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 been a great month! I didn’t finish the trailer but I still made a ton of forward progress - perhaps because of my trailer goal.
It is only when you are working on a trailer that you finally realize that there are 80,000 things to be done before your game becomes presentable, haha. For me, this included:
- putting all the sprites into the project.
- improving the nunchuk animations (I did this by studying Bruce Lee videos).
- drawing out the ol ‘vigilante jumps out of the window then swings into the floor below’ animation.
- putting in the hit impact animation.
- Adding the smoke effect.
- Getting one of my artists (Jonatan) to create dirt! I didn’t know it was possible to make dirt look cool, yet he did. I love this guy!
Check out this video - it should show, for example, the smoke effect, new henchmen sprites, and the hit impact animation - pretty snazzy eh?
On another positive note, this month I commissioned two new people for the trailer. The first was a voice actor with a voice so rugged I wanted to take it on a camping trip. I found him through voicebunny, and he did a great job. Only cost me $60 as well. Thanks to this guy, my trailer will be leaking testosterone.
The second was an artist I commissioned for some images (done in a different art style) I need for the trailer’s beginning. He worked faster than a rocket propelled ostrich and created some really dark, gritty images that I think will be perfect in setting the trailer’s tone.
To prepare to make the trailer, a few weeks ago I brainstormed a whole list of scenes from the game that I thought would be cool to show. What has kept me busy the past few days is capturing these as gameplay footage. It can be a bit tedious at times, but it is progressing nicely.
One of the main things that is going to stop me moving forward at the moment is that I still haven’t decided what music to use for the trailer. I like the idea of an upbeat, strong rhythmic track because it will capture the intensity and ‘forward-motion’ of the action. The best songs I’ve found so far have been from Kevin MacLeod and Matt McFarland. What’s awesome about these tracks is that all of them are both free and royalty free. That being said, I am worried that a lot of the tracks sound too ‘trancy’ for this trailer - as a consequence, instead of buying the game, people might just buy glow-sticks.
Perhaps the music will be from my current short list, but perhaps it will be from a new site. I would prefer free (if possible) BUT I wouldn’t mind forking over a few bucks if it means I can get something that’s perfect. Choosing a great track will be my priority for the next few days...any tips or suggestions?
Then will come the beastly process of putting this all together...I am going to try using Openshot video editor for this: it is open source and seems easy enough to use. Let’s hope it’s foolproof! If so, then I should be okay, haha.
Self-depreciation aside, I am happy about this month. I did not achieve all I hoped to, that being said, I accomplished a lot of things that absolutely had to be done and were bound to take a ton of time and my trailer - and my game - will be better for it.
Follow the game's development on twitter (@FMMHenchmen), on facebook, or follow me on twitter @BlakeMcDeezy
What a month it has been!
I had originally hoped that October would be the month that I could create and release an official trailer for Forgive Me My Henchmen (FMMH). Well...that didn’t happen. Despite that, all in all, this month has been a successful one.
The withdrawal of my character artist (for the foreseeable future) meant that for the first time, I got to try my own hand at pixel art (See Blog Entry for 7 October). Completing the remaining sprites has been what mostly kept me busy for this month and I am happy to say that now - as a result of a ton of work - about 99% of the art/animation needed for this project has been completed. VICTORY!!!
This is a major landmark, so I am really happy it has been hit. To celebrate, I was going to spray champagne everywhere like they do in Formula 1, but then I remembered that champagne is expensive, and I am broke, so I decided to just have a glass of water instead. Party like a rockstar.
I also feel that I stepped up my PR game this month. I think my new approach to blogging (see Blog Entry for 27 September) has helped me to have a lot more fun with it, and now media / PR is something I no longer fear. That being said, I’ve realized that marketing is going to be the biggest challenge that I will face. I currently have about 35 twitter followers, and don’t exactly know how to get heard in a very noisy world. I will need to think about this challenge more and learn how to improve at this essential aspect of game dev. Hopefully, creating a good game trailer will help.
Speaking of which, creating a great trailer will be the mission and focus for the month ahead. I would also like to create a gameplay trailer because trailers - albeit awesome - don’t always give a great idea of how a game will actually play. I want people to know what they can expect from FMMH.
If you guys have been checking my blog for updates since I found the artists for this project, I'm sorry :( A lot has been going on, and I've been working hard, I just haven't been updating the blog as these things happen.
I wanted to assure you that blog updates will be coming more frequently from now on :) These are some of the changes that have happened since last writing:
- Both artists signed their contracts and started creating artwork for FMMH (I will likely start posting FMMH in the near future).
- I added even more testosterone to the game, and reworked the door system yet again. I have finally arrived at something I know will be awesome and also easy to use.
- I have added a tutorial to the game (for the first few levels). This was surprisingly hard to design. Not technically (in terms of coding), but more in terms of creating a tutorial which is engaging as opposed to one which felt like reading an encyclopedia. Maybe I should blog more about this sometime.
- I changed the name of the company from ManaVuka to Siyavuka. I spent a lot more time on this decision than was probably necessary, but I ended up making the change because of the meaning that the word Siyavuka represents: The word 'Siyavuka' is a Zulu word with the rough translation 'We are waking'. The reason why this name resonates with me is because I want to make well though out, self-aware games that make people think. To an extent, this word captures that.
- I started eating popcorn as I program. It is delicious, and a wonderful productivity tool that you don't hear many people writing about.
Overall, all is well and we are pushing forward. Sorry for not writing for so long but I promise this will be a more happening page from now on.
Cheers guys - Blake