Jan 2018

Jan 2018

Happy new year to all! It’s been some time since I’ve last updated my HTML5 game development website and blog. I’ve been moving from the South of England to the North. Finding a new job has been time consuming. I’m also getting married this year so have been busy planning that too! It feels good to be able to post game development plans again!

My new job is going well so far. One of the main benefits of this new job is the amount of free time I will have to make games. Previously, it would take around 90 minutes to commute – one way. So a total of 3 hours travelling to or from work(!) I would also be expected to work an hour of overtime a day.

As you can imagine it’s been difficult to try and write HTML5 games or update the website about the state of my HTML5 Mobile Games (or even work on these games) when most of my time awake was spent either travelling to/from work or at work. Thankfully my new job has a 15 minute commute walking! which is insane. I have never had this much free time available as I do now to create mobile compatible HTML5 games. It’s almost too perfect!

New Year Goals

I really want to use the great position I’ve found myself in this year to do some great HTML5 development. With such a short commute, in a job that wants me to do my work hours – no more, no less – should allow me to make some major changes in terms of focusing on mobile game development. I want to do the following:

  1. Exercise twice a week
  2. Interact and engage in the communities I like (tweet more than retweet, blog about my game development, work on game development)

 

I think these goals, especially with the time I’ve gained, should make it easy for me. I am going to start by at least tweeting or replying to a post online a day about HTML5 games. The more you engage in a community, the more you get back.

Future HTML5 Plans

As I posted here, 2017 was tricky for game development. I was busy relocating and have been unpacking and busy with Christmas. Additionally, I have been stuck trying to create a HTML5 .io game in GameMaker. I’ve pretty sure I’ve looked everywhere online, and there isn’t an example of a working, playable HTML5 multiplayer game made in GM:S. It just doesn’t exist. I thought I could make the first game, but kept running into roadblocks. Issues with design and GameMaker’s lack of HTML5 support with certain functions have made it virtually impossible for me. I even purchased GameMaker 2 that should have fixed some of the known bugs in GM:S 1.4 but it STILL has problems.

HTML5 module just doesn’t seem to be as polished as any of the other modules available (Android, iOS, Windows etc.) Even more annoying is that my whole plan was to write it in HTML5, get it to work perfectly, then convert the HTML5 games to iOS, Android, Windows, etc. to widen my potential customer base! This isn’t great for me. I am seriously considering abandoning using the HTML5 module and learning another, more stable Javascript language – phaser for example. I dunno…we’ll see I guess.

April 2017

April 2017

I’ve been really busy this past month writing HTML5 mobile games.

HTML5 Game Development in April 2017

This month I released the second in my series of HTML5 mobile games, Higher or Lower, a card game that works on PC and mobile. (It would be so much easier if my games didn’t have to work on mobile and PC!) This post discusses my thoughts and feeling around this biggest development for me.

HTML5 Higher or Lower game playHTML5 mobile games. Higher or Lower title screen

Thoughts

The response for Higher or Lower has been about what I expected. The few non-gamers I’ve shown it to played the game, said it was easy to understand. They also knew what to do and played it for a while. This is the kind of behaviour I wanted for this game, it’s not Breath of the Wild! I think, since I finished my first (proper) HTML5 Mobile game, Greedy Panda, I gained a lot of experience.  Particularly writing and what the HTML5 game market is looking for in terms of games companies would want to purchase.

In doing a card game (and HTML5 mobile games in general), I attempted to continue to create a fun, bright, colourful HTML5 mobile game (certainly more vibrant than other Higher or Lower games on Google Play). I think adding the Ouch Face in a manner similar (read copied) from Doom made the game stand out a little.

Monetization of HTML5 Mobile Games

With this game I have been more mindful in getting some kind of financial reward. After all I spent a lot of time writing Higher or Lower. I have a spreadsheet of 20-30 companies and contact information. I spent an afternoon(!) filling in forms and emailing various companies about my HTML5 mobiles games. With a bit of flattery thrown in, asked them what they thought of my HTML5 mobile games. It may been too soon to tell though. I’ve already got a couple of rejection letters from armorgames.com and famobi.com.

I’m not too disheartened about famobi.com. Their technical requirements are insane! (text localisation, minimal user interface, unminified and unobscured game files – no way! As for armorgames.com…I made a HTML5 card game when most of their games are action games,  it was a poor fit. I’ll wait and see what the other companies say when they playing my game and replay. I will share those results here. It should be noted, that they were complimentary about the end result, which is really nice to hear. It’s easy to get praise from people you know. When strangers like your HTML5 mobile games, I think it means more

Future Plans

So I think my next goal is to (obviously) produce another game. I use Gamemaker Studio to make games. I have learned a lot about how the software works, even just realising how to use the built in troubleshooting tools to find out what the problems were. That was a major roadblock for me. Even trying to find out what the root cause for the problems I was experiencing actually were! Fixing problems is easy, actually finding out what they are…that’s the hard bit. I feel like I’ve gotten better at that so my next game should go smoother.

On the subject on what to make, that is a tricky one. I like to think that every game (but especially multiplayer games) made by developers is made with a little love and pride. Some of the things I’ve seen/played…don’t appear to be made with that much love or pride. I am super proud of Higher or Lower. It’s not perfect. There are some changes I want to make, but is a game under 4MB that you can play in a browser.

HTML5 Multiplayer gaming?

I initially wanted to make a multiplayer game. The multiplayer games I’ve played either:

 

  1. The game aren’t compatible on mobile, where I do the majority of my web browsing
  2. They are full of bots, no real humans
  3. The games have no bots or humans!

 

It would crush me if I spend a ton of time and effort trying to make the best multiplayer game I could and not have real people logged in to play it. I have an idea of a multiplayer game that would work on mobile and PC. It should be exciting to play, (or at least I think it would be) but there’s no guarantees people would play it! On reflection though, it’s wiser to make a larger but single player game. The risks and time required will be lower and I think I can compete with all the other game devs out there. I will spend the next couple weeks planning this next game. Hopefully I will have a skeletal structure of a game available for people to play, just so they can play it and let me know what they think.

I think the rules I have made so far are still robust enough to last – mobile friendly HTML5 game that works on both mobile and PC.