crack the code" or whatever but at this point I need more security in my career choice. I did not realize - or did not want to realize - that doing this would be so hard, for better and for worse. I read somewhere that the chance of successfully living off of indie game development is one percent, which I think is true. I would compare it to trying to become a rock star from your study at home. You hear stories like that from time to time so it's not impossible, but it's obviously extremely difficult. Maybe there is a point to some ideas just staying as ideas. Just because you can do something, doesn't always mean that you should. There is a coder guy whose name escapes me with a website where he has great pixel art and concepts for games, but he just doesn't go through with developing them. I used to not understand why despite his explanation, but it's clear to me now.

I would say that all the hate on the internet isn't helping with my motivation either. To me I feel that the main reason people hate is because they are jealous. Coding is difficult so most people will never be able to develop a game on their own and this triggers much of the negativity I think. Which of course is sad, pathetic, and still does not excuse it in any way.

I know myself what kind of games I like and what kind of features I enjoy, but I think that the video game industry right now and people's expectations are somewhere else. If I have to change and do something just because you are supposed to and not be true to myself, I'd rather not be doing this at all. In fact that was what I tried doing with Crimson Sky, and the development of that game went absolutely nowhere. Not to mention that the indie game scene is utterly saturated, especially when it comes to 2D games. How a game like Shovel Knight can thrive in this environment so to speak, I will never fully understand but I think they got everything just right and with an insane amount of polish. The PR part of this is really something I'm not good at either. Coding and graphics is what I like to do, and you really have to be a not just a jack, but a master of all trades in order to be successful as an indie game developer. The worst thing for me would be to completely lose my interest for playing video games as a hobby out of disillusionment, so I really want to quit before that happens as well.

A good thing that has come out of this is that I've rediscovered my enjoyment of coding and I will go back to school to learn Java this fall. Developing Mega Man 42 in the beginning was so joyful for me and it really helped me at a time when I didn't have much going for myself. I remember fondly the all nighters and staying up until 9 in the morning because I just had to squash that last bug. That unbridled joy when it comes to creativity is what I will take with me from this venture.


torsdag 31 mars 2016

Danger Close! released!

Danger Close! is now finally released and is available for purchase on

It's a great feeling to finally be able to release the game. I know I've posted earlier about an upcoming game, but I'm a bit on the fence on whether I'll make another game or not, for various reasons. I will have to keep you updated on that, and on the Steam Greenlight entry as well.

måndag 1 februari 2016

Here comes the BOOM

Updates have been very scarce lately and for that I apologize. I've been going through some rough shit in my personal life lately which has affected my work as well. Good news is that Danger Close! is done and ready for beta testing. Again I'm very pleased with the result all things considered.

For my next project I've written a design document and have begun learning Unity since that will be what I will be using to develop BOOM, the title of my forthcoming game. While GameMaker Studio presumably can be used to make crude basic 3D, from advice that's been given to me Unity3D will handle this project much better. And from what I've learned so far it does seem that Unity has many advantages over GM in general as well. Aside from the general bugginess of GM, many of the features in it are bogged down by the fact that it at least originally was aimed at complete beginners (even coding in it used to be a bit of an afterthought, so to speak). Unity is much more clear-cut and aimed at configurability and customization which is a huge plus. For example, for code that gets executed in the beginning of an instance's creation, in GM you always have to have a "create"-event, while in Unity the "step"-code that gets executed every frame is in the same script which is so much easier to handle.

I think I've written about it before, but for the sake of clarity Boom will be a Doom-parody of sorts with sprites for enemies, items and weapons, but fully 3D otherwise. You will play as an alchemist in the 19th century and will be transported to other times and worlds through your ill-advised potion making. Since Unity seems very easy to work with, I think I will be able to finish the game by late August this year, or at least that is the plan.

fredag 20 november 2015

Name change and other stuff

In light of the recent horrible events in France, I've decided to push back my next game even further. For now I'm aiming at a March 31st release. Also I'm going to change a few aspects of the game to clear things up a bit. The name has now officially been changed to Danger Close!. Changing the title to this one was the plan for the longest time, but I was stubborn and stuck with the old working title. After giving it some serious thought though, I think Mission: Afghanistan strikes a too serious chord, while the game is more of a parody of sorts and the new title reflects this much better. It's not very nice to imply that I'm reducing an entire country to a violent war game either (that which I wrote in the post below regarding the controversial aspects of the game still apply though).

I'm also taking the suicide bomber-enemy out of the game, as well as the insurgent enemy with dark colored clothing. DC takes place in Afghanistan (mostly anyways) in 2001, so you are fighting insurgents, not terrorists per-se and I want to make that clear. The dark-clothed insurgent could be mistaken for an IS-soldier which I want to avoid since again this game takes place in 2001 and IS obviously did not exist back then.

With all of that boring and serious stuff out of the way, the game is coming along very nicely. I've done a lot of polishing, balancing and gotten rid of many bugs in the last few days. I've implemented achievements, hi-score tables and statistics. After all the hard work and effort I've put into the game I'm determined to release it come hell or high water.

onsdag 11 november 2015

M:A release date pushed back

I've decided to push back the release date of M:A to the 31st of January. The game has all of its assets now which means it's in beta stage, but there are still a number of things that need to be done. The music isn't fully implemented yet, I still have to program a controller configuration and implement it as well, and most importantly there is a lot of polishing to be done before I'll be satisfied with the result enough for a release. So far I'm very pleased with the game though, especially when playing with my arcade stick-controller, M:A really feels like an arcade shooter when doing so which is nice.