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Sep 16 / Umut

The last 10 percent

You probably know this phenomenon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninety-ninety_rule … And this is why I am always hesitant writing new years resolutions. I was determined to finish 3 games by the end of this year, but I’m still working on the last bits of my first game. This may sound suprising to some people because I make flash games and they have a reputation of being short and simple when compared to other fish in the sea, but over-ambition and attention-to-detail are like two parasites who don’t care about any of this and when they invade the developer’s brain, they can make him crawl for ages until the thing is complete -even in a seemingly simple project-.

In addition, I have to admit, my project was not the simplest one from the get go because of some design decisions I decided to keep all along.  I plan to talk a little about these difficulties when the game is released.

May 15 / Umut

Mid-year update

Hello people, here is a list of small updates about what I was doing lately:

* I added a “games” page to my blog (in the upper menu), in case you haven’t noticed. It is basically where I pretend to talk about the lessons I took away from developing my previous games while bragging about how awesome actually I am. The page also contains unfinished prototypes & jam stuff.

* It’s already middle of 2013, so what about my new year’s resolutions?

  • At least 3 games: The first one is about to be done. I hope the others will come together faster. I should stop obssesing on graphics, it is seriously crippling me.
  • Completing little prototypes: I realized I didn’t want to work on prototypes I did in the past. The basic idea was to break the anti-social cycle of my development process by sharing more. Perhaps I can find another way to do this, like keeping development logs?
  • Reading/drawing: I have no problem reading junk information on the net, procrastinating for hours, but I somehow can’t read fiction as before. Same goes for drawing. My reasoning is that I am really tired and I can’t focus on anything with a lot of real life related stuff in my mind. Which brings us to the real reason behind this post:

* I am going to vacation for 2-3 weeks. It has been nearly 3 years since I didn’t swim in the sea. It is not like I didn’t tried taking a break, last time (last november) I even told everyone that I’m going but couldn’t. Hope this time everything will go smoothly! So, if you mail me I might not be able to reply. Also, I might not be able to approve new comments in this timeframe.

Take care!

Jan 6 / Umut

Goals for 2013

I am not used to writing new year’s resolutions but I decided to do it this time. I actually decided these before but it will be better to write them down here, so that I can’t forget or ignore.

1) I will make at least three flash games this year. Actually this isn’t completely a personal goal, we did agree on it with my latest sponsor and I am very happy with it. They basically stated the genres they prefer (which suits my tastes already) and I will have complete control over games and make what I want as usual. It’s like normal sponsorship, instead we have an understanding at the beginning so I won’t have to worry about finding a sponsor after finishing the games (which can be a real pain, and a big distraction which keeps you away from working on new games).

First one will be a shooter and I am really excited about it. I know there are already a lot of them, and from a player perspective it might seem “meh”, but it was one of the genres I wanted to work on. Somehow I postponed continously until this time, I don’t know why.

2) I will draw more. It is fun. I nearly forgot how it feels to hold a pencil and move it on the paper, which is a pretty meditating act by itself.

3) I will read more. I will try to feed my soul with better stuff instead of procrastinating.

4) I will try to complete & release little prototypes that I did in past years, as much as possible. I might not look for a sponsor for them, I plan to keep them simple as they are. I just want to share more, instead of constantly criticizing myself and therefore keeping them in dusty shelves.

Lets see how it will turn out.

Nov 4 / Umut

Lust 4 Date

Here is a small update: I made the graphics for Lust4Date, a game made for the second game jam of  GDT, in 48 hours.

It is a hotseat multiplayer game (up to 4 players on the same keyboard/computer), you can play it single in practice mode but you should play it definitely with someone you know for the real fun.

The main goal is to avoid your admirers(!), and have them chase other players so that you can survive from their brutal love until other players perish. Gameplay consists of two phases, a plan phase where players give movement directions to their characters in a very limited timeframe, and an action phase where you watch your decisions unfold. There are also collectible items which give you powers (force, heal, teleport and sprint) and you can activate them in action phase.

Here is the jam page of the the game and here is the game.

I remembered how relaxing it is to work with talented people and to be able to focus on my main interest while passing ideas back and forth.

Here, check out the websites of team members:

Ali Batı (main developer and designer of the game) and Doğaç Yavuz (musician).

Oct 1 / Umut

New Game: Wicked Rider

Yes, I made a new racing game. This time it’s about motorcycles and outlaw riders! It also includes 15 tracks, making money, upgrading stuff, betting against your rivals and other little improvements here and there. This time I managed to include almost everything I wanted to try with my current racing engine. Well, except flying with gliders. I coded that part too and it was fun to play with, but scrapped it later due to time and balancing issues.

Click here to play the game.

Wicked Rider

By the way, if you find the game too hard, you can cheat by clicking “unlock all” button at upgrade screen. It will open a new window and you’ll find the hacked version of the game, where you can buy all upgrades for free (via “fully upgrade” button).

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A little side-note: When playing in fullscreen, some buttons (P:pause, X/N: nitro) don’t work because of flash’s security limitations, so it is not something I can fix. In fullscreen, you can use spacebar for nitro instead. Also, in some keyboards, pressing 2 arrow keys (like up and left) and spacebar at the same time doesn’t work, so in that case you can use X/N for nitro (N is useful when using WASD, X is better when using arrows). I was wondering before why some games have so many buttons attached to the same functionality and now I know.

