New Game: Outpost Defender

Nov 7, 2017

Outpost Defender is my entry into the Indie Game Maker Contest 2017, which ran from Oct 4 - Nov 5.
It is an RPG/Town Management/Surivival game where you have to manage a camp of characters and keep them alive for 12 days.

I really enjoyed making this game. I built it with RPG Maker MV, and worked on it for around 2.5 weeks (I joined the contest late). It was a short, intense development period that really pushed my design skills. It also required some rather ruthless cutting. The original plan for the game had many more features. I had intended the camp in the game to be more upgrade-able, with different buildings and fortifications, and to have more maps to explore and characters to recruit. I had to constantly re-think and cut out portions of it as I got closer to the contest deadline.

In the end, while I was able to get a playable, end-to-end experience done, portions of it are still rough and under-baked. The combat is pretty basic (most fights are just a slug fest, at least until you unlock more advanced skills), and I didn't really have time to properly test and balance the enemies.

That said, I really proud with what I managed to accomplish in the time I had, and will try to update the game after the contest judging is concluded with some fixes and improvements. One of my goals with this project was to understand how to code to the RPG Maker engine, and I feel like I definitely accomplished that. I now have a solid grasp of how to write plugins for the engine and how it works. A lot of that is thanks to the great resources and plugins that other developers have made available, which I will link to below. I could never have finished this project without them. I have a lot of thoughts on the RPG Maker MV toolset & engine as well, but I will save those for another post.

RPG Maker Resources

  • Script call spreadsheet - A 'cookbook' of javascript snippets for common tasks in the engine. I used this constantly.
  • API Reference - A indispensable reference to the classes and methods in the engine. This really should be shipped with RPGMaker.
  • Yanfly Plugins  - Some great core plugins that expand the base engine in really useful ways.
  • Himeworks Party Manager - Responsible for all of the advanced party functions in the game (ie. being able to leave characters behind in camp and doing things with them when they're not in the active party)
  • Szyu's Crafting System Plugin - Powers the crafting system in the game. I didn't originally plan to have a crafting system, but at some point I decided that it would be a lot simpler to use this plugin than to work out how to handle the gather/upgrade loop in the game all on my own. Really useful.
  • Galvs Plugins - In the end I only used the 'Roll Credits' plugin to handle the game ending credit roll, but I experimented with some of the others. Tons of great stuff
  • How to make a plugin in RPG Maker MV Video series by SumRndmDde - A great series of youtube videos on the basics of coding in RPG Maker.

Viper League updates

Sep 27, 2017

Over the past month or so we've been doing a few new updates to Viper League, the worlds best, greatest, awesome-est 2-8 player local arena snake combat game. Updates include some new mods, options, bugfixes, and most notably, a downloadable desktop Windows build (mac and linux coming soon). The latest version is available on itch.io for free, so go grab some friends and go check it out!

Dolphin Up v1.4 now live on Steam

May 19, 2017

I've just launched another update to Dolphin Up. Full details on the update are here.

The big star of the show is the Linux version. I'm a Linux user myself so I'm really excited to get this version out the door. I expect I might be the only Linux user to play Dolphin Up, but even if that's the case, it was still a lot of fun getting the game up and running. Like most things on Linux, it was a learning experience, involving all kinds of fun stuff.

Getting the game going on Linux was probably on par with the Mac version as far as time and difficulty went. Things on the Steam side were a little bit harder, but compiling/building the game was somewhat more straightforward. I still find XCode overwhelming; on Linux, most of my time was spent learning about makefiles.

I also found a few bugs, and implemented some UI changes in the game. The game is in a good spot now as far as cross platform development goes. I think rolling out updates to all three OSes in the future should be pretty straightforward. 

 

Dolphin Up Mac version now available on Steam

May 15, 2017

The mac version of Dolphin Up is now up on Steam! My xcode skills needed a little work but I managed to get it up and running pretty quickly. MonkeyX strikes again! Next I will take a crack at the linux version. I've had monkey working pretty well on Ubuntu in the past, so hopefully things go smoothly there as well.

Dolphin Up v1.2 live on Steam

May 9, 2017

A new version of Dolphin Up is now live on Steam. This update improves support for screen resolutions outside of the 16x9 aspect ratio, and also includes some minor bug fixes.

I really like how easy it is to publish updates to Steam! So much easier than...other platforms.

Next up, assuming I didn't just introduce some horrible bug, I will be  the mac version.