Testers in the UK

If anyone reading this is based in the Plymouth area in the UK, and would like to help test a friends game, take a look here: http://totalmonkery.com/call-for-testing/

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Indie developer forum

Someone I know on Facebook has started a forum for Indie developers. Unlike other forums which are filled with beginners and/or recruiters this is meant to be for serious developers. If you’re interested go and sign up here. I’m hoping to find some time in the near future to contribute an article or two. If you have any requests for a topic you’d like to have covered, leave a comment here.

 

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More updates coming soon

Apologies for the lack of updates here. It’s been a busy few months but I should have some time soon to post more updates (and do some work!) on Codename Kitty for everyone to enjoy. In the mean time, here’s a cheeky screenshot of one of the levels I’m currently building.

 

CrossPurposeSS
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Using the asset store

One of the best things about Unity is, of course, the Asset Store. However if you’re not careful you can soon find your project cluttered up with lots of files that you then have no idea as to whether they’re being used or not. It’s for that very reason I use a separate project for downloading anything from the asset store. I copy over the relevant files into my working project and leave the rest alone. This is particularly useful for things like particle FX packs which come with many textures and effects that are of no immediate use . I’d rather keep them out of the game project unless they’re really needed. It also helps reduce the size of the build which is important for mobile devices. Having had to spend time on more that one game stripping assets from a build so that it comes in under 50 Meg (and thus not be a WiFi only download), I wanted to make sure from the outset that it didn’t happen on the current game.

 

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Managing tasks

Throughout my time in the games business I’ve used a number of project management tools: JIRA, Hansoft, Devtrack, Redmine, FileMaker Pro and even Excel! Each has their plus points (and some have a lot of negative points!) but they’re all usable as a task management and bug tracking tool.

At the moment I find Trello to be a marvellous tool to manage my tasks on the project. I like it so much that I actually use it to manage personal tasks and goals too. It’s really easy to set up a few boards and move cards from board to board – the fact that the mobile app is fast and stable makes it even better. There have been many times where, while out and about, something has popped into my head and I’ve quickly added it to the backlog from my phone. If you’ve never used it I strongly encourage you to give it a try. Bonus: it’s free!

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Follow Tofanyou on Twitter!

There’s not much there at the moment but if you’d like to see tweets from Tofanyou go here.

 

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Why am I making Codename KI.T.T.Y.?

In October of 2013, one of my favourite furry friends passed away after a long illness. A friend suggested getting a statue of her to memorialise her. I decided that wasn’t quite right for me so instead I started to make a game with her as the star.

Meshell

 

Codename K.I.T.T.Y. is the result of that effort. I originally started using Cocos-2DX through the Marmalade SDK but switched to Unity after tinkering with it for a bit and coming to the conclusion I was going to make faster progress going down that path.

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Development tools

Here’s what I’m currently using on the PC:

  • Unity 4.6.1
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Community Edition
  • Visual Studio Tools for Unity (aka UnityVS)
  • Perforce
  • Paint.NET

On the Mac:

  • Unity 4.6.1
  • Xcode 6
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First screen shot!

Capture1

Work in progress….more to come soon! (Including better textures!) Okay, it’s just a shot of the editor window and not the game in action yet. The next one will be of the game.

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AAA to Indie

Okay I suppose I’d better write something about what I’m doing….

I started working professionally as a game developer in the mid-90’s and decided to try my hand at going down the Indie route a little while ago. I’m still working full time at a development studio so this is very much a side project that I’m doing by myself (for the moment). I can honestly say I’ve had a lot of fun so far as it’s a big departure from working at a normal studio. Working on a team with many other people has its ups and downs. Almost everyone I’ve worked with has been very talented and passionate about games and the game we were making. However being part of a team means that you can’t (and shouldn’t!) get your own way about how the game is built and what the game plays like.

Working by myself has been very liberating in that I have been able to architect every piece of the software, created and tuned the game play mechanics and had to design and build levels from scratch. Normally I would leave level design to someone more competent at that sort of thing but I really wanted to try and make as much of the game myself for this project.  I will definitely need some help with textures and graphic design before I release it so expect everything to look more polished. Screen shots of my first game, “Codename: K.I.T.T.Y.” will be up shortly.

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