Wrapping up.

As we are doing the finishing touches, we are getting more and more near to the beta build. We were honored to have our game play tested by some of our friends in person so we could record their plays and find our initial bugs and misdirections. I recorded videos of people’s playing and also their voices and then we sat down and watched how people reacted to several important parts of the game and fond out our strengths and weaknesses.

Along doing those, we are doing finishing touches here and there and I’m reading on the business side of flash games. Even though I’m not doing this for the money, it is nice to get some revenue out of it so I can repay the hard work all members went through and as it’s first time I’m doing business side for a game that I work on, there are lots of new things to learn there.

So we mail the the beta build to the subscribed testers in the following days and afterwards, we will move to selling it.

Feedbacks are invaluable.

We were about to release our current game in two days from now, as we planned but after we had a few friends coming over and getting their feedbacks and reactions, we now have to apply those and make few changes here and there, mostly about how to teach the player the mechanics of the game, even though we thought they are somewhat clear enough which we were proven otherwise.

All that being said for game design section, our music is almost finished and we may just need few touches, sound fx is getting there, art is doing it’s final parts and we are testing things for HUD and menu and coding, as you probably guessed, is never ending and I’m constantly trying and fixing and polishing and refactoring.

If I don’t feel anymore burnout of this when we release it, I’m planning to write a postmortem about this game, mostly not about technical side but about managing the project as it is/was not a usual one-man-band kind of indie game and managing all these people, especially with no money up front and with some of them being around the world, was/is the most challenging part for me, same thing that happened for Hasan Kachal project and I’m happy I’ve done that before or else I would not have any idea how to manage this since the people involved in this project are grealy more than what we did with Hasan Kachal.

That’s it for now.


Quick update and register for testers.

So we’ve been real busy in past two weeks with taking our new game to new directions and shaping it up. I’ve been honored enough to work with some of the most passionate and talented people that I know and hopefully we can deliver a game that you will enjoy playing as well as us do while crafting it.

So can’t reveal anything just now but I should be coming back with more info soon enough.

In the mean time, if you want to test our game, drop me an email and I’ll send you the game when we enter testing.

DKP: New themes and level architecture.


For the past few weeks I was mostly thinking rather than writing code and was about to design a good level architecture to support my needs for 100+ levels and 7+ themes that I have in mind for DKP, which incorporates different level objectives for levels. Think of it like Call of Duty multiplayer modes, you can play the same map with different modes, Team Death Match, Free For All, Capture The Flag, etc, all in one map.

So even though I’m not hundred percent satisfied with what I currently have, I’m not gonna waste spend more time on it and go with the current design and later when I have a good reason other than perfection, will re-design it, but I think it will be possibly for the next installment.

After paving the way, I can now put objectives/themes for my levels and decide on how to manage the level based on the objective. I think in AAA games such as Call of Duty, they have some kind of rule set and each time they macth the latest action to that rule set and decide based upon that, at least that’s how I would implement it.

The beautify of it was when after all this time, when I designed and wrote the level architecture, I did one of themes in about a few minutes!

The Only Way is Forward (DKP update of December.)

So last two weeks I spent mostly on looking at the code and maybe writing one or two lines of code per day which usually came into undoing, if I did anything. Problem is I’m making the hub, which acts as like episode selector in original Quake, and that required adjustments to Level Manager which is responsible on when to change levels based on the level’s theme and when to do it. Since I’m using DAME as my level editor, I have to do extra work to make it’s exported code on par with my game’s logic and code, mostly the order of object creation time and the inner dependencies that cause null pointers, and that sometimes takes a lot of my time and usually makes me frustrated and leaves me on not working at all, like if working in my bed room with all other problems is no enough.

But, my new motto is “The Only Way is Forward” and I actually drew a sketch to demonstrate this as you can see on top of this post: despite all the things that try to get you out of your work, you have to get onward eventually, even if you have to take a few backward steps.

So, I think that sums up for the past few weeks. Usually when I don’t update the blog, it’s either I’m to frustrated to do any work or actually I’m working and don’t have time to blog, because all my productive time is spend on this project for about 7 months now.

Hope my next post will be on how I smashed this Level Maanger’ SpawnerManager cumbersome bug!

Heads up on DKP and life.

Lately I was very busy with a lot of distractions, applying for some schools, taking TOEFL iBT test out of the blue and everything that can happen to mess with my life, but fear no more, the way is forward, as of always will be.

I still write in my monthly column in Iran’s first and only game development magazine, called “BaziSzai” (which can be roughly translated to Game Development), be sure to check it out if you are interested, I just handed this month’s article which is about Locomalito.

To update things about DKP, I finally finished spawning problem and I’m knee deep in level transition. Our game is largely based on a lot of small rooms rather than like 10 levels which normal platofrmers do, so we need a good way of transition between levels and keeping logic on how and when transit between those “rooms”. Currently I can load multiple levels but collision detection gets very angry during the process and I’m doing brain surgery on the underlying code in order to tame that quad-beast.

After that, there shall be a system like a Judge in FFTA games to determine the goal of the room, based on the theme it has, and give permission to advance to next room, I expect this will be challenging too. Next is connecting current orphan features to the Judge, like spawn manager to report back so the Judge can decide accordingly.

