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Showing posts from June, 2011

Kits have started shipping from the caster!

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Good news; I was just told that 12 models shipped from the caster today, I should have them in a couple of days.

They expect to be able to stay on the revised schedule within a day or two either way. The production manager stated, that although the first few kits took longer than expected, they now have things flowing much smoother and have a system that seems to be keepings things at a good clip.

In anticipation of the arrival and shipping to my customers I have uploaded the Leviathan Crusader instructions to the DFG website and fixed the links for the weapons instructions.

You can view the Crusader instruction by clicking the image below.

Once I recieve the kits I will be working as fast as I can to get them out the door...

Is the player an artist? - Redux

In case you did not follow the comments on the last blog post with my views on the player as an artist, you might have missed that James Portnow from Extra Credits responded and he and I had a brief exchange. This discussion is now up on the Escapist in case anyone is interested in checking it out:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/misc/8976-Extra-Credits-Addendum-Discussing-the-Role-of-the-Player

The articles has lot of interesting responses from the readers. I think I have already said what I have to say, so I will not discuss it further here. However, do feel free to continue the discussion in the comments!

The Player - the artist?

Introduction
In this week's Extra Credits it was argued that we should treat the player of a video game as an artist and co-author of the game. One major point was that other media can be said to be valid without an audience, but not so for videogames. In video games a player is needed for the work to fully come to life. The other point was that players have an artistic role in this co-operative creation and that understanding the feelings that drive an artist can be used to make better video games. You can watch the whole video here:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/extra-credits/3555-The-Role-of-the-Player

While I think that Extra Credits is an excellent show, I do not really agree with this. The hypothesis of player-is-artist sound quite plausible at first, but I think that if you take a closer look it does not really hold up. I also think that if we choose to design games with this mindset, we might be missing out on very important things that can be done in the medium…

Playing with poses

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I am still deciding on how to approach the prints, do I pose and print the complete mini or print components and pose them afterwards with a combination of traditional sculpting and digital sculpting... So much to consider, perhaps the $$-cost will dictate my decision for me?
While I roll this around in my noggin, here is another test shot with assorted poses. Note the change to the rifle to bring it more in line with an MG42 profile. Back when these were designed in 2001, the whole “Weird War” and greatcoats thing was not so prevalent. I am torn about the design as it seems a bit “been their done that” but I still want to have a core troop set that is easily identifiable as a major, cultural faction, in this case sci-fi Germany. Perhaps I could go a bit nuttier with the heavier armor?

Here is an old sketch with the HALO pack attached.

What’s your thoughts?

On the bench

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The 15mm scale Leviathan Crusader is off to the caster for quote and molds. Likely another week before I have a firm price and the mold work begins.


Next up... I am back to work on 28mm scale infantry. Here are a few test shots of the Eisenkern trooper.
Here is a sneak peek of another vehicle. The Puma II scout walker, still very much a WIP.  

Feat: Chakra Strike

Chakra Strike
You sever your opponent's connection to their magical gear Prerequisites: Critical Focus, monk level 8+ Benefit: On a successful critical hit, you may select one chakra point (belt, body, chest, eyes, feet, hands, head, headband, neck, ring, shoulders or wrist). Any magic item attuned to that location on the opponent becomes suppressed for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier.

Sales numbers

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Bad Golf, since 12/14/2010 Period Statistics Trials: 7417Purchases: 1822Purchase/Trial Ratio: 24.57 %


Battle for Venga Islands, since 5/23/2011

Period Statistics Trials: 3870Purchases: 878Purchase/Trial Ratio: 22.69 %  Here is a handy little graph that compares launches of Bad Golf (red) and BFVI (blue)...

Battle for Venga Islands v1.1

Within a day or two after BFVI went live, I knew it wasn't up to my standards.

The main problem was that the difficulty was too high... once the map was all filled it, it was very difficult to make forward progress.  And if you did happen to capture a region that extended into enemy territory, it was extremely easy for the enemy to take it back.  This lead to pretty deadlocked maps.

In spite of that, there were some really dedicated players who captured many hundreds (and one of a thousand) regions in the war for their monarch, which was awesome.

So, I put out a patch version 1.1, which had the following changes:

Regions were generally made easier to capture.Ocean regions now counted as friendly when calculating difficultyAdded a global percentage to show how much land Blue and Red both heldAdded the ability to change teams onceAdded anti-hack measures.Made healthballs show up slightly more often, and last longer before despawningYour own name shows up in red on the high score list  I…

A bumpy ride: Pre-Orders delayed

Unfortunately, our contract caster is having some problems delivering the pre-orders on time. They had some scheduling issues and material issues that set all their clients orders out from promised delivery dates. We have nailed down the caster to production dates, with assurances that the QC will not suffer.

¼ of the pre-orders will ship within the window given at the time of the pre-orders. ¼ will be shipped 10 days late.

¼ will be shipped 20 days late. ¼ will be shipped 30 days late.

All customers have been contacted and offered a refund if they so choose.

We apologies for the delay and any inconvenience this may cause.
You may contact me with the email address on this blog, or come and join us on the forums to discuss any questions or concerns.

All the best,
Mark-

The Next Game

I’m in the really one of the best phases of game development: brainstorming the next idea. No boring work, no technical snafus, just fun thinking.

I have a couple of ideas in my head that I’ve been kicking around for a while now.

Restaurant management game
Whenever I go out for sushi, I watch the orders get delivered to the chefs, and watch them plow through their orders. What I wonder about, though, is what happens if a huge order comes in for a big party, and a minute later, a single diner orders a single little tuna roll? Do you take orders as they come in, first come first served, or do you preempt larger jobs with smaller jobs?

I could imagine a game where you make these kinds of decisions on many levels… seating patrons, taking orders, making food, delivering, cleanup, collecting money, but always trying to do so in the most efficient manner.

I like this idea a lot, but it probably won’t get done. My gut says it requires too much custom art.

“Gather, Build, Share”
Like everyone, I…

New Video

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My boy Graith was kind enough to provide me with some captured multiplayer footage. I really need to invest in a video capture system.

Anyways, this should give some idea of what the online map looks like, as well as the high score list and local multiplayer gameplay.

Thanks Graith!

Venga Islands Review Roundup

Now that the game has been out for a while, it’s fun to hunt around to see what people are saying. There have been a couple of reviews, and they more or less jive with what I already knew. The game isn’t awesome, but it’s decent.


GameMarx: This was kind of frustrating to watch, but enlightening all the same. The players had some problems signing in, and then didn’t really grok the weapons yet. Shooting fireballs at close range is a bad idea. But by the time the trial was up, I think they started getting the hang of it.

The real unfortunate thing is that the main meat of my game is the persistent battle, and you don’t really get that from the trial. I should have added some sort of simulated AI battle for the single player, but I didn’t.




CrushFragDestroy, on the other hand, played the full version: “…Battle for Venga Islands is a fun little game. Watching the map start to fill-up with the color of your kingdom elicits a Pavlovian response, and it makes putting the controller down …