Whew...quite a productive day, but a bit tiring. Still have 2 hours left, too. Maybe I'm too productive! Or maybe I have plenty of time to play some Harvest Moon and relax. ;-)
This morning, got another blog read on the Jerry Springer show. I was referred to as "One of our regular bloggers..." which I knew would happen cause the guy seemed to like my 'ZaBlanc' handle the first time. This time, I posted the definition of Socialism, as righties like to call lefties that, even though the definition doesn't fit at all. But, that's what happens when you vomit up old Limbaugh lines.
In the afternoon, I ran a final test of Counterpart on Senthil's phone at work and decided we were good...so I hit the shiny red, candy-like button and Counterpart is pending sale. :-D Which means, in a few hours (or less, or more), Counterpart will be selling on Handango.com!!! Very exciting. :-) I'll give word, and a link, tomorrow when it becomes official!
After I got home, and had dinner by myself because my cute wife had dinner with her friend from work and is SO MEAN for it (*wink*), I had to do some work with Subversion. Subversion is a Version Control System...basically, it allows you to save revisions of files. So, for example, a software developer might use it to, say, save revisions of his source code...which might be important after, say, releasing his first J2ME cell game. ;-)
Along with Counterpart, I also Sub'ed by Maze and Tetris demo's, some Pixel Art I'm working on (more later), and all our digital pictures. :-) YEAH! This is very important, for if my laptop were to become...errr...fried...then all our pics would be lost. Here's to a CD-RW and Subversion to turn all my backups into a one-step process!
After cleaning all that up, I decided to clean my bathroom. Just finished that...and now I'm here blogging my day. Mike Malloy is on repeat, so it's quiet.
OK, so with Counterpart done...I look forward to the break from "Release Pressure." As planned, I am going to take a little break to see how Counterpart does sales-wise, so I can figure out what my next step is. Some possibilities:
* Counterpart completely fails. Sells nothing. What I'll try to expect so unrealistic dreams aren't dashed. :-) My next course of action would be to seriously reconsider what I want to do. I might give the cell game market another try, or I might pursue another game market, or I might just quit altogether and wallow in the sorrow which is what to do with my life. :-
* Counterpart sells decently. I'd likely take this as a sign as there are possibilities in the cell gaming market, and pursue something bigger and better for my next project. I'd be a lot more inspired to do the second one with the hopes of improving sales.
* Counterpart sells well. A complete shocker! It'd certainly be nice, I tell ya what. :-) Obviously, this one's easy...I'd definitely pursue the gaming market again with an unrelenting fervor to do something even better! Another serious option would be to begin development on Counterpart 2. This, of course, would be a simple matter of designing 25 new levels and adding some more gimmicks and some sharper graphics to the game (and sound?). Would be a nice option to have!
* Counterpart sells through the roof!!! First, I'd wake up. ;-) But, if it happened, and some games on Handango.com have really sold well, I'd of course immediately set to work on Counterpart 2 without any hesitation. While it might not be as fun as a whole new game, the $$$ would make the decision quite easy. Plus, I'd have *fun* anyway.
So, whilst I rest and sit back and wait for sales numbers and market analysis, I'm going ahead with my plan to study the art of Pixel Art. This is something I've been looking forward to for, well, all my life! Shall I explain?
Yes, I have time and am playing chess online right now, so might as well. :-)
When I was about 13, I started playing with computers. Of course, then, I was young and into something not many people knew about. My parents had bought me a Tandy TRS-80, and I was learning to code in GW-BASIC. I'd written some text-based games...all very simple...but that led me to my first year in college when I began my quest to learn how computer games were made.
I learned about it on my own, and actually wrote two games whose structure looks an awful lot like the way games are "really" written. I was pretty excited about that. :-) I wrote Spacewar and Pong, both obvious reproductions of existing games (Spacewar was written at MIT and may be the first game ever written). The graphics were simple, all primitive-based, and I wanted to do something better.
A little while later, still in my first year at College, I started learning some more advanced programming languages. I still remember going into a CompUSA (back when there weren't so many computer outlets) and buying a C++ compiler. :-) How excitin'! With that and Pascal, I wrote a small series of...ahem...rather risque text-adventures. They were text-based, sure, but they were rather extensive...heck, even a coding effort I'd be unlikely to attempt today...and the games had REALLY nice-looking graphics.
Ahem, I mean *really* nice-looking. ;-)
In my second year at College, I had this psycho roommate who's only redeeming quality was that he could do some really nice computer graphics. In the first week at the dorm, we got together to make "Pong II: The Shift Into Hell." Par-ty sweet. Unfortunately, I hadn't acquired any kind of gaming development skillz, so my choice of game was awfully boring. Still, to this day, it's the best-graphicked game I've made.
I worked on some other games since then, one also in the dorm called DTM, which is likely the most fun and interesting game I've made so far. It was like the old Snafu game on Intellivision, with the twist being that you could choose from 6 individual worms, all with special skillz. The game had a nice balance of skill vs. skill, which I find the most intriguing aspect of game development by far.
For example, remember Street Fighter II? The thing that made the game great is that no *one* fighter dominated the game. You'd always find some player who could use Zangief to completely kick your ass. Many people preferred Chun Li and Ryu/Ken, but they were all defeatable. It came down not to the opponent, or the player, but the player's mastery of the opponent. Great balance...geat game.
Up until Counterpart, all along, I've always pursued making a game that was not only a cool (and original?) game, but one with sweet graphics. I've tried with my own hand, but no. I've consulted with Michele...which was very successful, but only in the Flash realm. Michele will definitely be an integral part of my gaming future...but her style of art won't work on a mobile phone.
That's because the mobile phone demands what's called Pixel Art. It's the same thing for the games I wrote years back. It's not about drawing the pretty picture. It's about graphics "in the small." You have to be able to draw a nice looking character in only 16x16 pixels...it's not easy. It's a black art.
And up until a few months ago, I was not aware it had a name. :-) All these years, I've tried to explain to people what I need. Graphics artists just don't come with the skillset. And actually, since the advent of Nintendo 64, 3D graphics are "in" and 2D is "out." The only problem is...Game Boy Advance is "IN," and it's 2D and people love it. And, of course, there's the cell market, which is also 2D for now. The way I see it, there's probably at least 4 good years left for 2D, and then maybe the future GameBoys and cell phones will be powerful enough to go 3D.
Let's hope not. I love 2D, personally. :-)
But now I know about Pixel Art! And with simply that name, it will help to understand more about this art and to help me learn it.
So, for at least March (which will give Counterpart time to dictate my plans), I will study Pixel Art and Isometric Art (an offshoot) in all its forms. Hopefully I'll actually get good with it. But, above all else, it will be great fun and I look forward to the challenge.
OK...this has gone on quite long...and no one is moving on Red Hot Pawn. And I keep reloading Handango.com looking for my game and I really want to get off that. And I have a really cute Yogi behind me who needs hugging. :-) So, I'll go.
Tomorrow...the verdict on Counterpart. Oooohhhh...