What makes game development even harder, besides having to work in my bedroom with lots of noises and construction site machinery sounds, is sudden surge of great games, namely Dark Souls, RAGE. CoD:MW3, Rayman origins, Sonic Generations, Batman: Arkhan City, TinTin, Gears of War 3, TES V: SKYRIM, El Shaddai, Uncharted 3. While playing Skyrim and Uncharted 3 is guaranteed of anything but fun, I’m really keen to invest a big chunk of time to Dark Souls because I’ve already read numerous articles on how it’s gameplay been great and when it’s predecessor came, Demon’s Soul, I couldn’t touch it because I don’t have a PlayStation 3 but the new installment is multi-platform and I can play it and see the interesting and masochistically hard mechanics. Of course Skyrim is fun and sound but it’s hardly anything new after TES III: Morrowind or TES IV: Oblivion, they just get bigger and more beautiful but I’m at some point in my life that I rather play a great game called Ghost Tricks (DS) which introduces new gameplay mechanics and next generation of Adventure games, which I’m a big and old fan of, rather than something that we’ve already played two years ago just with resized graphics. But that’s just me. With all the “game industry” thing, all these money sucking publishers, all these needless new installments are inevitable, even when their creators say that they do not want to create a new version, you will be surprised to see the same game again with a II after it next year.

Oh, that’s life.

New build coming up.

Since my last post about my current game, it has changed quite drastically, so Instead of writing, apparently and possibly, boring changelog I thought of displaying a new build here. So after a few optimizations will be here.
Stay tuned.

Current state of DKP

I like to keep the blog posted and updated but in the meanwhile I don’t like to spoil any new feature that I’m working on, so I’m always somewhere here in between.

As you know, currently I’m working my way to near end of first phase of my current game (DarkestKorner Platformer) which is a retro 2D platformer with some unique elements. I was stuck hard in a bug that was related to Quad Tree in flixel that was finally solved, so my current best feature is a shotgun, it’s so cool, even though it still doesn’t has any particle or enemies to test it on! But has a cool feel and for the sound FX, I temporarily using best shotgun sound I ever heard, and probably will ever, in my life, the sound of shotgun in DOOM.

So, next is enemies: a normal patrol enemy, one kind that hangs from spots and shoots the player from stationary positions and a flying one that I may neglect because I hate those enemies in games like classic Ninja Gaiden series. That will pave the way for Environment Hazards, like spikes and so, and maybe some collidable particles.

So, let’s rock!

My new platformer update.


One of the features that in my previous games I and Hossein ( a.k.a. greatest game designer in the whole world ) really wanted and would help us was a tool that would let us change variables at run-time, without the need to do a slight change in the source code that would cause the game to recompile or at best changing a text document ( good ol’ .ini files) that would need you to re run the game. But with a visual editor you would change the variables and see their effect instantly. This would greatly help the game designer to tweak as much as he want, as fast as he can!

In my previous platformers, we had ( and to be honest with you still do ) much more problems that didn’t have time for such fancy features but with a great tool called Monster Debugger and some hard work of make it work with Flixel code (due to the way Flixel handles scenes that are not compatible with the debugger easily) now we can edit almost every variable we want at run time! That is a great debugger and I highly recommend it to any Flash/Flex/AIR developer out there!

now back to the bug with the movement :/


Darkness imprisoning me …

So, here I am again, writing another 2D platformer … what else did you expect!

Now that my conscription service is finished and I have much more time on my own and listen to the true calling of deep inside, which is game development, which is 8-bit retro and which is, 2D platformers …

So after several tinkering around with different languages, frameworks and whatnot, which some were successful like Hasan Kachal and some were not, I’m once again back with Flash (which I don’t much good memories) to make one more platformer, this time I’m using Adam “atomic” Saltman’s Flixel as a framework over Flash to speed things up, somewhat as a middleware and I’m loving it. Since I’m much familiar with C-family of programming languages, I wrote ActionScript 3.0 code with no problem with just a glance at a piece of code.

About a month ago, I had a great talk with if not the best, one of the greatest game designers of Iran, Hossein Hosseinian, and we developed some kind of prototype in a cafe and this what I’m showing is first prototype of that sketches in Flash. We then will sit down and talk with another great artist and sick gamer, Behzad Rahimi, which proven to be a great aid in Hasan Kachal and always a positive energy, and talk more about where this will go on.

All you see here, such as lolcat of background or Mario sprite are placeholders, it’s just the demo for the darkness I achieved, of course with help of great members of forums and giants that I put my feet upon, so don’t expect our original art yet, in a while our guru artists Behzad and  Nima Jamali will crush the ground for us … stay tuned ( I would suggest RSS feed ).

Here is screenshot of what we currently have:


notice the darkness, the glowing coins that hints the way … I love it. You can play the demo here. I’m planning to release the source code as open source, so not worries. I won’t now because it’s not much of a use to anyone yet, but hey, sharing is caring!

And one more thing, it’s goes by DarkestKorner Platformer as a WIP name.