Thursday, June 20, 2013

And the 'BEAT' goes on ...

The last six months have been *very* surreal to say the least. I finally managed to get some of my projects ported over to Ubuntu ( Linux ) and on the MAC. Both have been rather successful, on Ubuntu, I have submitted four games so far : Roswell Project, *Dead Pixel Invaders, *Shapes Mindorama and Office Worker ( * indicates 'FULL' version @2.99 ). The submission process to Ubuntu Software Centre via the App Developer website, is harmless and *free*, but you are expected to wait upto two weeks for your App to be approved and any adjustments made after the submission. I have also registered as a Apple MAC Developer, which cost £60 ( per year ). I have yet to submit an App to the Apple MAC Store, but that is to come. From what I have experienced so far from this, it's not going to be plain sailing !

Grade 'A' MacBook Air ( 2010 Edition ) from CEX
  
So, here is what we have so far with 'Dead Pixel Invaders' ...

The ports ( exports ) to Ubuntu and MAC were made possible courtesy of GameMaker:Studio, where the MAC facility was already there and I just needed a MAC to be registered as a Developer and Ubuntu where I bought the export Module for $99. I have Ubuntu installed on a Toshiba Laptop which I inherited from my late sister ( I'll explain this a bit later ). So, this is where I am at the moment, busily exporting and mulling things over in my mind.

I have plans on getting a few Apps ( Games ) on the iOS ( iPod and iPad ) platforms, this maybe towards the latter half of this year. But for the moment, we will have to wait and see. If anything, you will see 'Dead Pixel Invaders', 'Office Worker' and 'Shapes Mindorama'. The Apple iDevices will need further testing and tweaking, most Desktop Operating Systems only need small adjustments.

The Xbox 360 has been a little neglected over the past few months, I think I have only switched it on a few times and that invovled waiting serveral minutes for a system update. It does seem at the moment, that I am either too busy or enjoying more time on Linux, MAC and PC making games, which is probably more true in this case.

This whole exporting, Apple Mac, Ubuntu dabbling has been somewhat of a distraction from what life can really throw at you. For quite tragically, on April 12th 2013, my sister, Sam decided to take her own life. She chose a bridge that crossed the A40 in Oxfordshire, during the early hours of that morning. For some time, she had been suffering from Schizophrenia. The ironic thing is, the medical proffession knew of her illness ! But somehow, she still managed to do everyday tasks and hold a full-time job. No matter how much we look at it and all of the help we did give her and more, she still made that overall decision. I still can't get my head around all of this, but what I do know is, Sam is gone and those that knew and loved her are left with the scars. But we are also left with the loving memories which will never be forgotten and however much it hurts, we will be healed, if only partly, by the nicer thoughts. I have been left with the task of being the Executor of her Estate, something to be proud of, even if it is due to a somewhat sad circumstance.

And so, we move on. You'll be pleased to know that new project 'Barriers' hasn't been abandoned, the loose template for the game is done. All that is needed to be added, is further Levels, in-game bits and bobs, not forgetting music and sound effects, which I have yet to approach a musically minded person soon about. I would like to see a fully working, bolted together version of 'Barriers' done by the end of the year. If it creeps into 2014, then so be it. I think that there is enough going on at the moment to keep me busy for the coming months and beyond.

The whole game development ethos to me, isn't some much really to be competitive with what I have to contribute towards the industry. It is more through enjoyment of how a game is created and played ! I think I would be a fool in thinking I'd become an millionaire overnight, if money is made along the way, thats a bonus ! Its all about creativity for me, since the early days of computing owning a Commodore 64. Not only did I play games, I designed graphics and typed out program listings from Computer Magazines like, Your Commodore. Some of the programs had bugs and I managed to get them working again, through patience and time ...