Co-op Gameplay Demonstration Video

We made a video to demonstrate co-operative gameplay in the prototype. What could possibly go wrong?

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InDev release 0.0.0.5

Well here it is: probably the final version of the prototype before we start work on the Alpha.

As usual, head over to the Game Blocks itch.io page to download it.

Release notes:

Indev Version 0.0.0.5

New icon!

Removed not-yet-working enemy spawner / “swirly thing”

Miscellaneous bugfixes and menu tweaks

removed volume buttons since sliders work better

Open Game button now doesn’t allow you to open a game when there are no games

Added gems (100 points)

Added bounce blocks

Added ice blocks

Added keys

Added locked doors (need at least one key)

Known issue: Keys not on HUD yet.

Known issue: Add level button does not properly check if current level has been saved. Manually click save level button to avoid accidentally discarding current level.

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Launch Date & Update

We have been approved by Kickstarter, and, after a bit of research, we decided to launch the campaign early in the morning on Monday September 4th.

In the meantime I am working on one last update to the prototype. 0.0.0.5 will be released in a few days. After that, once we are funded, we will be focusing on producing the Alpha version.

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InDev Release 0.0.0.4c

So it turns out there was a serious problem with 0.0.0.4 that went unfixed for weeks because I fixed it in the current version but didn’t realize it was a problem in the release build. This version was not originally intended for release, since a bunch of stuff is half-finished or just not working at all yet. But 0.0.0.4 needed to be fixed, so here’s 0.0.0.4c.

Don’t try to place the swirly thing in the level, it will crash Game Blocks. I didn’t realize that was still in this version until I published. I’m trying to focus on the Kickstarter campaign now, so just don’t use the swirly thing.

Link to the current version: https://madtinkerer.itch.io/game-blocks

Release notes:

Added sliders to volume menu.

Removed reference to deleted object, which fixes the crashing issue.

Other misc bugfixes.

 

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Demo Video 02

Here’s another demonstration video, this time it’s narrated by Mark:

 

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Demonstration Video

I finally made a video explaining how Game Blocks works.

It turns out that Fraps does not include Windows dialog boxes in the video capture, so that’s another reason to rewrite all the parts where I used Windows dialog boxes. That’s definitely going to be a priority when I start the Alpha.

Anyway: enjoy!

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Fixing the Site

Since the start of this weblog, the theme and general settings were temporary placeholders that I was putting off fixing because it always felt like I had better things to do. The site’s original theme was Baskerville 2, which seemed like the most weblog-like theme I could find on short notice. It wasn’t terrible, but it’s also designed for museum curators, coffee shop owners, or something like that, not a game development log.

Since the Kickstarter is happening real soon now, and even though we have a Facebook page, I still consider this to be the “main” site. So it was high time to search through the themes and find something better than Baskerville 2.

Currently, I’m using the “Twenty Ten” theme, a theme which may seem outdated to some, but the phrase I’d use to describe it is “most tolerable that I’ve found so far”. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m deliberately trying to have a classic weblog-style site, but most of the other WordPress site designs, both free and premium, seem ridiculous and impractical. It seems most of the other themes are for people who have a bunch of nice photos and don’t want to regularly post new things to their site. I’m not trying to show off my selfies and arts & crafts projects, I’m trying to write about what I’m doing, with video and images to illustrate the writing.

I don’t really have time to learn how to write my own CSS or PHP or whatever language the themes are written in. So “old, but least tacky of all possible choices I’ve seen so far” is what I’ll be using.

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Facebook, Marketing, and Eventually Kickstarter

We have a Facebook page now! It’s still a work-in-progress, but at least we have a cover illustration. The original version, which was published by accident, didn’t even have that.

I actually don’t like Facebook very much, but nearly all of my friends both online and IRL use it every day, so I don’t have a lot of choice in the matter. I will give Facebook one compliment: the interface is much better than it was a few years ago.

We’ve had some production difficulties in the last month. I won’t get into specifics, but Game Blocks InDev 0.0.0.5 will not be ready before the Kickstarter like I planned. It will likely be available after the KS, but there probably won’t be another free update after 0.0.0.5 before we go into Alpha development.

Because we really need to launch the Kickstarter soon, we’re taking a break from working on Game Blocks itself to work on marketing. Like all passionate creators, especially other programmers, I would indeed just rather sit down and just keep making the software product better and never get around to actually selling it. But like most people who haven’t had a paycheck in six months and don’t have any savings, I really need to actually obtain another source of income to keep paying the bills. Afterwards, I can then sit down and improve the software product to the satisfaction of myself and my customers.

An acquaintance of mine who has run multiple successful Kickstarter campaigns advised me that growing my audience before the start of campaign is one of the most important things to do to make a Kickstarter campaign successful. I hope we have enough time left to do that before we need to launch.

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The Obligatory Kickstarter

We’re not quite ready to launch yet, but we are working on a Kickstarter campaign. We are planning to launch in a little over a week and a half, sometime after the Steam Summer Sale ends.

In addition to a bunch of miscellaneous additions and bugfixes, 0.0.0.5 is going to have an example game which we are going to showcase in the Kickstarter. We are calling it Twizard Twubble, a sort of (non-copyright-infringing) mashup of Bubble Bobble and Harry Potter. Game Blocks is still Game Blocks, but now Twizard Twubble comes with it. You can make your own TT levels, of course, since that’s the whole point.

Originally I was hoping to get more features done before we needed to launch the Kickstarter, but if the campaign is successful at least it will all get done after the campaign. Shelter and food is how developing the game is possible, so the bills can’t be neglected.

Now we need to finish the Kickstarter page, the Facebook page, the trailer, and finish updating 0.0.0.5 and actually release it.

There may be another free release after the KS campaign, but if we are funded the main focus will be producing and delivering the full game. So maybe there will be a 0.0.0.6, but we need to aim for 1.0.0.0 and deliver that to the backers, so no promises.

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