So Toni has let me write a guest blog post so I thought I would share with you a little of my experience over the last year and a half. I will also post this on my own blog for future reference!
My name is Jon and I run a small indie game company called SKN3. I do the majority of the work at SKN3 with assistance from a few others for certain tasks. We are a new company running just over a year and we are excited to show you what we have been doing.
I have been creating games since I can remember, whether it be a text adventure on a vic20 or a snake clone written on a Psion PDA (remember them?). I love making games; it gives you such freedom to create an idea that can eventually be enjoyed over and over. However there is one part of making games that I find incredibly tedious; getting your content into them!
One of the most important aspects of Muster my Monsters is the animation system. Muster my Monsters is a semi-interactive game in the sense that you do not control directly the characters in the game but chose the actions they will execute. In some sense, it is like choosing the cinematic sequences that will be played in a while.
Muster my Monsters is a social/party game featuring terribly horrible and ridiculously weird fighting-monsters.
So, the quality of those cinematic sequences is critical. They need to be very visually appealing and, most important, they need to communicate the state of the game precisely to the player.
Muster my Monsters’ basic rules are similar to the rock-paper-scissors game, but in MmM we have ruder actions: Attack wins Mock, Mock wins Dodge and Dodge wins Attack. And this is called “balance”.
Yesterday, 2012 September 18 was celebrated the Facebook Developers World Hack Barcelona. This was my first time in a hack/jam/coding style event and I must admit that it was a great experience 🙂
This simple game was made to demonstrate how to save time when developing a game for several different mobile platforms like iOS, Android or Bada. Because the number of mobile platforms is raising and the developers want to reach the largest possible audience, developing the game several times for every single platform separately is not an option anymore.
Cocos2d is and excellent framework. It has saved me tons of time during my game projects. It offers almost everything I need. However, sometimes there are some features that are not supported by cocos2d.
This is the case of rotating a sprite around an arbitrary point. Rotation in cocos2d is based on the concept of anchor point. This is ok on the 99% of situations, probably. However, during the development of Muster my Monsters I need to perform rotations around arbitrary points. The idea is to have an sprite “orbiting” around another sprite or some defined point in the space.
In today’s post I would like to share with you a handy piece of code to manage sprite sheets. I have called it TSSpriteSheetManager.
TSSpriteSheetManager is a singleton cocos2d class that allows for easily manage sprite sheets. You just add sprite sheets to the manager and then request a sprite or frame automatically batched for you. The manager will search for the sprite in all the added sprite sheets and if it is not in any of them, it will search for individual files on your project.
You have the entire source code for this project at the end of this article.
Exporting Flash animations to cocos2d actions is a topic that has been in my mind since some months ago. Spritesheets based animations are very limited in terms of sprites size and frame rate. The more frames you have, the more memory you consume. And the bigger the sprites, the more memory you need as well.
However, actually, memory usage has not been an issue in the projects I have worked so far. So, exporting Flash animations to cocos2d is a task that I have been procrastinating… till now.
Gamelab 2012 was celebrated from June 27 to July 1 in Barcelona, Spain. It is the most important games event in Spain and, since a few years ago, it is considered an international event.
Obviously, I was there 🙂 I was mainly interested on networking but the conferences were also quite interesting. On the other hand, the gamers zone was not very exciting. One year ago I attended to my first Gamelab and wrote a short post about the experience. My opinion from Gamelab 2011 was very negative. The organization was unacceptable, the location was not good enough and there were a lot of poor conferences. The only positive thing about Gamelab 2011 was the networking.
“AppCircus is a unique global travelling showcase of the most creative and innovative apps presented by their creators during some of the most influential international events in mobile/web. AppCircus is open to developers, startups and any other organization and offers each participant a chance to get a nomination to the Mobile Premier Awards.”
On June 21 was celebrated in Barcelona the AppCircus Dev Day. On every AppCircus event all kind of app developers are invited to submit their apps to the contest. I finally decided to submit New Sokoban, despite I was sure that it was impossible to be selected as finalist.
The Miso Strobe Tuner is one of the first applications that we came out with at Miso Media. It really is a great app if you are a musician. The design of the our tuner is great, and it does exactly what it is supposed to do, which is tune an instrument. When we looked at other companies that had apps directly competing against us, we thought we were the clear leader, which is why we were confused about our lack of sales. We had a great product, at an insanely low price, and no one was buying it. Well, we started doing some tests, and our sales and revenue started to climb. We continue to split test and optimize to this day. Here are some of the lessons that we have learned: