Dynamic terrain and weather effects

I’m not an artist, but I know my way around Photoshop and I love pixel art. so making the art for Major Escape look better is part of the learning process. Now that most of the mechanics are in the game, and the code for stuff like game options is in, it’s time to look at remaking some of the current art in the game. I will probably revisit the art again just before releasing the game but now is a good time to redo some art, add new things like weather effects and make the game prettier in general.

Here you can see a few screen shots of new stuff that has been added…

A beautiful sunset… at least I think so.

Read More

How difficult to play is it?

I’ve come to realize that I am the worst game tester ever; for my games that is. I’ve played Major Escape hundreds, nay, thousands of times. I have escaped the clutches of an exploding planet so many times that my eyes glace over when I see the points screen. In Major Escape, you need to reach a space rocket that will leave the planet without you if you don’t reach it in time. There was a time, a long time ago, when I could not escape the planet. For almost 2 weeks I kept playing, and kept dying, without being able to reach the rocket.

I got better at the game, and today I can beat it in my sleep, which is the kind of progression I want players to have. It also makes me a terrible tester of the game. The game seems easy to me, and I have no idea how difficult it will be for other players. I designed the game to be difficult on purpose, I just don’t know if it’s so difficult to the point of being unfair.



Read More

Being social is hard

It’s been a few weeks of slow progress. At least it feels slow.  Major Escape is still in closed beta and I’ve been mostly working on menus and killing bugs. This means that the game looks almost exactly the same as it was two weeks ago. That’s why it feels like there has been no progress. It’s not fun to work fixing bugs and making your menus look better and work better, but it’s necessary work, so I’m getting through it.

All of this means that there is not much to talk about the game, at least not at this stage. My Twitter account and Facebook page have been a bit more silent than in the previous weeks when I started promoting the game. Still, I need to keep the conversation going, but how do I do this?

According to several online articles, I should be posting and “tweeting” regularly. Some articles recommend that I add to my posts an action shot (video or picture) showing the game’s progress. It makes for a more interesting read. Oh and plenty of hashtags ( #indiedev #gamedev #gamemaker etc.). I’ve been doing all of these things, for weeks, and I’ve increased my Twitter followers by 2 (a 200% increase over the previous month) and my Facebook followers by cero.

This is what articles call an “action shoot”. Menus, really interesting stuff huh?

Read More