I work in telecommuncations by day and make games by night. Currently polishing up the Mayan Mystery game and putting together some content for it on the site.
Given the length of time between putting anything out (4yrs!), it came to me as a surprise that Groupees.com asked to include the Mayan Mystery in their Be Mine 24 bundle. It's going to be around for another 13 days (at the time of writing this), so check it out for a pretty diverse collection of games and music!
Even more surprising is the fact that the Mayan Mystery is up on Steam, looking to get Greenlit! It's a little weird, since the game is complete (and 4yrs old), but heck, the chance of having it on Steam is kind of nice for me, personally. I worked on it for 4+ years, learning all the different aspects of making a game as I went along, and in the end, came up with something that wasn't a steaming pile of garbage! So it would really mean a lot to me if you could head on over and give it a vote :)
What's with me and posting once yearly? Since the last post (Journey to Europa dev stuff), I've been busying myself with several projects, all of which made it a decent way before being dropped for one reason or another. It friggin' sucks, getting what you think is a solid idea, fleshing it out, making something playable, and then either interest dies, time to actually work on it becomes an issue, or in one case, the project just got too big to handle...but, being able to take what you can from half-baked games/ideas and putting them into a project you can sink your teeth into is the silver lining.
With all those failed/dead projects, I've been working on a proper sequel to Adventure Apes and the Mayan Mystery. Probably no one cares since it has been SO long, but I'm happily plugging away on making something that should be pretty fun. I'll post some WIP stuff on it soon.
After starting and stopping several projects, I have finally gone far enough with this project to attempt making a video. It's not much yet, just a pieced-together clip of what the menu screen will look like, but it's a start.
It is going to be a game for mobile devices, so the orientation isn't just to irritate you :P
Anyhow, I hope that you'll take a look at it. It's 30seconds or so long, but it with a little luck should get the idea of the game across!
So, it's been about a year since the release of my first game, Adventure Apes and the Mayan Mystery.
There have been a bunch of fixes along the way, but two big ones that kept popping up were the lack of gamepad controls, and the overall performance on some computers. I was really hesitant for the longest time, because making the game from scratch (and learning along the way!), took 4+ years of my time, and by the end, I was feeling pretty burned out.
I really just want the players to have a game that they enjoy, and so went back in recently to tweak the code and overall construction of the game to make it a better experience. What a pain in the butt it was! My code was a real mish-mash of confusion and chaos, but after a few weeks of working on the thing, can say that it is FINALLY done!
I ended up adding a feature, while removing another. So, along with gamepad support, you get rapid fire capabilities. Along the way, I figured that lifting up the stones in the beginning of the game really served no purpose in the later stages, so that was removed. It gives the player a chance to work on avoiding the few enemies, and practice their timing with jumps before getting into the meat of the game.
The files are being updated on Desura as I type this, but they are also available direct through my website. Either way, I hope you give the new version of the game a try!
Kinda/sorta. I'm calling it Adventure Apes 1.5 for now, and it takes place roughly at the same time as the Mayan Mystery.
While Mitch is off hunting down Horatio Hawk for stealing a magical crystal artifact from a Mayan temple, Dr.A has discovered the power of the artifact (time travel), as well as where the mysterious crystal originated from (asteroid belt).
***In the beginning of the Mayan Mystery, Mitch's best friend, Otis, was supposed to go with him, but has an unfortunate mishap with a banana peel and was forced to stay back and recover. The recovery didn't take long though. Partly because Otis is fairly tough, but mostly because his brain is tiny! ***
Anyways, soon after recovering, he is told about the nature and location of these crystals, and that it is critical that they get some as well (without the crystals, time travel would be impossible, and Horatio could escape permanently).
Otis is strapped into a little rocket ship with the sole purpose of collecting as many of the crystals as he can! It is a highly dangerous mission, because if he runs out of fuel or oxygen, there's no way home! Sure, he has those crystals, but his little pea-brain wouldn't know how to harness their power without disastrous results!)
Okay, so that's the premise. Gameplay-wise, it is very similar to asteroids. You fly around blasting asteroids for crystals or powerups, and hope to get enough fuel/oxygen to keep collecting crystals. It is meant to be a very casual game, where you play for a little while at a time, then come back later to try beating your score.
Randomly created asteroids
Upgrades to make your ship excessively awesome
Hordes of enemies trying to keep you from taking their crystals
Multiple control schemes
Probably more down the road...
Yeah, that's right! I entered the Mayan Mystery into the 15th IGF...it was a lucky thing too. I had planned on entering the game for the 14th IGF (was still a WIP at the time), but just barely missed the deadline for it. I had forgotten soon after that, and it was only a random conversation about the IGF recently that reminded me!
