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.
It's time to update you on some life stuff and some game stuff.
Unfortunately for me, I had stood on the entrance to an aggressive ant colony. Let me tell you, that was a bad day to wear flip flops...
(on another note, this is actually the third time I've been attacked by ants this year. First time. Second time. I am going to try and make 2019 a year free of ant attacks...that's my only goal for 2019).
Gaming has had to take a back seat while I focus on other things like my job, settling in, and fending off ant attacks. But I usually get to spend an hour or two each day working on the project, and I'm happy to say that even though I can't work on it like I once did, I am still moving forward.
Some of the biggest changes since I last wrote are that:
1) I've put publishers on hold - When I first started contacting publishers, I had a demo of 8 playable levels. Even though they have liked what they've played, most want to see a closer to finished product before they go ahead with anything. So currently, my goal is to make all 20+ levels playable before I contact publishers again. So far, I've developed the game to about level 15.
It has been interesting transitioning from a period where this game was my life, to a period where this game is only a part of my life...I think it has been healthy for me. Even though it has definitely delayed the game's release, it has been good for my perspective.
I am also infinitely glad that I haven't given up (and have no plans to). I know a lot of people are counting on this game being released (which is a big motivator to keep on working on this project), but perhaps the biggest reason why I haven't given up on this project is that - despite the challenges - working on it is a process that brings me a lot of joy. I hope this project can do the same for others one day.
Until then, I better get back to it, and will keep you updated with any big updates 🙂
Yet somehow, this computer still survives. Perhaps it only survives just to taunt me...I don't know. Regardless, I am too poor to afford a new one at the moment so I think I will just give the laptop a spray, or perhaps just keep it in the fridge from now on.
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.