Also, to chrome users: Current default flash player that chrome uses (named “pepperflash”, version 11.3), causes short sounds to lag, that’s another weird internal bug that I have no control over, you can experience this issue also in other flash games/applications. If it annoys you, just disable that player version by entering “chrome://plugins” in your adress bar and disabling “pepper flash”. Don’t worry, normal flash player will still be functioning and more important, it will work correctly.

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I am pretty happy with the final result. But I am also very happy that it ended. Previous months were filled with unforeseen events in my personal life, it made working hard and drained my energy. I also feel a bit exhausted after working on three racing games consecutively. Finally I have some chance to work on something new!

If you missed above, click here to play the game. Your feedbacks are appreciated, please feel free to leave a comment.

Jul 12 / Umut

Oradan buradan #1

(This post features an interview with me and a post-mortem for a game of mine, both are in my native language, Turkish… You can play the related game here, it has been made for a local 48hr gamejam and it is a pretty basic prototype, I plan to turn it into a proper game later)

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Dijital oyun blog’undan Kemal Akay benimle bir röportaj yaptı, okumak isterseniz buraya bakabilirsiniz, kendisine buradan da teşekkürler 🙂

Bu arada ilk defa bir game jam’e katıldım, 15-17 haziran arasında Game Developers Turkey grubunun düzenlediği 48 saatlik online gamejam sonrasında yaptığım oyun prototipine buradan göz atabilirsiniz (oyunu elden geçirip daha güzel bir halde tekrar yayınlamayı planlıyorum). Oyuna dair yazdığım postmortem’i (oyun sonrası değerlendirme) buradan, jam sırasında yazdığım geliştirme günlüklerine de buradan bakabilirsiniz.

Nov 19 / Umut

Just Shut Up and Drive 2

Here it is, the sequel to my most popular game so far. Click here to play it.

The first game was played by much more people than I’ve guessed (It currently has over 34 million views and still getting 50k average views everyday). Of course it’s popularity doesn’t mean that everybody loved it completely. Among the complaints, there were ones which seem to revolve around same topics: Retro graphics and unappealing difficulty (mostly because of non-rival red cars) 🙂  So those were the starting points for this sequel.

This is the first game I used stock photos & 3d models for art (for cars and buildings/trees at the roadside), instead of doing every piece of art by myself. However, I drew all background scenery graphics, which I enjoyed doing so. Only desert background contains some manipulated building photos and I used some cloud images here and there for some backgrounds.

You can also play the game fullscreen in my site by pressing the small rectangle in the game screen. (Most portals don’t allow this functionality, so you may find that it is not working elsewhere).

For those who missed the link: Click here to play the game.

Jul 19 / Umut

New Game: Experiment 17

It hasn’t been more than one week and I have a new game online! This one also has been finished a long time ago but found its sponsor recently. Play it here.

experiment17

Experiment 17 is basically a snake game with multiple twists: As a lab engineer, you control your snake under or over the water, collect 44 different anomalies for your testing purposes and observe how your snake is affected.

Some anomalies have cool bonuses, some have negative effects but either way there is always something to suprise you (I hope). Also, at the end of every level, you have to complete full circles by turning around “experience dots” and collect them. This was added mostly for making player comfortable with diving in and going out of water, so that you can easily go under (or over) yourself without colliding.

My dear girlfriend made the beta testing and thanks to her, I added difficulty selection, lives and other adjustments. I’m really happy that she helped me with this one, otherwise it would have been pretty hard 🙂

You can play the game by clicking here.

Jul 13 / Umut

Hell Driver is online!

I waited a long time to see this online and now here it is, click here to play!

Hell Driver

Truck games are not my favorite games and there is a lot of trivial clones around already, so I chose a theme which I would enjoy drawing… And yeah it was entertaining. 😀

This time I only did art & music, the game code is provided by my sponsor. It was pretty relaxing to focus on only one thing after my previous games. Music-wise, I first tried to write some cool rock/metal stuff but couldn’t write a decent thing. They also sounded like mud when combined with the truck’s noise and compressed to MP3. Hence, electronic-folky-stuff.

In case you missed the link, play it here.

Apr 19 / Umut

Vampire Fever on Playbook!

It’s a bit shameless self promotion but anyway: I ported Vampire Fever to Blackberry Playbook. It’s $0.99 and includes a cheat mode which is not normally available in the flash version. Check it here!

I know there are people who liked the game but got frustrated by the difficulty of some levels. With cheat mode, you can unlock any nasty level you want and experience the full game. This also means, you can unlock all creatures and mess with the level creator as you like!

(update: I added cheat mode to the flash version on my website, play online version here. )

 

Vampire Fever Bestiary

 

Why Playbook? Some of you might already know, Blackberry/RIM was giving a free Playbook as a promotion for developers who submit their app to their store before end of March. Better, you don’t need to re-write your code in a whole new language because their system allows you to wrap your flash games as apps for playbook.

I often become tired of working on my games after they’re finished so I’m pretty lazy when it comes to porting my games to mobile platforms. But since the process seemed simple, I didn’t want to miss a free tablet chance.

Of course all of this was too good to be true. The porting process was messy and painful simply because of incomplete tools. I almost gave up because of buggy simulator/sdk issues and ancient ways of doing things (It was only fun for first 5 seconds to use command line after 20 years). There is already enough rant about this topic so I will not delve into details but… Blackberry/RIM really needs to redesign this process if they want to be able to compete with other high profile and already successful tablets.

Anyway, you can buy Vampire Fever Playbook version here!