This blog is quite old and no longer updated. Wanna see what I'm up to now? Head over to my new website!

Google Analytics

Friday, January 18, 2013

City Block is now on IndieCity

City Block has just been released on IndieCity! The IndieCity version of City Block is integrated with IndieCity's online achievements API, so achievements earned in the game will be displayed on your IndieCity profile. In addition, the IndieCity download client makes it easy to download and install updates to City Block as they become available, so you can be sure you're always on the latest version. So what are you waiting for? Get City Block on IndieCity now! Or if you'd prefer, you can also get City Block on Indievania!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

City Block 1.1 and Holiday Sale!

City Block 1.1 has just been released! All existing purchasers on Indievania will be able to download the update for free. If you haven't bought the game, then go buy it now! At least download the demo.

Anyway here's what's changed in City Block 1.1:
  • Added the ability to take out a loan. Right click on the door of a Bank to manage your loans.
  • Added a new building: Schools.
  • Added a new citizen type: Kids.
  • Added a news ticker on the main menu screen that displays all the latest information straight from me.
  • Fixed several bugs.
  • Polished up the game a little.
Also, to celebrate the holidays, City Block and Invasion Breaker are now on sale! You can get City Block for just $1.99, while Invasion Breaker will run you only $0.49! Get 'em while they're cheap!

Regarding IndieCity, I submitted City Block to their approval process a while back. They require two testers to approve the game, in the event of one approval and one disapproval, a third tester is needed to break the tie. This is exactly what happened with City Block, with one tester failing the game, and another passing it. I haven't heard anything from them since November 30th; the third tester is nowhere to be found.

City Block Trailer

Invasion Breaker Trailer

Monday, December 3, 2012

Building Recognition In City Block

One of the first challenges early in the development of City Block was making the game recognize when the player had constructed a building, as opposed to just a random pile of blocks. I wanted to make the building detector a flexible as possible; I didn't want to force the player to use a specific blueprint for their buildings. In order to achieve this, I opted to make the door of any given building its base. Each building has only one door, and the door stores data about the building, including the number of people in the building and what social class they are. It also handles all spawning and despawning for that building. For example, in a police station, the door will keep track of the number of officers and prisoners in the station. It will also detect if their are any criminals on the loose. If there are, and the building contains enough officers, the door will spawn an officer and subtract one from its count of officers. When the officer returns, the door will destroy that instance of the officer and add one to its count.

But doors do not make a building, you'll also need walls. The walls of a police station are concrete. A building's door must be completely surrounded by that building's wall material in order to register.

For some buildings, such as houses, a door surrounded by walls is enough. For others, however, you'll need some additional blocks. The police station, for example, requires at least one antenna in the structure.

Add any other required blocks, and now you've got a building! It'll likely be a small building, though. However, any blocks connected to the building's door are considered part of that building. Expand the building by adding more of its wall material in any direction.  For example, both of these are valid expansions:

This building recognition system does allow for some odd structures, such as the two above, but player freedom was a major consideration while developing City Block. I wanted to allow the player to build their city any way they wished, and this building recognition system satisfied that demand. I am quite happy with how it turned out. Those of you who have the game, hopefully this sheds some light on its inner workings. And those of you who don't, what are you waiting for?! Get it now!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

City Block - Super Mega Awesome Surprise Early Release

Well, City Block was released a few days ago, and even I did not know about it. Indievania, one of the distribution sites I use, mistakenly released the game three weeks early. The other site I'm releasing City Block on, IndieCity, has not yet released it. I have decided to embrace this early release, and will not be removing the game until its intended release date. Go get it now on Indievania, and it's coming soon to IndieCity!

Monday, November 19, 2012

City Block Release Date!

I have decided that my new game, City Block, will be released for Windows on December 12, 2012, at a price of $4.99! It will be released on two different indie game distribution websites, Indievania, which I have used before for Invasion Breaker, and IndieCity. The IndieCity version of City Block will be integrated with IndieCity's achievements API, and achievements you earn in the game will appear on your IndieCity profile. As Indievania has no online achievements API, copies of the game purchased via Indievania will be limited to local achievements. The game will not support Windows XP initially (for a detailed reason why, see here), but will likely gain Windows XP support within a few weeks. I have greatly enjoyed working on this game for the past eight months, and I hope you'll enjoy playing it as much as I enjoyed making it!

Monday, November 5, 2012

City Block Progress Update

Back in May, I announced City Block, my latest major project. However, I have not released that much information about it since then, so here's a progress update:

First of all, I have almost completed the game. I sent out the first release candidate to a few friends who have agreed to beta test the game last week, and I hope to have the second release candidate out by the end of this week. I was able to finish the game this quickly thanks to my decision to develop it in Game Maker Studio, a rapid development tool that handles most of the back end stuff, such as graphics rendering and keyboard/mouse input, automatically. It is an incredibly full featured and easy to use game engine. I highly recommend it. That said, it does have a few problems. Some of the graphics functions cause games created with it to crash on Windows XP. Unfortunately, City Block uses some of these functions, and there is nothing I can do to fix Game Maker Studio. I have to wait until YoYo Games, the developer behind Game Maker Studio, fixes these issues. Therefore, City Block will be launching without support for Windows XP. If the issues with Game Maker Studio are ever fixed, then I will release an updated build of City Block that adds Windows XP support. Until then, City Block will not run on Windows XP.

Despite the Windows XP issue, I still plan to launch City Block soon, hopefully by the end of this month. The game is nearly feature complete. I have one or two more things to add and a bit of polishing to do, then Release Candidate 2 is off to the beta testers. I'll fix the problems they find, if any, and then it's time for release. Until then, here's the trailer:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

City Block trailer and Invasion Breaker price reduction

I have released the official trailer for my new game, City Block! I expect to have City Block out within a few months. Have a look:

In other news, Invasion Breaker's price has permanently been reduced to $0.99! Buy it now!