Hi, I'm Blake. my big project is a tower defence game called 'Forgive Me My Henchmen'. you play as a typical head 'bad guy', deploying henchmen and sabotaging a building to delay an unstoppable one-man army.
Below is what it actually looked like:
Dense and bricky. Just how I like like it.
I know I haven't been doing as much as I should have with my site for the past while. That is because the game's development - and my creativity in general - had to take a back seat while I focused on real life things: job applications and such.
After a couple of weeks of applications, I'm happy to say I was recently offered a job that I'm excited about (and may share more about some other time). With that sorted out, I should be able to dedicate more time to the game again. That being said, despite how hectic this past month was, I still managed to move forward in some cool ways:
Knowing that a bunch of people are behind this game has made me more motivated than ever. I know tower defence isn't the most popular genre anymore, but there are people out there who still love it and want to see a game like this get made - this is something I'm grateful for so I'm going to continue moving forward and doing my best.
On that note, any advice as to how I can get more beta testers? I have a small group of people that I trust, but I think it's time to open up my game to a few more people. There is a reddit group out there dedicated to giving feedback, but it is small...I'm not sure if it would offer enough feedback to be useful.
I am still researching publishers. I am going to keep on editing the demo, and when it is fire flames, send it out to the best publishers I can find. If you've read my previous entries, you'll know that I wasn't too sold on the idea of using a publisher at first, but now I am thinking more and more that the publisher route may be the way to go.
Hey guys, it’s been awhile. This is probably the longest I’ve gone without a blog entry since starting this blog back in Jan 2017!
Anyway, I wanted to let you know what I’ve been up to, and how the game’s been going.
Since coming back, there have been some interesting developments:
1) The game’s core mechanics have changed - As a result of taking such a long break, when I started working on the game again I noticed some problems that I had previously been too close to see. One was that the game got confusing at times - there was too much going on. What I have therefore done is simplify and streamline some of the core mechanics. It has led to a TON OF WORK, but this is good, and these changes are taking the game in a great direction.
I can’t believe how many changes this game has gone through...
2) I’ve started working on a playable demo, and hope to have it completed by the end of this month. A playable demo is a good place to start so that I can get feedback. It is also a good thing to create to help with development number 3.
3) I am looking for a publisher! (or at least, I am considering it). I realized one of the major problems this game faced from the get go was marketing. A good publisher could potentially get this game in front of a lot of people, which is what I need. Who cares if I create one of the best tower defence games if no one ever hears about it or gets a chance to play it? A publisher could also potentially fast track this game’s development by offering support in the right ways.
I am really excited to share the news that Forgive Me My Henchmen now has two musicians working on the project! And not just any musicians...these guys mean business!! I wanted to quickly introduce the two rockstars who are going to be helping bring Forgive Me My Henchmen to life!
Blake has already composed, produced, and recorded four original albums. He also has extensive experience working in 'da club' as a DJ, and has opened for some big names. This man has scored 40+ short films, as well as numerous feature films and video game projects, and I can't say how excited I am to work with him. He's based out of Vancouver, Canada, and here is his site, which showcases some of his music and also goes into his work history in more depth.
I had previously been worried a lot about the music for this game. I knew stock music just wouldn't cut it, but finding the right artists for a project can be really tough! I'm really happy how this has all worked out. This game needed great music, and that's gonna happen! Can't wait until everybody gets to listen to the final result :)
A few weeks ago, I took a weekend off from Forgive Me My Henchmen to enter into a game jam.
For those of you who don’t know, a game jam is a competition when you’re tasked to make a complete game within a time frame (often 48 - 72 hours). I entered into the Ludum Dare Game Jam, which is one of the biggest and oldest. There were over 6000 people who signed up, and over 3000 people who submitted games.
The games are usually centered around a theme, and the theme for this jam was:
“Combine two incompatible genres”
That is why I decided to create a rhythm / puzzle / stealth game! In it, you play as a sneaky ninja, who must penetrate an armed facility to the beat of the music. You can use boomboxes to distract and move guards, and the game is filled with humour and epic dance moves.
1) Spend more time at the beginning thinking through everything - my process has typically been try something, keep what works, remove what doesn’t, try again. This is great for a game which is has tons of time that you can put into it (like Forgive Me My Henchmen) but for a game that you only have 72 hours to develop, you really need to have a crystal clear idea of what you want to develop as soon as possible. Otherwise, you spend too much time in development, not giving you enough time to polish/improve the game.
In my spare time, I am going to keep on developing / working on this concept - I think with a lot more work and polish, I could develop it into a really entertaining puzzle game - we’ll see.
Today, I wanted to share story from my life - it is the story I go back to whenever I need inspiration, or whenever I need a reminder that things ain't so bad.
Anyway, after taking a pity pamphlet from this kid, I realized how good my life is. Even when I've hit rock bottom, it has never been in a grape suit. And herein lies the lesson:
No matter how tough things get, at least you're not grapes :)
This was a long time ago now, and even to this day I think about this kid (now a man) and think of who he might have become. Personally, I hope he moved on from this lowpoint and became something great...like juice.
For more nonsense like this, follow me on twitter @BlakeMcDeezy. You can also follow the game's development @FMMHenchmen
I have felt the full spectrum of human emotion this month, haha. But really, the best way to explain this month is that it has been divided into two parts:
Eventually though, I got sick of feeling sorry for myself. The game itself was getting - and continues to get - amazing feedback. Furthermore, it was becoming clear that the major reason why the kickstarter failed was because my pre-marketing was shit, and there were simply things I failed to do. It was hard to keep on feeling sorry for myself when I realized that my success or failure was within my control. This is what has led to the second part.
2) Getting Back On The Horse
This part was difficult. On the day I started programming again, I remember not wanting to, but also knowing it was time.
I also decided to enter into another Ludum Dare Game Jam!
For those of you who don’t know what a Game Jam is, it is when a developer (or small team of developers) makes a game - start to finish - within a short time frame. In the Ludum Dare Game Jam, that time frame is 48 - 72 hours.
This was my second jam, and this game was a lot tougher to make than the first one, but I had fun with it. Equally as importantly, other people are having fun with it so that makes me happy :) It’s not a perfect game, but I think the idea has potential - what do you think?
Anyway, I’ll likely write about the game jam more in depth sometime. That’s an entry to look out for. Until then, cheers guys!
Follow the game's development on twitter (@FMMHenchmen), on facebook, or follow me on twitter @BlakeMcDeezy
After my kickstarter campaign didn't succeed, I was going to take a step back from developing this game, but my game's antagonist wouldn't let me. This is how the conversation went down: