RSS

Incarcerate & Unbound:Endless War

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Dec 09 2015

Hi, life upheavals for both me and james have left this site untouched for awhile. Still working on stuff. I got a little bit stuck working on the video game port of Unbound:Endless War and started on my own personal side project called Incarcerate for a bit. Doing a little game about the prison industrial complex and trying to approach it in a respectful type way. The first prototype version is on gamejolt: incarcerate But there are a lot of changes and restructuring happening.

On the Unbound front James has a revised rulesset in the work thanks to some feedback we got on the old set. Still not sure when we are going to move forward with the kickstarter but we have several people who have agreed to do previews for us and they’ve all received our prototype copies of the game.

Unbound Progress

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Oct 20 2013

I am happy to announce that people have been not only picking up the game but writing about it. A google search for “hexit strategy”(the old name of the game) turns up two postings:

A detailed breakdown of the game

and

A more casual deconstruction

 

We’ve also had a good flow of people downloading the print-and-play pdf of the game, with 48 people over the past 30 days. Our biggest source of traffic to the game has been the unbound boardgame geek page.

unbound:endless war print-and-play pdf download chart

37 of those 48 are from board game geek

Our next steps are to make a gameplay video and a digital version of the game to help spread the name a bit more and then  early next year start looking at quotes from printers and launch a kickstarter to run a print of the game to get physical copies to people.

If you’ve played the game we’d appreciate it if you took a moment to go rate it at boardgamegeek. If you haven’t and are interested go ahead and download unbound:endless war on gumroad.

Concarolinas and what is next

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Jul 15 2013

Sorry to anyone who is seeing this twice, the original post got lost due to some server issues so I’ve had to re-publish it.

So at the beginning of last month we were guests at ConCarolinas. Great time and we’ll definitely have to go again next year. Besides the various panels me and James talked on we also showcased a board game we’ve made currently tentatively titled Hexit Strategy.

Unbound:endless war getting played at con carolinas

Unbound:endless war getting played at con carolinas

 

The second day of the convention we got several people to play our little game and even had three games going at once! So right now we are looking at few things to do next.

  • Looking at thegamecrafter.com or some other source to make a printing of the game.
  • Looking into kickstarter or other potential sources of funding for said run(losing 10% between them and finance fees doesn’t seem like the best thing though)
  • Working on making a digital version of the game.
  • Re-write the rules so they are easier to understand without someone who knows the game explaining them.

That last one I discovered when I had the guy from Bower’s Game Corner review it from our Print & Play pdf.

 

The digital version has been a little bit slow in part because of exhaustion from the convention and also a bit of craziness going on in personal life. I’m going to be trying to get back to it now though and regularly make progress, update you all here, or ideally both.

 

On another note if anyone of you out there are good with user interface design, especially if you’ve used Unity3d and NGUI before and would be interested in helping out with Fortunes, please let me know.

 

What are your favorite conventions? Where should we be going to try and show off/drum up interest in our games either board or video? Let us know in the comments!

Fortunes motivation

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Apr 23 2013

Fortunes work has taken an upswing lately. Regular feedback is a huge help and I’ve been lucky enough to have made a friend who is willing to do a pretty good job of giving consistent feedback and poke me about making fortunes updates.

I’ve done a bit of restructuring of the user interface to try and make things like what team you’re on and which score corresponds to which team more obvious(the fact that things like this aren’t apparent are things you lose sight of when you know the game in and out and have been working on it for a long time.) Still need a way to make the different suits of cards clearer but that may have to be up to the final art to convey. Still would be good to be able to convey this somehow other then relying on the art though.

Also added a score summary at the end of hand before the divination screen to give a clearer picture of how you fared.

If you want to see how Fortunes is in its current state, go ahead an go play fortunes.

update- fonts

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Jan 04 2013
wingdings

Not the most legible font.

I’ve been on a bit of a break due to moving to Philadelphia and the holidays but one major thing I am looking at as I get back to work on both fortunes and the side task of one game a month is legibility.

legibility

The default NGUI fantasy font did not work terribly well from the web demo of fortunes. Fortunately I was easily able to import another font with it and BMFont.

The only difficult part was realizing I needed to change the extension of the text file BMFont created from .fnt to .txt to get unity/NGUI to be able to read it properly. Also important is to backup your project before making changes to the atlas. I got some strange results when Unity crashed mid-way through the process.

Fortunes Beta

The title is still a bit fuzzy but everything else looks sharper in Arial

I have some metrics issues which are preventing me from getting to one of the larger screens of text to show a better example of the new font. But once that is all resolved and bug tested I will get a new version of the game up here which will hopefully be at least 30% more readable and therefore 50% more fun.

Do you have any suggestions on how to make leaving feedback on the game easier? Please let me know!

Feedback friday

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Nov 09 2012

Not a whole lot visual changing dramatically at this point, but we are trying to get things tested and changed with fortunes.

So I’d like to ask you to give it a shot and leave some feedback in the comments here, there, or to lathomas@clichegames.com.

Some questions

How intuitive is the interface?
How long did it take you to figure out what to do?
Did any actions have unexpected results?
If yes what did you expect and what actually happened?
Do you have any other feedback?

Known bugs:
Cards should be greyed out and have white labels while its not your turn. On your turn the labels should turn red if they aren’t playable or yellow if you can. Occasionally the labels stay white and the playable cards remain greyed out. At this point the game must be refreshed but I’m trying to find the cause of this.

Fortunes feedback

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Sep 28 2012

So I’ve pulled back some from the grimace kickstarter to focus on getting feedback on fortunes. So now I’ve got to make things more intuitive to help people figure out what to do. Things aren’t as bad as they are confusion wise because there was one major flaw hindering people figuring out how to play…

The rules button appeared to do nothing.

I say appeared because it actually told the browser to bring up a window to load a pdf of the rules, but pop-up blockers have been preventing it from loading. I originally tried to load the pdf in the current window but it just replaced the small box for the game with the pdf and that is not an acceptable solution. So I need to go through and create a dialog to page through the rules and show that instead of just handing off the rules pdf.

This may be better though since I can make this tailored to the video game reference as the pdf is specifically explaining the game as a physical card game. I still want to improve the UI a bit more so that it is not as necessary to go read the rules page in the first place. It’s time to grind my UX skills and polish this game up some.

What user interface quirks bother you about fortunes or other games?

Fortunes Update – Beta

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Sep 14 2012

So for all of you wondering how the project is coming along, now you can just go play fortunes.

wheel of fortune

This has all happened before, and it will all happen ag- wait wrong franchise.

So the divination has been worked out for the most part. Going to have to do a different but similar approach for the smaller screens for phones and what not. Also had some issues loading pages come up when I tried to throw up a web-player here.

How is Fortunes? What is unclear? What could we improve upon? Let us know!

Fortunes burndown

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Aug 04 2012

So I haven’t updated you all on fortunes in awhile.

I’d been updating testing, documentation, and refactoring a lot recently. Nothing too exciting for the non-developers out there. Recently I’ve been getting back into some UI though and am trying to implement gestures to play a card by sliding it up instead of just tapping on it. Avoid accidental plays this way hopefully.

Getting some odd glitches happening in some corner cases but its working for the most part. What’s left for me to do? In no particular order:

  1. Tutorial(Not sure how necessary this is given the rule set will not be implementing this before making a web-version available)
  2. Audio Sliders: instead of just sound effects music on/off
  3. Respect the sound settings of the phone: This is a pet peeve of mine. If I have my phone on silent I don’t want your game playing music/sound. I feel other people may feel the same way too.
  4. Save Divination: meeting with the client later this month to discuss exactly how this should play out since this portion of the game is more of her thing and is add on/lore/fluff for the game proper.
  5. Possibly go back and try and fiddle with AI some more.

The Audio sliders and the divination part are the main things I will be working on before something gets released(at least that’s the plan) that you all can play. Well that and getting the glitches out of whats already implemented.

Fortunes Update — Taking charge of destiny and file systems

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Jun 16 2012

A big challenge I’ve faced recently has to do with data.

“All i see is blonde, brunette, redhead…”

Getting data from non-technical people.

James created this fancy spreadsheet for Barbara to fill out for the divination part of fortunes and only have to deal with one card at a time. After handing me this huge spreadsheet I had to figure out how to get the game to use this data.

Proprietary data formats and multiple build targets

After a little bit of google research I got Unity3d and excel to play nicely and had a pseudo-database set up running pulling in data from multiple sheets in the excel file for various parts of the game. Now if any of the card values needed to change, not just the divinations but card names we could modify the spreadsheet and not worry about changing any of the code. Sounded brilliant but it only worked on a standalone windows player. A web player or android build got stuck repeatedly trying to pull in the data from a class it couldn’t properly access.

You must take your eyes away from the tree before you can see the forest

This image may or may not be a non-sequiter

I spent awhile butting my head over many days trying to get this excel file reading to work on various formats. I was almost ready to set up a PHP script on our site for the web player, but didn’t like having a separate solution for that and for android. Eventually looking at workflowy I realized i was trying to solve the wrong problem. I shouldn’t be trying to read the excel file on these separate platforms. I just need the relevant data from the excel file. Some poking from that angle revealed the Resources class in unity3d. Between a little bit of work condensing the data I need into one sheet, saving that off to a tab delimited text file, and writing some code to parse that file I’ve got the current version of fortunes working with the data on android, windows, and the web player. I don’t have a mac to test that but I’ll probably get my fiancée to test that sometime soon.