Deadline was on October 15th, the Mayan Mystery was entered on the 14th. So yeah, I barely squeaked in,. Yeah, it's a long shot to have the game make it into the Finals for any category, but you never know what might happen.
The very best situation is that the Mayan Mystery blows everyone's minds, and the very worst is that they find it so terrible that they taunt me mercilessly for coming up with such rubbish!
But, like they say, any press is good press :)
So it's been about a month since I finished off the Mayan Mystery game. For the last week or so, I've not spent much time at all on the computer, and just took some time to relax a little....or tried to at least.
After working on the Mayan mystery for SO long, it was tough to just stop working on stuff. It gets to be a habit, so even after that game was finished, I was still looking at different options for what will follow down the line.
The next project is a continuation of the Mayan Mystery, and is going to be called Jetpack Justice! I've gone back and forth on whether or not the graphics should be retro (pixel) style, or hand drawn to match they style in the instruction manual. In the end, I decided that pixelated is best, based solely on the fact that when I was a kid, seeing the drawings of the bad guys in the instruction manuals was awesome, and then getting to see the videogame variant afterwards was just as exciting :)
Jetpack Justice is going to be a sidescrolling shooter, so the gameplay will be a big change from the metroidvania that was the Mayan Mystery. I don't want to reveal too much right now since it's 99% brainstorming at this point, but here is an early mock-up I did that I think gets the point across...
Those bad guys are Galactopods, and they're a caste-based species, so each variant has its own specific task that it carries out. I'm going to have to add a bunch more for variety's sake, but you get the general idea now, right? :)
You might be asking yourself, "Wait, how did Mitch get from inside a Mayan temple into outer space? And what the heck is Otis doing flying there beside him??"
For answers to questions like those, you'll just have to give the Mayan Mystery a try, otherwise I'd be giving too much secret info away!
Well guys and gals, this is it! It's taken over four years from start to finish, but I've finally got the Mayan Mystery set up and ready to go! There were a couple changes as a result of the game being released...
Firstly, I've decided to make the instruction booklet exclusive to the full version. If anyone has played this game before, you'll already have a copy (no changes have been made to the booklet itself apart from a few spelling corrections and minor updates to coincide with the changes to the game)
The second change is the demo version has been updated to reflect the changes made to the released version of the game! That means that the game plays back at 30fps instead of 24fps, and a few subtle features have been added in, like taunting messages from Horatio Hawk whenever you defeat an enemy, as well as updates to the message controls, extra-life programming and key collection. Also, I've modified this demo version to play up to the second boss, with an option to get the full version and all its goodies once you've beaten her (Arachnomax is a female, as indicated by the copious amount of spiderlings she sends forth!)
Right now, the game is available only through the Adventure Apes website, but am hoping to get it on some other sites in the next little while. The price is set at $2.99US, and I hope people find that reasonable for the amount of content and extras, but I guess time will determine that :)
Unfortunately, I have had to change the release date for my Adventure Apes game; from the middle of August to mid-September.
The game is currently waiting patiently to be made public, but I had to make emergency oversea plans and am not able to access the game until I return. The game will just have to wait until everything else gets settled.
I thought that it'd be a good idea to try to keep everyone in the loop and explain why the release date came and went without anything new being made available. I promise it'll be good to go when I'm back on home turf, just hope that those few of you eagerly awaiting the finished product don't mind a little bit of a delay!
Well, I've tweaked the Mayan Mystery to about as far as I can take it to this point...here's a breakdown of what's been done to get it ready for release:
-The controls have been simplified (when reading the messages)
-Framerate has been bumped from 24fps to 30fps
-Added some miscellaneous SFX
At this point, the modifications are really minor and don't affect anything for the player. It's more an attempt at making the game the best I possibly can. Changing the framerate really smooths things out nicely, so am sure that despite the slight increase in speed, the overall enjoyability of the game has been increased. That's the hope anyways! Applications have been sent out about getting the game hosted, and hope to have some positive results soon! In the meantime, here's a video explaining a little bit about each level:
As a rookie developer, it means a lot to me that you would have any interest in my game at all. This game is, and has always been something that I've (mostly)loved working on in my spare time. Although there have been bumps in the road, my mentality has been to do my best to see this project completed one way or another. Seeing people take any sort of interest in the Mayan Mystery is a total thrill because I never had any notion of making anything other than a game I'd love to play.
Everything about the whole gaming scene is fairly new to me, so you'll have to excuse me if I miss something, go about doing things in ways that might not make the most sense to more experienced developers :) In the meantime, I just hope that you'll all stick around as I continue learning the ropes!
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